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Here's How To Prevent Check Fraud

Updated on May 29, 2014

Top Thee Forms Of Check Fraud

Victims of check fraud experience their checking accounts being totally wiped out and in many cases their credit is affected. It is considered the most damaging form of identity theft and is at the top of the list of complaints with the Federal Trade Commission. Avoid being a victim of fake check scams to steal your money. Read this and understand how these scams work. Always remember that you are responsible for the checks that you deposit in your bank accounts.

The top three forms of check fraud with legitimate checks:

1. Altered Information: such as the amount or the payee information

2.The endorsement forged: a check that is endorsed and cashed or deposited by someone other than the designated payee

3.The signature is forged: a check that is forged with the account holder's signature


Here's How To Prevent Check Fraud

Do not sign checks until you're ready to cash or deposit in your account. If you need to write a check for cash, wait until you get to the bank to do so. When writing a check, use a gel pen and keep it with your check book. The reason for this, gel ink has tiny particles of color that penetrates into the check making it harder for check washing. Ball point pens are dye based and the pigments are dissolved in the ink, therefore a thief can wash the ink off and alter the check.

When ordering checks, limit the personal information on the checks. Do not add social security numbers, phone numbers and drivers license numbers. This is all the information a thief needs to open any type of account. Also add security features that help combat counterfeiting.

Criminals today are skilled thanks to computers, scanners and color photo copiers and they can defraud you by using a blank check stolen from your check book, statements or cancelled checks thrown in the garbage.

The annual losses due to check fraud is estimated in the billions and study rising. Criminals continue to seek ways to earn a living by defrauding others.

Many Fall Victim Of Fake Check Scams

There are many variations of the fake check scam.The checks are fake but they look real. The scam is for you to wire money after you’ve deposited a check sent to you.

If you’re selling something, the scam is to pay you by having someone in the U.S. who owes them money to send you a check. It will be for more than the sale price, you of course deposit the check and keep what you’re owed to you and wire the rest to them.

Then there is the work-at-home scheme, the scam on this one is that you’ll be processing checks from their clients. You deposit the checks and then wire them the money minus your pay or they may send you a check for more than your pay by mistake and ask you to wire them the excess.

The sweepstakes and foreign money offer variations of the scam, they tell you to wire them money for legal fees, taxes, customs, bonding, processing, or other expenses that must be paid before you can get the rest of the money.

Then there's the ad scam where the scammer place their own ads with phone numbers or email addresses for people to contact them and they call or send emails or faxes to people randomly, knowing that some will take the bait.

There is The scammers say it’s too difficult and complicated to send you the money directly from their country, so they’ll arrange for someone in the U.S. to send you a check. Fake check scammers hunt for victims but you are responsible for the checks you deposit. The checks are fake but they look real.

Use Uniball Gel Pens

The uni super ink, helps to prevent check fraud. These pens are acid free, fade and water resistant. The most important feature is, it is resistant to chemicals that wash dye based inks from checks. The ink formula used to create the gel pen contains pigment that bonds to paper. It actually sink into the paper fibers making the information on the check impossible to wash off.


The Number One Techniques Criminals Use

Check washing is when the criminal uses a chemical to erase the ink from a check. Acetone is most widely used because it will remove most inks without a noticeable effect. That's why it is important to use a gel pen. Some of the other chemicals used are, bleach, high powered erasers, clear correction fluids, fox it, benzene, carbon tetrachloride and chloromice T.

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    • bodylevive profile image

      BODYLEVIVE 5 years ago from Alabama, USA

      You're welcome, I bought a pack of the gel pens. I put two in my purse, one of them in my check book and gave my husband one. I have a container on my desk that is filled with pens. I intend to replace them with gel pens gradually. Thanks for stopping by and I appreciate your comment.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 5 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks for these tips....will ensure that I use a gel pen from now!! Thanks for sharing, these are important notes I will pass on.