Check fraud is on the rise and poses a real threat to local businesses. According to the 2017 Payments Fraud and Control Survey conducted by the Association for Financial Professionals, 74% of the companies surveyed experienced some form of payment fraud in 2016. That is the highest percentage for any year in the last ten survey years. The survey also reports that check fraud continues to be the most commonly reported form of payment fraud, with 55% of the companies reporting instances of check fraud in 2016.
The increase and prevalence of check fraud can be explained by the availability of high-quality, low-cost document scanners and graphics software. Armed with such tools, a counterfeiter easily can produce a counterfeit check by scanning an original check and then manipulating the digital image to change the payee, check amount or other information without altering the drawer’s signature and other features of the original check.