Even the biggest and the most secured financial institutions and business enterprises are standing embarrassed at the difficult challenge of check fraud. Numerous business organizations have become helpless victims of check fraud. Fraudulent access to emails, websites and soft copies of financial documents and other credentials have opened the way for fraud financial activities like check fraud. Organized gangs and several independent individuals are into check fraud that leaves common man and organizations as victims. Modern computer technologies and the broad world of World Wide Web have left open doors for check fraud criminals. According to the estimations billions of dollars flow to the hands of check fraud criminals who access new ways of fraud dealings. Often it is impossible to resolve the issue and the helpless victims are left with immense losses, inconvenience and anxiety.
Majority of the check fraud activities are done through the duplicate publishing of the financial documents. Desktop publishing, content copying, pasting and document editing enables the formation of fraud documents and checks. What is impossible in the world of softcopy is publishing, editing and imaging. Chemical alteration also makes the job easier for check fraud criminals. Using alteration it is possible to erase and add information. Individual users, banks, organizations and business enterprises have become the victims of check fraud. Check fraud and other financial fraud dealings begin with the stealing of crucial financial documents. Stealing blank checks from houses, stealing from bank drop boxes, getting cancelled checks from garbage boxes and stealing other crucial documents do initiate big financial fraud activities (Abagnale, 1980).
Check fraud is of several types. Forgery is one of the popular forms of check fraud. It is common happening in business organizations. Check issued with improper authorization and missing information leads to forgery and check fraud. Checks are stolen from banks and mailboxes. Stolen checks are edited and presented for payment in shops and banks. Wrong personal identification and address are employed for false transactions. Individuals and organizations realize the loss days, weeks and months after losing the money using fraud check transactions. Altering check is a common fraud activity. Using chemicals, erasers and solvents, handwritten information can be easily erased and altered. Use of bleaching chemicals and solvents would help erase writings made by pen. When erasing is made on particular spots, where payee name and amount are mentioned, it is known as spot alteration. Sometimes check washing is performed, which means the complete erasing of entire information in the check. Check counterfeiting is also not uncommon with the help of complex technologies. The whole check is fabricated. High quality desktop publishing equipment, scanners and high quality laser printers are employed for this work. Good editing software and image-editing tools are extensively used for this work. Duplicating a check is not a difficult task nowadays, with the advent of modern technologies. Color photocopying machines are the scanners which can do the job. Even an unskilled computer operator can do the work with the help of the software. Paperhanging that involve ordering checks on closed account and issuing the checks of closed accounts leads to check fraud dealings. Check kiting is also a flourishing check fraud activity. Opening multiple accounts in different institutions simultaneously and taking advantage of the float time is a popular trick. These criminals are able to show fraudulent balances and use them for different financial activities. This is a popular fraud activity around the world as the new rules compel financial institutions to make funds available in no time. Advanced banking practices that are intended for improving user experience are paving the way for more advanced fraud activities. Institutions and users stay embarrassed not knowing what to do. Some of the institutions rely on the third party organizations that give fraud protection, offering different services for protecting the institutions and users from becoming a victim of check fraud and other financial fraud dealings.
It would be appropriate to include the story of a non-profit organization that endured a heavy loss due to a fraud check deal. One fine morning they received a thousand dollar donation from a strange party. They failed to recognize the hidden fraud agenda behind that gift check. The organization recognized the folly only when they lost several thousand dollars from their pocket through fraud checks. The account of the organization was accessed in Georgia by a woman who collected the money and wired it to her account in another country. Financial managers of the organization and bankers were bewildered to hear of the fraud dealing. Thousands of dollars were withdrawn through fraud manner through simple methods. Raiding a banking account is no longer difficult in the world of internet banking and transactions. Banking experts say that this is beyond their control for any fraud alterations are possible through alterations and fraud online dealings. A criminal who has accessed the bank routing number and checking account number can fabricate checks and use them for fraud dealings. Internet banking has introduced more open methods for criminals to perform different forms of check fraud activities.
Certain measures of caution would help recognize and avoid check fraud. Suspect free offering of money from unknown party as they may be attempting to access your financial information through the free offer. Never ever proceed to accept such offers. Even believable offers may be fraud intentions in disguise. Someone may be asking your financial information in order to pay you back for your product or service. Never ever supply sensitive financial information. Fraud check and scam dealings come in varieties of forms. Never ever reveal your financial information or accept strange money as checks. People who put advertisements for selling and online job seekers must be careful not to be victims of these types of fraud dealings. Fraud dealers may be offering you something from a different country. They may be demanding a certain amount of money for paper proceedings. Sometimes they may demand your financial information so that your account can be accessed. Beware of such stuff. People from fraud companies may send you fake checks that look like original. Beware of checks as forged versions of checks are easy-to-make these days. Certain fraud companies may ask your financial information by offering money through wire transfer for your service. Never share sensitive financial information with such companies. Also beware of issuing checks to people for their services. Certain checks that appear to be good may also be discovered fraud later. It would take months for forgery to be discovered. For certain checks, cash becomes available immediately. Forgery would not be discovered that soon. You may be able to withdraw the money immediately. This does not guarantee that the check you deposited was genuine. You may discover after several days that the check was a forged one. Check would be bounced and money would be penalized from your account. You are fully responsible for the checks you deposit in your account. It is your sole responsibility to ensure that your checks are original and not fraud. Banks are not responsible for this. You are dealing with the sender of the check, and the check is at your risk. Your client is sending you the check and you are responsible for it. Bank will not make any investigation before it passes your check. It is not practical for the banks to identify each and every check deposited at their branches. When bank later attempts to retrieve their money, they come to know that the check was fraud. The check bounces. The entire amount will be taken from your account. All your accounts in that bank would be accessed to retrieve that money. Beware of checks of all forms unless it is from the institution or individual whom you already know. According to Federal laws, checks that you deposit would be credited to your account immediately. The quality of the checks is not well assessed. Fraud checks appear like original checks for they are well forged. It will take months to know the truth about the check. Bank tellers also often fail to recognize fake checks. Accepting checks should therefore be done with caution. For online workers, freelancers, online sellers and buyers, using PayPal and other accredited financial services would help. Take necessary care to access the correct websites, not the fraud ones. Sellers and buyers on eBay and other online selling and buying portals should give extra care about their financial information.
Therefore be careful about the checks you receive. When you deposit the check in the bank, you are at the risk. Bank is authorized to recover funds from your account if they wrongly credited a fraud check on your account. There were also cases when the financial institutions filed cases against the victims for they may also have involvement in such cases. Certain individuals forge checks in their name and deposit in their account. When they get the money credited, they disappear. Banks loose the money in such situations. Thousands of counterfeit check cases are running in different financial institutions around the world. Depositor of the check is responsible for the transaction. Taking extra caution would help avoid check fraud to a certain extent.