If you believe that you are a victim of check fraud
there are several steps that you should take immediately to protect yourself from legal issues, cut your losses, and assist law enforcement in pursuing a case against those who have defrauded you.
Collect Vital Information Immediately
Your bank, law enforcement, and the credit bureaus will need accurate information to help them process, prevent and prosecute. This information includes but is not limited to: the check number(s), where and when the check was used, the dollar amount the check was written for, and the recipient of the check(s).
Immediately Notify Your Bank or Credit Union
Your financial institution will change your account number, possibly close and reopen an account for you and issue new checks. All checks from the compromised account will be marked as FORGERIES so that merchants will not accept them and if they do they will be less likely to turn them over to collection agents owed on the bad checks.
Contact the Attorney General’s Office in Your State
Consult the National Association of Attorneys General for contact information.
Contact the District Attorney’s Office in Your City
Large city police departments have a Financial Crimes Unit.
Contact the National Check Fraud Center
Visit the National Check Fraud Center and call 843-571-2143 for help in reporting check fraud scams.
Report the Check Fraud to the Three Credit Reporting Bureaus
This will help ensure your credit doesn't suffer and is particularly crucial if your ID was lost or stolen. Having a fraud alert placed on your account can prevent thieves from opening accounts in your name and ruining your credit. The three bureaus are:
Experian at 888-397-3742
TransUnion at 800-680-7289
Equifax at 800-525-6285
It is always a good idea to document when you called the bureaus, banks, and law enforcement, whom you spoke with, and what actions they are taking on your behalf. Keeping accurate records will pay off if there is a claim against you due to your checks being used fraudulently.
Not sure if you've been frauded by check? Read our blog article Check Services vs. Check Fraud for examples. If you're a business experiencing check fraud, you should consider check guarantee services to alleviate most, but not all, of the risk in accepting payment by check. Click on the image below to learn more!