Cheque and document fraud is rapidly becoming a multi-million dollar industry. Individuals and organized groups have access to a variety of means to recreate and duplicate documents. Colour copiers, scanners, desktop publishing programs and laser printers can all be used to manipulate information or create a new document. Part of the problem is penalties for this crime are very light, a criminal will face a heavier penalty for threatened violence than he would for fraud.Financial institutions and merchants bear the majority of financial loss. Banks are placing more responsibility on companies to take reasonable precautions and ultimately the consumer pays through higher fees and prices.


Criminals can defraud you and your bank with a blank cheque taken from your cheque book, the garbage or even a cheque you have mailed. Here are some common-sense and logical steps you can take to protect yourself:

1. Never leave your cheque book in your car-keep it hidden and/or locked at home or work.
2. When you receive your cheque order, make sure there are none missing.
3. Reconcile your bank statement every month.
4. Never give your account number to someone you don't know, especially over the phone.
5. Destroy all cancelled or unused cheques, ATM receipts, deposit slips and bank statement.
6. Don't leave blank space on the payee or amount lines and use dark ink that can't be easily erased or covered over.
7. Only mail bills from secure mail boxes or post office. Do not write your credit card number on your cheque.
8. Never endorse a cheque until you are ready to deposit or cash it. The information can be altered if lost or stolen.


It is ultimately your responsibility to ensure that your cheques and bank account is not tampered with. The processing bank handles so much paper they will never notice the efforts taken to protect an account. Some precautions that a business can undertake to reduce their vulnerability are:
1. Maintain adequate security of all your financial documents including cheques, statements and deposit slips. Have your cheques consecutively numbered so you can tell at a glance if any are missing.
2. Limit the number of employees with signing authority. Notify your bank immediately of any changes.
3. Reconcile your bank statement immediately. Quick fraud detection increases your chances of recovery.
4. Separate account reconciliation and cheque writing functions. Try not to have the same person writing the cheques that balance the statement.
5. Become familiar with your cheques' appearance. Look out for some of these common warning signs…absence of a MICR line or a MICR line that looks shiny, bank information typed or handwritten instead of printed, irregular or shaky sig nature that may have been traced, dollar amount & words don't match, and poor quality paper and no perforated edge.

You can also secure your financial documents by having them printed on security paper that cannot be duplicated or altered. Factor Forms offers 2 kinds of security paper…

#1 "DocuCheckTM" BASIC which is the standard for all our cheques. It contains fluorescent fibres (visible only under a black light) or #2 "DocuCheckTM" SUPER SECURITY which has the added features of a chainlink watermark and random visible fibres. We offer microline printing in the borders of our QE pantograph on either security paper choice.

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