Saturday 4 July, 2020

Police warn of new cheque scam

Custodians of cheque books are being reminded to exercise vigilance when it comes to dealing with cheques.

The Police Service on Tuesday advised these individuals to closely monitor cheques when issuing them and secure them when not in use.

The advice comes as eight people were arrested and charged with a total of 42 fraud offences which took place between January 1, 2019 and February 8, 2019, as part of a new fraud scheme.

The charges range from uttering forged valuable securities, obtaining money by false pretenses and money laundering.

The latest scam involves the use of fraudulent cheques drawn on the accounts of various financial institutions and Government departments.

The fraudsters obtained copies of cheques drawn from universities, insurance companies and Government departments accounts and replicated them to create a new fraudulent cheque reflecting a new payee, sum, date and scanned copies of genuine signatures. 

The fraudsters then use genuine customers to deposit the cheques into their accounts for a small financial reward. The funds are then withdrawn from the accounts via the ATM or other counter transactions before the cheques are discovered to be fraudulent. 

The police have advised that it is best practice to conduct regular audits on cheque books, whether in use or not, to lessen the possibility of the occurrence of this scheme.   

If the holder of a genuine bank account is asked to pass a cheque through their account for a fee, they are urged to contact the police at 999, 555, 911, 800-TIPS, any police station or via text/WhatsApp to 482-GARY (4279).

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