What is Check Fraud and How Can You Protect Your Accounts

Check Fraud can happen to anyone. Thousands of people are affected by this type of stealing and it could happen to you. Here are some explanations to what types of check fraud are happening and how you can protect yourself and your business. Awareness is the first step.

* When it comes to check fraud, most of the fraudulent checks are computer generated through desktop publishing checks. What can you do? Make sure your blank checks are under lock and key and place passwords on computers that can generate those checks. 

* Photocopying legit checks is another form of fraud that criminals use. They can create duplicate checks by photocopying real checks stolen from an individual or business to use for their own use. What can you do? Protect your blank checks by keeping them in a safe. Notate the numbers of the checks you have that are not in use. Report immediately any missing blank checks and watch your account daily for any of those numbers that may come through your bank. 

* Chemical alteration is another form of check fraud and is often used by criminals. Simply put…the criminal uses chemicals to alter the check…usually the amount it was written for and to whom it was written to. They then use the check for their own personal use. What can you do? Not much really but watch your accounts for unusual activity like if a check with the same number comes through again. 

* Forgery is another means that criminals use in regards to check fraud and this type of crime is committed when the criminal steals a check from an individual or business and forges the person’s or company’s signature onto the check. What can you do? Protect your blank checks by keeping them in a safe place. Notate the numbers of the checks you have that are not in use. Report immediately any missing blank checks and watch your account daily for any of those numbers that may come through your bank. 

If you have computer access to your bank, make sure you start using it every couple of days to watch your account. If check fraud is a big crime in your area, it will benefit you and give you piece of mind to follow some of these steps to protect your bank information to your best ability.