Check fraud is one of the main challenges facing the finance industry. Through advanced technology or organized gangs, fraudsters are finding more ways to manipulate consumer and business checks as a way of stealing from consumers and businesses. Besides suffering financial losses, consumers experience anxiety and inconvenience caused by resolving check fraud issues with local merchants and their banks. In this article, we will look at how consumers and businesses can prevent check fraud. Here are some of the ways.
Use Secured Mailboxes Only
Millions of people use checks to pay for utilities. Unfortunately, a significant number of these people put the checks in a mailbox outside in front of their homes. These checks are easily accessible by fraudsters. Now that there are many criminals, it is not safe to leave your checks anywhere. Prioritize taking your check to a secured mailbox or drop them in the post office.
Be Vigilant During Tax Season
There are numerous cases of check forgery during the tax season. Check fraud cases increase during tax time because the IRS requires taxpayers to pay through checks. Fraudsters steal checks from a mailbox, modify the payee details, and then deposit it.
Your Checkbook Should Be Under A Lock And Key
It is imperative to keep your checkbook in a safe place. Surprisingly, many people keep their checks in the glove box of the car. These people later go and park their cars in the valet and forget to close the glove box. Fraudsters are always looking for gas cards, credit cards, and receipts with people’s statements. If they happen to come around your checkbook, they won’t spare it, and before you realize it, they will be nowhere to be seen. For that reason, it is vital to keep your checkbook in a safe place.
Feel The Check
Whenever you receive a check as a form of payment, it is essential to feel the check’s texture and weight. Except for government-issued checks, all other checks should have a perforated edge.
Request For ID
It should be a business policy for customers to provide their IDs when paying via a check. The cashier should confirm whether the customer’s details on the check correspond to those on the ID. Also, the cashier should make sure the written amount on the check matches the numerical figure. In the case a bank accepts a check with differing written and numerical amounts, the written amount overrides the numerical figure.
Check The Watermark
Utilizing advanced technology such as desktop printing or photoshop, fraudsters can design and print illegal checks. They use copied logos and signatures from legitimate businesses to make their legitimate- like checks. By training your staff on check security features, you will reduce check fraud cases with a significant margin. Employees should be suspicious of checks printed on low-quality paper, those with faint watermarks, and those printed using different fonts.
Besides designing legit-like checks, fraudsters can alter legitimate checks. For example, a criminal can add more zeros to blank spaces to read a higher numerical figure. To prevent this type of fraud, fill all the writeable space in a check, leaving no chance for forgery.
Balancing Your Checkbook Every Month
It is essential to monitor your checking account at the end month. Unfortunately, many Americans don’t reconcile their bank statement. The law requires you to present check fraud issues to your bank before 30 days elapses from the day the crime took place. If you report the issue later than that, the bank won’t be liable.