In 2022, Americans wrote approximately 3.4 billion checks. And with those 3.4 billion checks, banks reported nearly 700,000 instances of check fraud in 2022, up from 350,000 in 2021.1
With increasing numbers of check fraud and fake check scams, it’s important to make security a priority. Learn about the different kinds of check fraud, potential ways to spot fake check scams, and potential steps to report them.
Check fraud refers to any deceptive act involving checks to illegally obtain money. This can include altering legitimate checks, forging signatures, creating counterfeit checks, or using stolen checks to make unauthorized transactions.
There are several common types of check fraud. Here are some examples:
Check scams manipulate people into unintentionally participating in transactions based on counterfeit checks. It typically involves a criminal asking someone to deposit a check and then requesting a follow-up action, like transferring the money somewhere else or refunding part of the check funds back to the criminal.2
Common fake check scams may include:
Wondering how to tell if a check is fake? Here are some ways to potentially differentiate between a real check and a fake check:
Here are a few steps individuals can take to report check fraud, as per the FDIC.2
Learn about other common scams.