Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Check Fraud: A Guide to Avoiding Losses

Guidelines to Consider When Cashing Checks

Although this list is not exhaustive, it provides a useful starting point when someone presents a check for payment.

Properly identify customers, either through personal knowledge or signature and other personal identification. If in doubt, refer the customer to an account representative.

Be careful when paying customers, especially new customers, split checks for deposit and cash.

Require two forms of identification and list them on the back of the check. Carefully review the identification to ensure it is genuine. Be alert for individuals who try to distract you while you are reviewing his or her identification.

Be careful when accepting official checks drawn on another financial institution. Such items are sometimes counterfeit.

Refer all questionable transactions to a supervisor for a second opinion.

Be sure the customer's account is open and has a positive balance.

Remember: A bank may delay cashing a check for a reasonable amount of time to verify that a signature is genuine and to make sure that it has properly identified the person presenting it. A short delay may cause a criminal to leave the bank without a forged or altered check rather than risk being arrested.

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