Congratulations! You have won the lottery! Attached to this mail is the cashier check needed to cover your taxes and your fees. The only requirement you have to fulfil, to gain access to your winnings is to deposit the check and wire the money over to the sender to be able to cater for your taxes, fees and some other contingencies. And be assured you will be rewarded immediately your payment is confirmed.
Oops, I know you seem like you won a lottery indeed. But this is one of the many tactics fraudsters use in scamming people with checks.
What are the fake checks?
Fake checks are the counterfeit of the original checks. It is one of the major challenges the financial institutions and businesses are experiencing today. The so-called fake check scam has grown widely and easy for fraudsters because of the advancement of technology. In such a way that it is easy to deceive victims who are lying in wait for values in exchange for money.
This act of scam is possible due to counterfeiting using desktop publishing and copying to design a falsified check or create a duplicate of an original financial document, and also a chemical alteration, which includes the removal of all or some genuine information on the actual check; thereby manipulating the information to their favors.
HOW CHECKS ARE FORGED
As earlier stated, fake checks are forged versions of an original check. They look original, but they are produced without the authorization of the account holder. How is this possible? Fraudsters source for the bank account number and the bank routing number from the original checks or through series of scamming calls or emails requesting that you send your bank details for verification, claiming the verification process is from your bank. They also steal from check cashing place, having their contacts. And immediately they get the information; and they make use of some “check printing software” that enables them to design, create and print checks and even mimic the rightful owner’s signature.
Most times, when you deposit these checks, they will be cleared, which makes it look original unless the actual account owner opens a complaint within 30 days. Last year in the US, over 2 billion dollar worth fake/Forged checks were cleared (unnoticed), without the account owners opening a dispute in due times. Lots of individuals and big companies fall, victims of fake checks, most especially, those who issue a check without paying proper attention to how the checks redeemed in their bank accounts.
However, some companies and individuals employ the latest check printing software that helps cross-verify your bank information on each check issued through the software and alerts you whenever any check reaches the bank other than the one issued through the software.
HOW TO IDENTIFY A BAD CHECK
• Lookout for perforations in the check. If it lacks perforation, then it’s fake.
• The absence of check numbers or having the same number
• Take note of the font with which the customer’s name is printed, and if it doesn’t correlate with that of the address, then it’s fake.
• Take note of possible additions to the checks – like phone numbers written by hand
• The absence of customer and bank addresses.
• Presence of discolorations due to the series of alterations of the check.
• Lack of authorized signature.
FEW TIPS ON HOW TO PREVENT FRAUD OR FAKE CHECKS
• Do not engage in a “pay to play” offers.
• Avoid giving in to online solicitations that proposes easy money
• Take your time to authenticate the requestor before you send or issue any check
• Do not play the quick game of the check deposit. If someone is hurrying you to deposit a check in a limited time to be qualified for a reward. Don’t fall for it, because in most situations, such checks are fake.
• Report any issue of suspected fraudulent actions to your bank. If a check looks unauthentic,; do not deposit it, instead contact your bank to report the situation. Bank staffs are trained experts who can help you spot fake checks without stress.
• Protect your account using software that monitors your account activities.
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