CHECK FRAUD PROTECTION
It is being reported there is a nationwide surge in mail theft targeting checks, resulting in an alarming rise in check fraud. FinCEN, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, has noted that mail fraud is one of the largest money laundering threats in the United States.
Criminals committing mail theft related to check fraud generally target US Mail to steal all types of checks. However, business checks may be more vulnerable because business accounts are often well funded.
Once a check is stolen, check information can be sold on the black market, washed with chemicals to remove the payee’s name and/or amount, or given to a money mule to transact and negotiate the stolen check.
Check fraud criminals target:
- USPS blue collection boxes
- Unsecured residential mailboxes
- Privately owned cluster boxes
- Planned Neighborhoods
- Commercial Buildings
- Mail Carriers
BCT offers solutions for your business that will assist in mitigating the risk of check fraud. The following are a few effective solutions:
Check Positive Pay
Check Positive Pay is a fraud mitigation service that provides early detection of fraudulent, altered, or counterfeit checks through daily verification of checks presented for payment from your account. Fees apply. Contact your relationship manager for details.
How does Check Positive Pay work?
In general terms, your company creates a list of checks issued. Your account is monitored daily for those checks to be presented. Items not on the list are flagged for approval or rejection. The daily monitoring and verification can be done by your company using our system or by BCT.
The Automated Clearing House (ACH) provides the ability to send payments, payroll, and more using an secure electronic payment system that moves items quickly and efficiently. Because they're electronic, ACH payments are safer, faster, and more reliable than checks. Fees may apply for ACH transactions. Contact your relationship manager for details.
Autobooks provides business owners and non-profits the ability to reduce the number of checks mailed by sending invoices and receiving payments directly within your business Online Banking. Included is the ability for basic tracking of payments by your payees. For a fee of $9.99, additional accounting and reporting features are provided so you stay on top of all of your accounts. This will be very helpful for your annual tax preparation.
YOUR ACTIONS MATTER
To protect your checking account, there are several actions you can take to mitigate check fraud risk:
- Register for Check Positive Pay
- Utilize ACH and other electronic payment methods
- Minimize the use of paper checks
- Monitor your bank account frequently using Online Banking, the Mobile App, or BCT’s 24-Hour Telebanking
- Utilize inside mail drops at the Post Office
- Improve mailbox security
- If dropping mail at a Post Office Blue Box, do so prior to the end-of-day pickup
- Place a hold on your mail when you go on vacation
WHAT TO DO IF YOU BECOME A VICTIM OF CHECK FRAUD
If you become a victim of check fraud or think your check has been intercepted in the mail:
- Contact BCT and place a hold or stop payment on the check in question. This can be done within Online Banking or you may contact your local branch or the Client Care Center at 1-800-296-8431.
- Continue monitoring your account for other suspicious activity
- Report it to the Postal Inspection Service (https://www.uspis.gov/report )
- Report it to your local police department
- Report it to the Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker Tool (https://www.bbb.org/scamtracker ) and the Federal trade Commission (FTC) (https://reportfraud.ftc.gov )
Contact our Cash Management Support (CM Support) team to assist you in selecting the check fraud solution that best meets your business needs. Please contact us at CMSupport@mybct.bank or call us at 304-728-2409.