Even though cheques are less common now, they remain popular with fraudsters. In order to avoid unpleasant surprises, it’s important that you put our advice into practice.
- a thief steals your chequebook from your baggage, clothes or your car. Sometimes, they even try to collect your chequebook directly from your branch
- a stolen cheque can end up as a forged cheque
Once stolen, the fraudster can issue a forged cheque:
- blank cheques - the fraudster imitates your signature
- alteration of an already filled cheque - change of beneficiary, amount, etc.
Misappropriation of bank details
A fraudster steals your bank details to set up a direct debit mandate and takes advantage of a property or service such as a mobile phone subscription, without having to pay for all the planned direct debit bills.
SEPA direct debits issuing by an ill-intentioned creditor
An ill-intentioned creditor issues a direct debit on a third party’s account, without having obtained the mandates, and then makes transfers to an overseas account.
Keep your chequebook safe
- write and keep the numbers of cheques as soon as you get a chequebook
- limit the number of chequebooks you have and keep them in a safe place
- ask for cheques to be sent to your home address by registered post or collect them at your branch. Don’t sign a blank form in advance
- in case of loss, theft or fraudulent use, immediately contact your branch or the Centre National d’Appels Chèques Perdus ou Volés, 7 days a week and 24/7
Carefully write your cheques
In order to avoid risk of forgery:
- use a non-erasable black ball point pen. It makes it harder to cover the ink up. Don’t overwrite or make crossing-outs
- don’t leave any space in front of sums in numbers or letters, and try not to leave too much space blank. Draw a horizontal line to fill the blank parts
- you shouldn’t edit the information appearing on the cheques under any circumstances
- if the cheque is filled by a machine, check it and sign it after you’ve made sure all entries are filled correctly
- don’t sign blank cheques, you have no certainty about who might cash it
Always verify the cheque when you receive it
- confirm the identity of the person giving you the cheque
- check the entry date as well as all the mandatory mentions. Beware of any alterations: colours, spots, scratches or washing traces, but also different writings
- if there’s no beneficiary, fill it with your name and immediately sign at the back
- be suspicious of a price offer higher than the amount asked and only accept amounts equalling the transaction amount
- don’t agree to cash a cheque on your account for another beneficiary
Be cautious if you receive a banker’s draft:
- when you hold it against the light, check if the banker’s draft has a security watermark. You should see “CHEQUE DE BANQUE” edged on top and at the bottom, there should be 2 flames in stripes with 2 Sowers on both sides
- make sure of the cheque’s validity by going to the bank with the purchaser to collect it. Otherwise, call the bank to confirm its authenticity
- choose the date selling carefully (avoid public holidays or Sundays) so you can contact the banking organisation
- keep your bank identification details in a safe place
- keep track of your bank statements
You’ll notice any transactions you haven’t made. Report and block it immediately by contacting your branch.