AOH :: TAKECHEK.TXT|
Fraud Watch: what to look for when accepting cheques
Fraud Watch: What to Look
For When You Accept Checks
(NU) - Small-business owners and consumers are targets of a
surge in check fraud brought about by computers and laser printers
that make counterfeiting a lesser skill than in the past.
From 1991 to 1993, banks reported a 136 percent increase in
check fraud cases, with at least $815 million lost.
Security is a major problem, and with 60 billion checks
processed every year, it is tough for the industry to uncover
fraud. But check printing companies are going on the offensive to
John H. Harland Company, one of the nation's largest check
printers, is leading the charge. Here are some of the measures that
company has initiated to help protect businesses from counterfeit or
Padlock icon: A small image of a padlock that indicates the
presence of multiple security features.
Warning statement: The back of the check lists security
features and safeguards.
Microprinting on the front and back of checks: A line of type
is made up of very tiny letters that can only be read with a
magnifying glass. It looks to the naked eye like a solid line. These
small letters are clear under magnification if the check is
authentic. If it's been copied, the line will be a blur. The signal
letters MP in readable type appear next to the microprinted line.
Security seal: The back of each check displays a seal when
held up to light. Employees can be trained to look for the seal and
further question a check without it.
Safety paper: It includes a safety stain to reveal chemical
Authentic hologram: A security feature called Harland's Custom
Holostripe provides a reflective three-dimensional appearance that is
easy to verify with the human eye but impossible to reproduce by
ordinary copying or printing.
Interlocking and prismatic background patterns: They distort
Security inks and papers: They guard against the use of
solvents and color copying.
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