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Commercial Check Fraud

Someone passing a bad check to your business is just as costly as someone stealing from the register.  Because payment by check is so common, your vulnerability to check fraud is significant.  While no single strategy will ever stop every worthless check from being passed at your store, you can implement policies and procedures that can significantly reduce your exposure.

Policies & Procedures: 

  • Your company should have a written policy for accepting checks and employees should be familiar with it.

  • Have written policies on opening and closing procedures then abide by them.

  • Limit maximum dollar amount of checks accepted.

  • Checks exceeding purchase amount should require management approval if allowed at all.

  • Record required information on checks for presumption of identity in prosecution (see Florida Law)

  • Employees accepting or managers approving checks should initial the check to help recall the transaction should the check prove worthless.

  • Accepting out-of-town & two party checks should be specifically addressed. The risks associated with these types of checks are higher.

What to Look for:  Sometimes the actions of the person trying to pass the bad check or the check itself will be an indicator you can look for.

  • People passing bad checks may act nervous or in a hurry.

  • They may attempt to distract the cashier from the transaction.

  • They may not have sufficient identification or be reluctant for you to look at.

  • You should scrutinize checks that are not personalized (no name, address, etc.).

  • Low numbered checks indicate a fairly new account (professional bad check writers often open fictitious accounts).

  • Ensure the check's date is the current date (not post-dated or stale-dated).

Florida Statues - Violations Involving Checks and Drafts

  • Stopping Payment with Intent to Defraud

  • Drawing & Giving Worthless Checks

  • Obtaining Property in Return for Worthless Checks