Bank Fraud: FAQ

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Bank fraud is a very real concern in the United States and across the globe. A good way to better understand this important matter – and protect yourself in the process – is with the answers to those questions about bank fraud that are asked most frequently.

Can I count on the bank to catch signature differences on my checks?

In rare instances, a bank employee will recognize a signature discrepancy between a familiar customer’s signature and a bogus signature on his or her check, but the vast majority of checks are scanned by machines that do not even check the signature. You are responsible for monitoring your checking account for suspicious activity.

If I spot an issue, how long do I have to notify the bank?

If you suspect that a check of yours was forged, you generally have one year (from the date of the forgery) to let the bank know. If there are multiple forgeries involved, this time frame is likely to be shortened to about 30 days. The best course of action, however, is to pay careful attention to your checking account and notify your bank as soon as you identify an issue.

I unwittingly cashed a fraudulent check at my bank. Won’t their insurance cover the loss?

If you already dipped into funds provided by the check that was later discovered to be fraudulent, FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) will not cover your loss because it does not cover losses that are related to theft or fraud.

Can the bank close my account if I deposit a fraudulent check?

In such a situation, your bank can do whatever it sees fit, which can include closing your account. It is more likely, however, that your bank will require you to close your account and open another in an effort to help protect both itself and your account. You will be required to make up for any financial losses the bank experiences, and your only legal recourse will be going after the person or entity that provided you with the fraudulent check in the first place.

Keep Your Bank Accounts Safe

As more and more of us turn to online banking, the FDIC offers the following safety tips:

  • Check to confirm that your deposits are FDIC insured

  • Help keep your personal information secure by being vigilant about your password hygiene

  • Discuss any concerns you encounter with a bank representative as soon as it is possible to do so

An Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help

If you are facing a charge of bank fraud, it is a serious matter that requires a serious defense. Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, is a forceful criminal defense lawyer who dedicates his practice to defending the legal rights of clients like you – in skilled pursuit of their cases’ optimal outcomes. Our dedicated legal team is on your side, so please do not wait to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information today.


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