The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has issued an alert to financial institutions on the nationwide surge in check fraud schemes targeting the U.S. mail (Off-site). The alert notes that “criminals have been increasingly targeting the U.S. Mail and United States Postal Service mail carriers since the COVID-19 pandemic to commit check fraud.” Stolen checks often are altered using nail polish remover or other common chemicals (Off-site) to be made payable to the fraudster, deposited remotely and the funds withdrawn.
Although there is recourse for some types of check fraud, timely returns are the most efficient way to handle these occurrences. How can financial institutions identify fraudulent checks within a short time frame to request a return? FedPayments Reporter for Check may offer part of the solution. For business accounts, the Corporate Payor Report allows your corporate customers early access to review check details the morning of presentment (via scheduled, secure push emails) to help the depository financial institution (DFI) meet return time frames. For consumer accounts, a DFI-level Check Advanced Notice Payor Report allows your internal staff to review the highest dollar checks for potential alterations and suspicious endorsements.
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