The Truth about Check Fraud

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And when consumers wire money to people they know, the transaction typically takes place without a problem. But wiring money to strangers — in the U.

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That's why they will use any tactic to convince people to wire money to a complete stranger. Never wire money to people you don't know, regardless of how convincing or enticing their story may be. Scammers often win their victims' confidence with some "bait," such as a work-at-home offer, a great deal on a product for sale, or news that you have won some kind of lottery.

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Be especially careful with transactions over the Internet, where the other person's true identity can remain anonymous. But even if you get a request to send a wire transfer and it's supposedly from someone you do know, confirm that's the case some other way, such as through a separate phone call.


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If you're being pressed to make a decision or send money fast, it's probably a sign of a scam. Alerus offers a wide variety of checking account options for customers in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Arizona.

Check Fraud: A Guide to Avoiding Losses

You will now be leaving Alerus. Alerus is not responsible for the content of any external resource.

To access your Alerus accounts on your mobile device, please download the app. Download our mobile app. Download the Alerus app. Alerus OCT 30, All that is needed is your account number and routing number, which someone could obtain if your business checks are left lying out on a desk or other unsecure location. Reports from the business sector are equally troublesome. So while most businesses see the risk from check fraud as a potentially manageable revenue leak, the truth is it can become a slightly out-of-control spigot pretty easily. Fortunately there are steps you can take to ensure that your organization is better able to sniff out check fraud and protect against potential liability.

What are some of the security tools and check safeguards that your organization should have in place? Positive Pay and Reverse Positive Pay One of the most effective weapons in fighting check fraud, Positive Pay is an automated check matching system that compares the actual payments of an organization with those checks issued by a check issuer.

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All checks present for payment are evaluated against a list of authorized checks based upon account number, check number and dollar amount. When a sham transaction is caught, the bank nixes the attempted fraud by returning the check unpaid. Typically used by organizations that issue a relatively small number of checks, under this system the customer is the one doing the actual comparing.

It works like this: a bank gives an organization prompt access to a list of paid checks that have yet to be cleared so that they can check it against their issued check file to look for potential payment discrepancies. If a problem is flagged, the customer can then advise the bank of the issue and work out return instructions.

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But while many forgers still focus on paper checks, bank accounts without adequate ACH protection are still extremely vulnerable to fraud. Which is why ACH blocks and filters are becoming an increasingly widespread prevention tool. An ACH block enables businesses to notify their banks that certain accounts will never be used for ACH transactions and therefore no electronic debit should ever be processed. An ACH filter provides a little more leeway: a company is able to use an account for ACH transactions but provides the bank with a list of organizations that are authorized to debit the account, thereby filtering out all other ACH requests.