5 Ways to Prevent Check Fraud Scams

Check fraud is a billion dollar problem. Check fraud victims include banks, businesses and consumers. Our current system for cashing checks is somewhat flawed. Checks can be cashed and merchandise can be purchased even when there is no money in the checking account.

There are 5 main forms of check fraud to watch out for:

Forged signatures are the easiest form of check fraud. These are legitimate checks with a forged signature. This can occur when a checkbook is lost or stolen, or when a home or business is burglarized. An individual who is invited into your home or business can rip a single check from your checkbook and pay themselves as much as they like. Banks don’t often verify signatures until a problem arises that requires them to assign liability.

Forged endorsements generally occur when someone steals a check written to someone else, forges and endorsement and cashes or deposits it.

Counterfeit checks can be created by anyone with a desktop scanner and printer. They simply create a check and make it out to themselves.

Check kiting or check floating usually involves two bank accounts, where money is transferred back and forth, so that they appear to contain a balance which can then be withdrawn. A check is deposited in one account, then cash is withdrawn despite the lack of sufficient funds to cover the check.

Check washing involves altering a legitimate check, changing the name of the payee and often increasing the amount. This is the sneakiest form of check fraud. When checks or tax-related documents are stolen, either from the mail or by other means, the ink can be erased using common household chemicals such as nail polish remover. This allows the thieves to endorse checks to themselves.

Uni-ball pens contain specially formulated gel ink that is absorbed into the paper’s fibers and can never be washed out. The pen costs two bucks and is available at any office supply store.

Consider a locked mailbox so nobody can access your bank statements.

Using online banking and discontinuing paper statements.

Never toss old checks in the rubbish, always shred them.

Have checks delivered to the bank for pick up opposed to your home.

Guard your checks in your home or office, lock them up.

Go over your bank statements carefully.
Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing home security and identity theft on TBS Movie and a Makeover. Disclosures.

A Day In The Life of A Scammer

Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert

How can I get you to believe me? What can I say or do to convince you I’m legit? What methods should I use to pull it off?

I don’t have a job. I’m essentially unemployed. However I do have a career. And it involves figuring out ways to get others to pay me. Every day I perform tasks to bring eye balls to what I’m offering, selling or trying to get. What is this vocation? Scammer.

I work all over the world, I travel and meet interesting people. I like what I do, every day is a new and exciting opportunity.

There’s a sucker born every minute. Today I’m looking for you. And I’ll find you.

All day, every day my one goal is to get you to part with your hard earned dollars and here is ONE DAYs worth of reports of my activities:

Scammers Hawk Man’s House On Craigslist

Man who owns a rental home in Dennisport found scammers offering up his home for rental on the Web site …

Online Scammers Creating Fake Local News to Attract Your Clicks …

Transferring money for someone else

If you agree to take part, the scammer could use your account details to clean out your savings.

Great way to steal an identity. But there are ways to protect yourself.

Scammers customize news to deliver you malware
The scammers are using IP address geolocation techniques to figure out what city the recipient lives in and are localizing the fake bomb news to that …

Scammers using Twitter To Get Your Information
The SC Department of Consumer Affairs is warning twitter users to be on the lookout for scams, particularly phishing scams.

Scammers target animal lovers in classified ads
This time, the scammers lure in their victims with the offer of cute pets to tug at their heartstrings. “A lot of them get placed online,”

Officials say scammers taking advantage of people seeking jobs in …
State officials are warning about scams affecting those seeking jobs during the current economic downturn. State officials are warning about scams …

Stimulus Money Scammers Target Families
As soon as the government’s big stimulus package was approved, scammers got on the internet and started trying to get their hands on the money. …

Art Dealers Accused of Rigging Appraisal
He was the consummate con man. He created this image that he had a huge collection of wonderful paintings. The impression given, and taken, was that he was …

Scams abound, costing locals tens of thousands The …
The victim is approached by the con man holding a wallet or bag containing cash. The con man shows the money to the victim and asks if it belongs to her, a way of breaking the ice to set up the scam…

More than 1000 women conned by rogue marriage agency
ONE woman was conned into offering her life savings, while another was duped into sleeping with a man by a rogue marriage agency specializing in foreign …

Lightning rod scam zaps local elderly couple
Officials fear the lightning rod installer may be scamming other elderly couples so they’re urging

Residents Effected By Scammers Washing Checks
“They take that check thats made out to CPL has your signature on … they wash off the amount and the to thats where it becomes check washing. …

I worked hard today. Its a hard way to make an easy living. But it was fun and always funny to see you get all bent out of shape when I read about you in the news. Tomorrow is another day, and another scam.

Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Speaker discussing Scams Here

I’m excited to work with uni-ball in 2009 in a partnership to help raise awareness about the growing threat of identity theft and provide tips for protecting yourself. Check out for more information