Check Fraud Makes a Comeback

Bank of Southern California is focused on ensuring the safety and security of client information. In this edition, we discuss one of the oldest and most persistent forms of payment fraud: check fraud.

As cybercrimes become increasingly more sophisticated, a simpler, older form of fraud is making a comeback. Check fraud in the form of counterfeit checks and returned deposit items is on the rise. In 2017, check fraud was responsible for 35% of the banking industry’s losses for a total of $789 million.

To protect yourself from check fraud, ensure that you have a system of internal controls and utilize dual authorization. Review your accounts regularly and report suspicious activity immediately. We also recommend you follow our best practices:

  • Store checks in a secure location.
  • Never include personal data on a check like your Social Security number, driver’s license number, and date of birth.
  • Report missing checks immediately.
  • Do not use unsecured mailboxes for mailing payments.
  • Use ACH or electronic payment options such as online bill pay when possible.

These steps will help protect you and your money from check fraud. If you become a victim of check fraud, report it immediately.

A Thief Forges Nearly $100,000 in Checks

A local woman exploited a person with learning disabilities and stole nearly $100,000. The cause of the theft: check kiting.

In this case, the thief was employed by a local organization that provides home care for people with disabilities. She victimized her client and wrote checks between his bank accounts, floating the funds. Over a four-month period, the thief stole nearly $100,000. The discovery was eventually uncovered by a bank employee.

Crimes involving check fraud are becoming increasingly more popular. It is important to closely monitor your accounts and report any suspicious activity immediately.

Commitment You Can Bank On

Bank of Southern California is committed to providing resources to help keep our clients’ assets safe and secure. To learn more about how to grow and protect your business, call 858.847.4780 or visit us in person at one of our many offices conveniently located throughout Southern California.