FAQ – Fraud and identity theft – Cheque fraud

Cheque fraud is currently the fastest-growing financial crime. Forecasts indicate that it will increase by 25% a year. It is estimated that commercial fraud, particularly cheque fraud, costs North American businesses more than C$20 billion a year.

Crime rings specializing in cheque fraud are constantly on the lookout for new trends and are very shrewd. They use new techniques to fraud the banking system and steal money from their victims.

There are 3 main types of cheque fraud:

  • counterfeiting: where cheques are not written or authorized by legitimate account holders
  • forgery: where stolen cheques are signed by someone other than account holders
  • fraudulent: where cheques are issued by account holders but intercepted and altered to change the beneficiary or amount
  • Use cheques less often and opt for electronic payment. For example, pay your bills at an ATM or online on AccèsD, use money transfers, direct deposit or preauthorized payments.
  • When you issue a cheque, keep the stub and write the amount, date and beneficiary on it.
  • If you close an account, destroy your cheques by shredding or burning them, or take them to your financial institution.
  • Order only one set of cheques for an account.
  • Use higher quality cheques with security features. Davis + Henderson cheques adhere to Desjardins's high security standards.
  • Cheques must be cashed by beneficiaries within 6 months. After this deadline, they will no longer be honoured. As a precaution, you should still stop payment on it.

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