How to Prevent Check Fraud at Your Business

Monitoring check fraud to prevent fraud losses for businesses

Check fraud can result in substantial fraud losses for businesses.

Fraudsters are stealing checks from the mail, breaking into post office drop boxes, and even robbing mail carriers for their postal keys.

Once they have an authentic check, they create new counterfeit checks or alter the stolen checks to deposit into their account. As a result, your money goes to the criminals.
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63% of businesses experienced check fraud incidents in 2022

2023 AFP Payments Fraud and Control Report Highlights

Combating check fraud requires a team effort between you and your bank.

You can help protect your business by taking steps to stay ahead of fraudsters by:

  • Consider moving to faster, more secure, and less expensive alternatives to checks such as ACH (automated clearing house) payments. Plus, using ACH saves time spent on writing, mailing, processing and reconciling checks.
  • Always use positive pay with payee name verification for check-writing accounts. This SouthState service helps prevent most kinds of check fraud by comparing the dollar amounts, check number, and payee name against a list of our issued checks. Any suspect items are reported to you as exceptions where you can decide to pay them or not. If your business does need to use checks, there are ways you can help prevent fraud.

Protect against stolen checks by:

  • taking checks directly to the post office instead of outgoing mail or a post office drop box;
  • using a courier service for checks of large amounts; and
  • always confirming delivery with the recipient.

When writing checks:

  • Use pens that are designed to prevent criminals from altering checks. • Complete all parts of the check.
  • Make sure the written and numeric amounts on the check are accurate and match.
  • Fill in all spaces completely so numbers/letters cannot be added to the check. • Always use checks designed to resist tampering.

Other best practices when it comes to using checks:

  • Don’t give anyone a blank check or permit anyone to sign your name to a check, even trusted employees.
  • Store blank checks and signature stamps in a secure location and check your stock frequently to confirm that you are not missing checks.
  • If you discover you are missing a check or signature stamp, or that your stamp has been used by an unauthorized person to sign or endorse checks, notify your bank immediately.
  • Record your transactions and reconcile your accounts on a regular basis.
  • Don’t provide our account information to anyone who doesn’t need to know it.

Contact your banker to discover more ways SouthState can protect your business from the threat of check fraud.

  • This content is general in nature and provided for informational use only. Content may be used in connection with the advertising and marketing of products and services offered by SouthState Bank, N.A. and its subsidiaries and affiliates. This is not to be considered legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You should seek individualized advice from personal financial, legal, tax and/or other professionals, as appropriate depending on the specific facts of your situation. We do not make any warranties as to the completeness or accuracy of this information and have no liability for your use of this information.

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