Check frauds – What are they?

Check frauds occur when a check is forged, counterfeited and altered. Check fraud is a rampant crime which has ended up conning individuals and corporations of large sums of money. The rise of technology has given scammers, the ease to create forged checks with more accuracy. It is important to protect oneself, in all ways possible. In a case where the check is authentic, but there is no balance in the account, the check bounces, and both the parties are charged a fee.

Forgery and alteration
Checks which are digitally morphed with all the details including bank logo come under this. In this case, the check is easily passed, since checks contain personal and financial facts of an individual. It is recommended that one limits the usage of checks and use secure methods such as mobile and internet banking.

Paperhanging and check washing
It is usually done with the checks of an accounts that have already been closed. In check washing, the checks are washed with dyes to remove the writing on them and are cashed. These cases are extremely hard to prove and the customers do end up losing money.

Methods to identity a forged check
It might be a forged check if’, the details are not clear to read, and the bank details are blurry. The ink used in the check has discolorations. The bank details are missing this might be the bank address, bank name and even the MICR number. The magnetic ink at the base of the check is shiny. The magnetic ink always has a matte finish on ordinary checks. Banks pay close attention and some fraudsters are apprehended at the bank itself. If you are certain that you are being conned with an altered check, you must inform the authorities immediately.

Ways to prevent check fraud
Do not accept checks from unknown individuals or organizations. If you write a check, make sure you note the details for future reference, and give them only to trusted individuals and companies. Use bold ink that is wash-proof to prevent paper washing. If you are mailing your check, use a trusted mailer to do so. Always balance your check books at the end of every month so that you know all the transactions that took place in the span of the month.

Since many new frontiers such as internet and mobile banking are becoming prevalent, checks are fading away from the mainstream. Internet and mobile banking facilitate easy transfer of funds with safe authenticating methods. This has revolutionized the world of banking as we know it.