10 Check Scam Prevention Tips for Accountholders
Produced by Jay Slagel, Vice President, Risk Management & Claims
March 20, 2019
Over the last few years, the FTC has reported a growing number of complaints about scams involving counterfeited checks. Fake checks are used in numerous types of scams, and are therefore quite dangerous to your financial institution and accountholders.
Uncovering a fraudulent check can take much longer than the time your financial institution is given to clear a deposited check – and scam artists are ready and willing to take advantage of this fact. By the time you discover a fake check, the criminal could be long gone, and your accountholder may be stuck repaying some or all of the owed funds.
Take steps to ensure your accountholders’ finances - and your reputation - stay in the green! Share the below tips with your accountholders to help them prevent an attack involving fake checks:
10 Check Scam Prevention Tips
1. Don’t respond to unexpected requests for money or personal information. Wait to make a decision until you’ve vetted out the company or contacted them directly to verify the request.
2. Research unknown callers/emailers. Before making a purchase decision, lookup the company or number online to see if other people have reported similar scams.
3. Don’t trust anyone asking for your personal information. If someone calls asking for money or personal information, hang up, even if the name on the caller ID seems legitimate. If you think the caller might be telling the truth, call back to a number you know is genuine.
4. Don’t pay in advance for any invalidated offer – i.e. debt relief, loan, mortgage assistance, job, or prize winning – or you run the risk of losing your money and never seeing the promised goods.
5. Avoid “risky” payment methods, such as prepaid/reloadable debit cards, gift cards, and money wires through services like Western Union or MoneyGram. Honest companies would never require use of these unsecure payment methods, as they are hard to track or reverse.
6. Be wary of “urgent” requests for money. Con artists want you to make decisions in a hurry, and often use urgent language or threats of financial repercussions to motivate a quick decision.
7. Hang up on any recorded sales pitch or robocall, which are illegal and often bogus. Don’t press any number to speak to a representative or to be taken off the list, as that could lead to more calls.
8. Regularly review your accounts for any unauthorized activity and contact your financial institution right away. Catching and reporting these attacks early could give you a leg up on attackers.
9. Don’t deposit checks from unknowns. If a check you deposit turns out to be a fake, you may be responsible for paying back your financial institution.
10. Sign-up for fraud alerting services and invest in identity theft protection to protect against any fraud attack.
Ask your accountholders to report any fraud suspicions to your financial institution, so you too can quickly act on any potential threat.
Click here to download our Risk Checklists on Counterfeit Check Fraud Prevention and receive more tips like these for preventing check fraud exposures.
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Content in the blog posts are the opinion and views of the writer, and don't necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Allied Solutions.