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Cheque and Direct Debit fraud

Protect your data

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.

Common frauds



  • 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

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.

Direct debits

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.

The good habits


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

Direct debits

  • 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.

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