Check Fraud – How to Avoid Being A Victim

By: Fred Boyk

We recently found out that a couple of big checks hit our bank account. These were not deposits but rather withdrawals. The problem with this is that we did not write these checks. Some unknown third party, likely using some sort of specialized software, made up a couple of checks that somewhat resembled our checks. They knew our bank routing number and account number. The checks were signed using a made up name and deposited via a mobile bank app to their personal bank account.

Fortunately, we have systems set up to detect fraud. The same day the fraud checks hit our account, our bank was notified. The bank, at our direction, rejected the checks and credited back our bank account. We had no loss. We also notified the FBI in case this is part of a major criminal enterprise.

We have been told that this type of fraud goes on a lot.

Are you prepared if this happened to you? What if you start bouncing checks because a fraud check cleaned you out? What if you have no money to pay your normal bills, including food and utilities?

The best thing you should do is check your account daily. Thanks to online apps this is really not too time consuming. If you see a check has hit your account that you did not write or a debit pulls money out of the account going to an unknown party you need to immediately notify your bank.  Additionally, you should reconcile your account as soon as you get your monthly bank statement.

It is great living in an advanced digital world but there are also disadvantages. Diligence is required to avoid this type of theft. Fraudsters want to steal your money. Don’t be a victim.