There are many opinions that people have when it comes to using checks. Some business owners may consider it an outdated form of payment. Some B2B businesses are used to handling transactions with checks. Then some business owners are wary of using checks for fear of fraud. If you find yourself as one of the latter, here are some methods to help you determine whether a check is fake from Sharmin & Sharmin, Attorneys at Law.
Common Examples of Check Fraud
Check fraud can come in many forms. Some of the common examples of check fraud include:
Washing. This method involves using chemicals to remove critical information from a check.
Counterfeiting. This method involves printing illegal checks using a victim’s real account information.
Check kiting. This method involves accessing funds deposited in another account before the bank collects them from another account.
Paper hanging. This method involves writing checks on closed accounts.
Forgery. This method involves endorsing a check that is not payable to the endorser.
Modern technology has made it easier for hackers to create fraudulent checks that can seem authentic. But there are some elements of a check that you can use to determine whether the check is fake or not.
The Bank Logo
One of the signs you want to look for is the bank logo on the check. A legitimate check has an easily visible bank logo. If the check does not have a visible bank logo or the bank is unrecognizable, you may have been given a fraudulent check.
The Bank Address
Another sign that you want to search for is the bank address. A legitimate check will have the bank’s real address listed. The address on the bank must also be verified on Google.
If a check has an address connected to a P.O. box, that is a sign that the check is fraudulent.
The Edges of The Check
You also want to pay attention to the edges of the check. A legitimate check will have a perforated edge. This signifies that the check has been ripped from a person’s checkbook. Fraudulent checks, on the other hand, have smooth edges. This signifies that the check may have been printed from a computer.
The Check Number
On legitimate checks, there will be a check number. This check number will match the check number on the MICR (magnetic ink character recognition) line. Fraudulent checks have check numbers where the check number doesn’t match the number on the MICR line.
The Routing Number
Another critical piece of information you want to double-check is the routing number. A bank’s routing number will have nine digits and can be verified on Google. If the routing number on the check does not match the bank’s routing number, that is a sign that the check is fraudulent.
The Signature on The Check
You also want to pay attention to the signature presented on the check. A signature on a legitimate check will have consistent pressure throughout. If the signature appears faint or digital, that is a sign of a fraudulent check.
The Amount of The Check
Lastly, pay attention to the amount written on the check. Fraudulent checks contain amounts lower than $5,000 because they clear in five or fewer business days. The amount usually shown on fraudulent checks ranges from $100 to $400 for personal checks. For business checks, the amount ranges from $1,000 to $1,500.
Contact a Check Fraud Lawyer in Florida Today
When you have been the victim of check fraud, speak with an experienced Florida check fraud lawyer from Sharmin & Sharmin, P.A. Call our office to schedule an appointment today.
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