This is how you can avoid cheque fraud
Cheque fraud refers to the type of criminal activity that involves creating unlawful cheques to obtain funds that either belong to someone else or do not exist at all. Counterfeit cheques are usually printed to look just like genuine cheques, so can be tough to spot. Alternatively, cheque fraud can refer to a genuine cheque that has been altered, or a cheque that has been stolen and signed with a forged signature.
In this blog, we will discuss methods to help people avoid cheque printing scams of any nature, so you don’t end up out of pocket.
What to do in certain situations
In the event of different kind of cheque fraud there are certain actions to take. One of the newest forms of cheque fraud is in fact the result of organised crime, with gangs targeting ordinary people who are selling high value items online. The gang will offer a cheque as payment, sometimes for more than the selling price, before taking the goods and leaving you to cash the cheque. There’s little left to the imagination about what happens next!
So, how can you avoid this kind of scam? Never accept a cheque that is made out for more than the selling price, and do not exchange the goods until you are certain the cheque has cleared. This normally takes between 3-7 working days.
When it comes to altered cheques, one method fraudsters use is to add another name into the payee line. Simply by adding ‘c/o’ (care of) and another name, criminals are able to redirect a genuine cheque through their own bank accounts. This can be harder to spot, as it is still a genuine cheque just with a slight modification.
To prevent this from happening, always write a business or person’s name in full in the payee line and draw a line through all unused space. This will prevent cheque fraudsters from filling in the blank space and ultimately withdrawing the funds. If you suspect criminal activity, you should immediately contact your bank as they can put a halt on the funds.
Cheque fraud comes in many guises, but the following can help you to avoid becoming a victim:
- Always keep your cheque book somewhere safe
- Regularly check bank statements
- Contact your bank the moment you see any suspicious activity on your account
- Lock away any returned cheques somewhere safe
- Immediately report stolen or missing cheques
- Write out all payee details in full
- Cross out any blank space so fraudsters cannot alter a cheque
- Always wait until a cheque has cleared before paying out money or handing over goods
We are a leading authority on security printing solutions, including cheque fraud prevention. All of our cheque printing meets C&CCC requirements, so you can feel confident when you put your cheque printing in our hands. We are also able to offer a comprehensive fraud consultancy so we can protect you and your business from fraud. Get in touch now to discuss your options, and we will arrange a free consultation