‘Check’ it out : Checklist to protect yourself from check scams and fraud

Joe Bernardo. Valley News/Courtesy photo
Joe BernardoWells Fargo Head of Fraud & Claims OperationsAccording to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the number of suspected check fraud cases reported by banks in the U.S. last year nearly doubled from the previous year.Even as recent studies show the use of checks declined more than 7% per year since 2018, check crimes have made a resurgence across the entire industry.Check crimes generally fall into two categories: fraud and scams.Check fraud may involve using legitimate account information to attempt to steal money including check washing and counterfeit checks. Check Washing This happens when fraudsters steal legitimate paper checks, usually out of the mail. They then use chemicals to “wash” the original ink off the check in order to c
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