CHECK FRAUD IS A NATIONAL EPIDEMIC
More than 1.2 million worthless checks enter the banking system each day. The Nilson Report advises that annual check fraud losses now exceed $20 million and is growing at a pace of 25% per year.
There are several ways to combat check fraud:
- High security checks - these checks contain at least eight (8) safety features. To see high security
checks, visit http://www.safechecks.com/
- Reconcile bank statements promptly.
- Report forged checks as soon as they are discovered.
Most banks have timeframe limits in which to report.
- Do not give out bank routing numbers or account numbers to anyone requesting such information.
The bank would never call you and request such information.
Counterfeiters & New Technology
Here are some techniques used to counterfeit or alter checks
- PC's and Scanners - any information on the check can be altered and appear genuine.
- Color Copiers - can reproduce a color document that can not be distinguished from the original.
Paper currency is copied as well.
- Desktop Publishing Software - can create actual checks. Printers now have MICR ink and fonts which
will allow the check to clear without detection.
- Chemical Altering (washing) - ink can be dissolved alowing the check to be rewritten. Some chemicals
will even destroy the actual paper check over a few days time, thus destroying all evidence of the fraud.
- Mail Order - criminals get account information by standing in line behind you. They memorize the bank
name and your account number and order actual checks.
Use your debit cards.
- Laser Printers - also used to create high quality authentic looking checks.
These printers also have MICR ink.