Check fraud is a serious problem, particularly because of the use of counterfeit checks. According to The Motley Fool, check fraud costs U.S. businesses billions of dollars with losses likely to continue mounting. So it is understandable if a business asks to verify your identity before you hand over a check for a purchase.
Businesses use different measures to combat check fraud, like using electronic checks in place of paper checks. Still, traditional paper checks remain common in business transactions. This is why companies should be vigilant for signs that a check is not authentic.
Signs of a phony check
Almost any visible error on a check can give it away as illegitimate. The account and routing numbers on the check are a good place to look for problems. Since banks have specific routing numbers, a routing number that does not match the bank printed on a check is a major red flag. The lack of the bank logo on the check, or perhaps just a faded logo, can also warrant suspicions.
Deficiencies in the paper quality of the check are also grounds for concern. The check may lack a perforated edge. A legal check generally has one rough edge showing a person has torn it from a checkbook or a register. The coloring of the check might also have defects, suggesting an unprofessional printing job.
The importance of verifying your identity
There are different ways companies are combating the scourge of counterfeit checks. You may have run across these methods when a company has asked to see your ID, checked your bank information, or used an electronic check to complete your transaction.
These methods can verify you are using legitimate means to pay a bill. In the event you fall under suspicion of bank fraud, you can point out that one or more companies you have dealt with have confirmed your identity and showed that you did not attempt to pass a phony check.