Kaufman Texas,-December 20, 2012- Kaufman County Sheriff David Byrnes is urging local businesses as well as citizens to be aware that check fraud is a growing problem in our County. Sheriff Byrnes would like all area businesses to be informed that counterfeit check writing is on the rise.
Check fraud is one of the fastest growing financial problems in our society today. The thieves primarily target convenience stores, grocery stores, and other check cashing businesses because they have fewer restrictions than banks.
So, how do I protect myself, you ask. Protect your personal information. Order your checks with chemically-sensitive paper. When you receive a check order, check to make sure that they are all there. Limit the amount of personal information on your checks; do not include your social security, driver’s license or telephone numbers on your check. A criminal can use this information to literally steal your identity by applying for credit card or loans in your name, or even open a new checking account. Check your account often to see what checks have cleared. As for commercial businesses, contact the bank to verify the validity of the check you are cashing.
Contact your bank as soon as you notice something wrong. The sooner you let your bank know there is a problem, the better your chances of getting your money back.
It is widely believed that businesses are the primary targets of check fraud professionals, especially by organized rings of criminals. When it comes to counterfeiting and alteration, payroll checks appear to be a favorite although all forms of business checks are targets from time to time and all forms of fraud techniques are practiced as well. Do not hesitate to call the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office if you believe you have been the target of identity theft.