Author Topic: Check Fraud and police involvement/arrests?  (Read 1115 times)

jeromedawg

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Check Fraud and police involvement/arrests?
« on: April 20, 2017, 03:29:14 PM »
Hi all,

So yesterday my in-laws got a call from their local bank branch and were informed that someone attempted to deposit a falsified and forged check made out to "cash" in the amount of $1600-1700. The bank denied it and informed my in-laws. Today, the same entity attempted to cash another check at a local Money Mart with the same result but it sounds like the Money Mart contacted authorities and is reporting it. It seems like the bank, on the other hand, is sort of just shrugging their shoulders and saying "well this is going to keep on happening" - you would think they would file an incident and police report and provide footage so that the police can track down and arrest this individual no?

What is the the bank's obligation with handling issues like these? It seems odd that they wouldn't want to get involved...

surfhb

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Re: Check Fraud and police involvement/arrests?
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2017, 04:28:03 PM »
Pretty simple.    Cancel the account and go to another bank.   That's what I would do. 

MsPeacock

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Re: Check Fraud and police involvement/arrests?
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2017, 09:13:50 AM »
I had a similar experience with my bank. Someone called claiming to be me and requested a new debit card, sent to an address many states away and not associated with my account.  The bank willing obliged and the only reason I found out was that my debit card stopped working. The bank couldn't have been less concerned.  It was many hours of phone calls and meetings for me to get it fixed. I cancelled all my credit card accounts with everyone, changed passwords on everything, set additional phone passwords, etc. Kohls was more concerned and has more security measures than the bank. The bank was unwilling to pursue any criminal charges and would not give me the details of the phone caller who requested the card.


Blatant

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Re: Check Fraud and police involvement/arrests?
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2017, 11:54:58 AM »
The bank cannot file a police report because the bank is not the victim of any crime. Your in-laws are the victims, thus the impetus is on them to make a report.

neverrun

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Re: Check Fraud and police involvement/arrests?
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2017, 02:12:34 PM »
The bank cannot file a police report because the bank is not the victim of any crime. Your in-laws are the victims, thus the impetus is on them to make a report.

This, plus the larger the bank (or money mart) the more they just see the fraud as the cost of doing business.  The bank carries insurance for any money it would lose due to fraud.  And even though this kind of thing gets a decent amount of press, it is hard to get anyone to prosecute for it.  Seriously it is easier to prosecute someone for shoplifting something worth $100 than a $2000 check fraud case.

Blatant

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Re: Check Fraud and police involvement/arrests?
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2017, 06:38:32 PM »
Not if there's an actual victim with a loss. If it's a financial institution, then for sure. Most aren't willing to be victims even when they sustain significant loss.

ringer707

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Re: Check Fraud and police involvement/arrests?
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2017, 06:48:31 AM »
The bank cannot file a police report because the bank is not the victim of any crime. Your in-laws are the victims, thus the impetus is on them to make a report.

+1. If your in-law choose to file a police report, then the process will begin. The bank will likely have surveillance footage that will need to be subpoenaed by the officer handling the case. Unless the person is recognizable from the footage though, there's not too much they can do.

Are you in-laws sure no family, friends, or acquaintances have taken any of their checks? Often in the check fraud cases I see, it's someone the victim knows. You get the occasional "pulled the check out of the mailbox and washed it" deal, but not often.

BeanCounter

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Re: Check Fraud and police involvement/arrests?
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2017, 06:58:12 AM »
This just happened to us in Feb. Outgoing mail was stolen from our mailbox. It included a check to our swim club (one of the few physical checks we write). They took the account and routing numbers off the check and had new checks made. Two weeks later they went around the city cashing checks made out to someone they had an ID for. They got $4,000 in an hour.
We filed a police report which was required for the bank to refund our money. We also closed the accounts down and opened new ones. Both the bank and the police acted like this happens all the time.
We now have alerts on our accounts, no checks can be cased at the counter without calling us for approval and we get text alerts if try and pull more than $50 from the ATM. This does not prevent someone from taking a fraudulent check to a check cashing place.
Moral of the story is to write as few checks as possible and NEVER put them in your mailbox.

jeromedawg

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Re: Check Fraud and police involvement/arrests?
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2017, 09:32:16 AM »
Sucks to hear the banks willing-lack of involvement with things like this. You'd think, responsibility-wise, if you see some shady person hanging around trying to cash checks that *obviously* aren't theirs, that you could alert the authorities easily. I guess from their perspective it's more "trouble" than it's worth. It just seems irresponsible to me though.

That said, my in-laws changed their account number but that doesn't mean this won't happen again, especially if it's someone they know. They suspect it might be one of the vendors whom they write checks out to - how else could someone have cloned one of their checks so closely? My father in law told the bank not to accept any checks written out to "cash" ever. You'd think all places would *never* cash out a check written to cash - that's the hugest red flag ever. If I'm an account holder and I want cash, why would I write a check to cash vs just straight up withdrawing the cash. There's no reason I can think of that writing a check to cash should ever be a valid type of transaction to process.

BeanCounter

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Re: Check Fraud and police involvement/arrests?
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2017, 09:37:03 AM »
Anyone who obtains your account and routing info can either have checks made or go to staples and buy check stock and a MICR cartridge and make their own.

Blatant

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Re: Check Fraud and police involvement/arrests?
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2017, 12:26:40 PM »
The bank did their due diligence. They didn't cash the check and they alerted the account holder. I take your larger point, but in real life you should be happy they did that much.

jeromedawg

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Re: Check Fraud and police involvement/arrests?
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2017, 04:00:43 PM »
The bank did their due diligence. They didn't cash the check and they alerted the account holder. I take your larger point, but in real life you should be happy they did that much.

Yea... I wonder what happens in the cases that the bank actually would cash the check. Are they liable?

BeanCounter

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Re: Check Fraud and police involvement/arrests?
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2017, 04:32:29 PM »
The bank did their due diligence. They didn't cash the check and they alerted the account holder. I take your larger point, but in real life you should be happy they did that much.

Yea... I wonder what happens in the cases that the bank actually would cash the check. Are they liable?
[/quote
Yes. They paradise us back every penny plus any fees we had incurred in the process. We did have to file a police report for the fraud case to be processed.

surfhb

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Re: Check Fraud and police involvement/arrests?
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2017, 07:10:45 PM »
Another reason I never keep any more than what I need in my primary checking account.    If I need to write a check, I will transfer from my fidelity account to cover. 

katsiki

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Re: Check Fraud and police involvement/arrests?
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2017, 07:21:05 PM »
Did the bank suggest closing the account?  Something like this happened to me years ago and that was the first step.  Their response sounds odd.

jeromedawg

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Re: Check Fraud and police involvement/arrests?
« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2017, 12:56:58 AM »
Did the bank suggest closing the account?  Something like this happened to me years ago and that was the first step.  Their response sounds odd.

I think they effectively did so by changing the account number - I'm assuming this basically involves closing the old account and opening a new one.

katsiki

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Re: Check Fraud and police involvement/arrests?
« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2017, 07:22:20 AM »
Good.  I must have missed where you said that.  Banks are funny about this stuff.  Some seem to care and others not so much.  Very odd.