Recently our check fraud experts Joni van Gelder and Keith Zub hosted a webinar on “The Five Most Important Ways to Protect Your Business Against Check Fraud.”
Since then we’ve gotten great feedback on the information we shared, so we wanted to make our tips available in bite-sized portions for you to digest on your own time. That’s why we’ve put together this five-part series. Each post highlights a different tactic to fight check fraud and protect your business.
How to Prevent Check Fraud: Get to Know the Numbers
The first section explains current payment fraud statistics in the US based on data from the AFP Payments Fraud Control Survey from 2014. Checks currently lead the pack in payments fraud, at 82%.
Joni: You know, it’s becoming very common to to hear about fraud, and typically what you hear about in the news is debit card or credit card fraud, or this retail store got hacked, or what have you.
But what most people don’t realize is that checks are actually the leader as the payment-type most commonly frauded against. In fact, checks make up 82% of fraud attacks in the US—it’s a five billion dollar business, that business of fraud.
Keith: And that’s just in the U.S.!
Joni: Exactly! It could be as simple as, and I know I’ve done it, I’ve accidentally tossed a check that I meant to cash, somebody pulls the check out of the trash, they alter the microline, or they go to someplace where they’re able to cash it. And that’s fraud.
In fact recently, there was a group in San Antonio, there were four of them, and what they were doing is they were working with a local street gang, and they would fraud the checks and cash them, and then they would get to keep a cut and then the rest, of course, they had to give to the gang.
So it’s something that is not limited to a certain geographic area, or to a certain type of business. It’s really across the board, and it’s something that we all need to be aware of.
Keith: Yeah. And with the technology today, too. I mean, think of printers back in the day. I mean, you couldn’t copy a check on a printer or a scanner. It was very difficult. Now, you can take a scan of something and take a look at it. If that piece doesn’t have security features built right in–
Joni: It’s really easy to manipulate it.
Keith: It really is.