Although check fraud is nothing new, it’s on the rise. In addition to advanced printing and scanning technologies which make it easier for thieves to convincingly alter your check, they are now selling these checks on the dark web.
How does check fraud work?
Thieves steal the checks you leave for your mailperson to collect, or they can break into mail drop boxes. Once they have a check you’ve written, they can alter the payee as well as the amount. They can then either cash your check or sell it to another fraudster online.
The Cybersecurity Research Group at Georgia State University found an average of 1,325 stolen checks for sale online every week during October 2022– twice the number for September and triple the 409 found in August.
How prevalent is check fraud?
According to the FBI, 70% of U.S. organizations reported check fraud, resulting in more than $18 billion in losses. According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the average phony check or money order scam resulted in $1,500 in losses per item.
Tips for avoiding becoming a victim of check fraud include:
- Paying your bills using ACH or Online Bill Pay from Marine Bank
- Using a payment app such as Venmo or PayPal
- Hand-delivering your check payments to the post office
- Using a locking mailbox or PO box
- Not accepting checks from people you don’t know
- Verifying a cashier’s check is valid before depositing it
- If you are a business, use Marine Bank’s Positive Pay to compare the items issued by your company to those being presented for payment ensuring that nothing clears your account unknowingly.
Have questions? Please contact Marine Bank and one of our banking professionals will be happy to assist you.