How to Prevent Check Fraud: Check Security Q&A
As payment solution providers, we field questions from customers every day who want more information about protecting their business from the dangers of check fraud.
We sat down with Relyco check expert Deanna Dorvillier to give you a first-hand account of the reality of check fraud and some measures you can take to prevent it from happening to you.
Q: Why Should I Be Concerned About Check Fraud?
A: In my 18 years of providing my customers with the most secure documents they want, and advising on ways to make their check stock more secure, I have received hundreds of calls from companies asking how they could have been hit (for some very large sums of money) through check fraud. Fortunately, all had met their due diligence, but almost immediately, each wanted to add more security.
Q: I Have Check Security Features. How Can This Happen?
A: All checks are not created equal. When you consider the millions in check fraud registered last year alone, you have to reconsider the best way to protect your secure documents from fraud.
Anyone who claims they can 100% guarantee you won’t be a victim of fraud is sadly mistaken. Today’s counterfeiters are highly skilled at what they do. They can alter your check so completely, you won’t recognize it.
Q: How Do Banks Battle Check Fraud?
A: Most banks require a minimum of three check safety features and many are asking for more. But you also need to consider where your checks being processed. Is it a secure environment or is in an open space where anyone can grab a check? It is important to know the trail a check takes from its initial printing until it reaches the hands of the intended recipient.
Q: What Are Common Check Security Features?
A: In today’s business environment most companies want a VOID–pantograph even though it is not a particularly effective security measure. It is a deterrent. Yet many people ask how they were victims of fraud when they had a “VOID.”
You can have a watermark on the back of the check printed in opaque white ink that can be seen if the check is held at an angle or a coin is rubbed over the back activating the ink. You also might have micro-printed areas on the check. These three features can be found on most checks currently in circulation. It just isn’t enough. Is cost of the checks a factor in choosing your features?
Q: What Are Some Advanced Check Security Features?
A: Depending on your perceived need for security, and your budget, you can purchase checks with as few as three or four security features or as many as 16 or 17. If you feel safe with a stock, many of them have check security features that are more secure than a custom check you might design, and they are normally more budget friendly.
To enhance security consider a safety offers a range of security measures manufactured into the paper, not printed on later. This makes them almost impossible to alter.
Each additional feature makes your check harder to fraud, but not impossible. However, most people counterfeiting checks today tend to go with those with the fewest security features to deal with.