Losing a check can be scary to any payee. If you have lost your check or it has been stolen from you, then here’s the question that might be haunting you. How to cash a stolen check, or how can anyone cash your check?
Additionally, you might be confused about whom you should inform about the matter. Well, you can inform your bank. Moreover, you can also contact the local police if you suspect criminal activities.
On the other hand, the fraudster might want to cash the stolen check. However, this isn’t an easy process and can mark the activity as a fraud. On top of that, cashing a stolen check can be considered a felony if the amount is considerably large.
Let’s find out how you can stop anyone from cashing your stolen check so that you can avoid unnecessary financial losses.
What Can Someone Do With a Stolen Check?
If you think that somebody has stolen your check, then it’s quite common for you to worry about it. In fact, that alleged person gets to know about your bank account and routing numbers. They might commit fraud if they want to. They might be eager regarding how to cash a stolen check.
Not to mention, your bank account can be at a vulnerable edge. And, you can lose all your money. If anyone can forge your signature, then it will be easy for them to cash the stolen check from the check-cashing service provider.
Otherwise, the respective bank won’t allow cashing the check if the payee’s name doesn’t match. In addition, the fraudster might end up paying the check amount if he or she deposits the check at the bank.
However, a bank can take up to 10 days to investigate the matter and get the payee a refund. What if one of your stolen checks gets cashed? Let’s find out.
Preventive Measures if Someone Cashes a Stolen Check of Yours
Have you lost one of your checks lately? Apart from learning how to cash a stolen check, the person behind the stealth might forge your signature. In addition, the alleged person has your banking details. Here is a step-by-step guide that will help you if someone cashes your check and you are unaware of it.
1. Get in Touch with Your Bank
Probably, you can’t find out a payment check, and you suspect that someone has taken it. Even, the unauthorised party might have cashed the check already. Don’t fret; instead, contact your bank immediately.
Additionally, talk to the bank’s fraud and theft department for precise help. Inform them whether you have written the check or somebody else has forged your signature. Then, the bank will initiate an investigation to find out who issued the check and who cashed it.
If you find out that multiple checks have been stolen or cashed lately, then ask your bank to stop the cashing process. Generally, banks issue a refund to the customer if he or she isn’t responsible for the fraud. Furthermore, you can request the bank to close the existing account and open a new one.
2. Inform the Check Issuer
Have you lost a check that has been issued to you or someone else? Inform your check issuer immediately. What happens if anyone deposits a stolen check? Then, the authority can take the right steps to identify the fraud and minimise the loss.
For instance, you need to contact the Internal Revenue Service so that you can file an identity theft affidavit for the stolen check from you. Next, the respective authority will investigate the situation and verify the fraud event. Additionally, they will reissue the check.
However, you need to contact your employer if you have lost a check issued by your employer. Generally, employers follow a distinct set of procedures if any employee loses a payment check. In this case, the employer can help the best.
3. Report the Incident to the Local Police
Apart from the bank, check issuer or employer, you must notify the local police department about your lost check. Check stolen from the mail and cashed — such incidents are common nowadays. This can be a form of identity theft, and you should report it to the local police.
Ensure that you carry all your latest documents and bank statements while visiting the police station to report the incident. It will help the police investigate the case. Additionally, remember to collect a police report copy because you will need it to show or submit it to the bank.
4. Stop Issuing Checks
You might have stopped a particular stolen check to snatch your money. Well, you might not be equally lucky to identify fraud and prevent it. After all, scammers will keep figuring out how to cash a stolen check without getting caught.
So, the best preventive measure is to stop issuing checks in future. So far, you might have informed the bank about your stolen check. Additionally, you should notify the bank to prevent cashing any of your signed checks. Ask the bank to get you a new chequebook.
Besides this, you must enable the transaction alert to keep an eye on every transaction. It will also let you know if there’s fraud. Furthermore, use direct deposit or similar features to avoid your stolen checks being cashed by the wrong people. Try electronic fund transfers to keep things under your control.
How Can Someone Cash a Stolen Check?
Check forgery has been a timeless scam, and it’s still popular among scammers. Recently, scammers have discovered new techniques regarding how to cash a stolen check. In fact, these techniques are way easier than bypassing anyone’s bank digital protection against fraud.
Surprisingly, over 3.5 billion check transactions in 2021. So, scammers can easily fool check users by taking advantage of a moment of carelessness. We have mentioned a few common strategies used by scammers regarding how to cash a stolen check without getting caught:
- Scammers attack mailboxes to seize checks. They have even robbed mail carriers at gunpoint for mail and mailbox keys in the United States.
- After that, they use dedicated solvents to remove the content of the check. That particular ink remover can erase only the ink of the pen. However, the entire check and other spaces remain as it was. So, scammers now can input their intended figures and other details in that blank check.
- Unfortunately, they can make themselves beneficiaries by cashing the check and receiving the money. They write their names in the place of the recipient and cash the stolen check.
In addition to this, scammers generally avoid financial institutions and banks to cash a stolen or robbed check. Instead, they might pay a commission to third parties to cash the stolen check.
Alternatively, fraudsters can simply steal your checks from the book. Then, they just forge your signature to fool the bank or any other financial institution. Not to mention, this doesn’t even require any type of special chemical to wipe out your check content.
How Can One Cash a Check Without Visiting a Bank?
Multiple options regarding how to cash a stolen check without going to a bank are available. For example, someone can cash the check at a retailer, use a check-cashing store, use a mobile check deposit, load the amount onto a prepaid card, and more.
However, it’s possible to trace a cashed check, especially if it’s cashed at a bank. This is because the bank wants to see the person’s ID. That’s why scammers avoid cashing checks at banks.