Fraudulent cheque writing has become a profitable way of life for many criminals. Poor cheque cashing policies and carelessness increase the risk of loss.
Before accepting a cheque:
- Do not let anyone rush you
- Insist upon cheques being endorsed in your presence and compare the signature with those presented on their I.D.
- Make sure the cheque is properly dated and completed
- Do not accept cheques showing any signs of alteration
- Do-not accept post-dated cheques and never agree to hold a cheque until a future date
- Do not accept second party cheques
- Do not accept cheques for an amount greater than the purchase
- Do not accept company cheques automatically, even though they look "official", call the business for verification when in doubt
- Be careful of cheques not drawn on local banks by local payees
- Be careful cashing cheques after banking hours
- Be careful cashing counter cheques (cheques with no preprinted information such as name, address, or account number)
To reduce losses from bad cheques:
- Unless you are satisfied that the cheque is good, do not accept it, you are under no obligation to accept any cheque
- Establish a firm cheque-cashing policy and advertise it
- Keep blank cheques, bank statements and other records in a safe place
If a cheque is forged or stolen:
- Try to delay the passer but do not apprehend, call the police immediately
- If the criminal flees, take note of their physical characteristics, make of vehicle and licence number
- Preserve any evidence and be willing to prosecute
- Try to hold onto the cheque for the police
In the event you are a victim of a fraudulent cheque, contact the Ottawa Police Service at (613) 236-1222 extension 5433.