How does cheque fraud occur?
Cheque fraud takes place when a fraudster uses a stolen or counterfeit cheque to pay for goods and services. More than 90 percent of fraudulent cheques are stopped before any loss occurs. But even so, cheque fraud still costs a lot of money every year.
These losses can be compounded when the fraud also involves an ‘overpayment’. This occurs when the fraudster – who is often part of an organised gang – targets the seller of a high-value item, such as a car, and offers to pay using a stolen or counterfeit cheque made out to more than the price of the goods. Once the cheque clears, the victim is asked to transfer this ‘overpayment’ to a third party, as well as handing over the item to the fraudster.
When the real cheque owner discovers that money has been stolen from his or her account, the victim can be obliged to repay the total sum – even if this happens several weeks later.
Protect yourself against cheque fraud
Don’t accept cheques from anyone unless you know and trust them, especially when a high-value cheque is involved
Be aware that there’s a risk that money credited to your account from a cheque could be reclaimed if the cheque turns out to be stolen or counterfeit
Keep your chequebook in a safe place
Report any missing cheques to your bank immediately
Always check your bank statements thoroughly
What should I do if I’ve fallen victim to cheque fraud?
Contact us on 04 428 6000 immediately if you think you are or may be a victim of fraud on your Barclays cards or accounts. If you have received a suspicious email that claims to be from us, please forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org and then delete the email immediately.