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Bank checks can be ‘secured’

Citizen Staff Writer

By TEYA VITU

Citizen Business Writer

Take a real close look at a bank check.

There’s the little padlock signaling security features built into the check.

These can include watermarks, chemically sensitive paper that stains if someone tries to change names or dollar amounts and microprinting where the signature line is actually words.

Businesses big and small can drastically cut falling victim to check fraud by getting to know about these security features.

Frank Abagnale, a noted authority on forgery, embezzlement and secure documents, will detail the many ways businesses can protect themselves from check fraud in a free Wells Fargo Bank seminar at 8 a.m. tomorrow at the Doubletree Guest Suites, 6555 E. Speedway Blvd.

More than 500 million fraudulent checks are passed each year costing U.S. businesses more than $18.7 billion.

Check fraud goes both ways. Businesses are paid with fraudulent checks and the business’s checks can be tampered with.

The desktop publishing era with scanners, high-resolution printers and color copiers have made check fraud a cottage industry, Wells Fargo spokeswoman Marjorie Rice said.

“There are many things you can do to protect yourself from fraud,” Rice said.

The seminar will dissect the check itself and offer hints such as reconciling bank statements immediately, establishing maximum dollar parameters for your checks and removing executive officers’ signatures from annual reports.

Reservations are required. Call 792-5123.

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