How you can minimise cheque fraud.
Cheque fraud takes place when a fraudster uses a stolen or counterfeit cheque to pay for goods and services. More than 90% of fraudulent cheques are stopped before any loss occurs; but even so, cheque fraud still costs millions of pounds a year.
Steps you can take:
- Do not accept cheques from anyone unless you know and trust them, especially when a high-value cheque is involved
- Be aware that there is a risk that money credited to your account from a cheque could be reclaimed if the cheque turns out to be stolen or counterfeit
- Always consider other ways of accepting payment for high-value items - a CHAPS payment (or guaranteed, same-day bank transfer) is ideal. Be especially wary if the buyer is unwilling to pay or split the relatively small cost involved with you.
- Draw a line through any space you do not use on the cheque so unauthorised people cannot add extra numbers or names
- If you are making a cheque payable to a bank/building society, add further details in the payee line. For example, 'XYZ Bank, re: J Jones, account number 123456'.
- If you are making a cheque payable to a large organisation, add further details in the payee line. For example, 'HM Revenue & Customs re: J Jones, your reference xxyyzz'.
- Keep your chequebook in a safe place and report missing cheques to your Private Banker immediately
- Always check your bank statements thoroughly.