Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Check Fraud: A Guide to Avoiding Losses


Some banks have seen a reduction in check fraud by fingerprinting noncustomers that seek to cash checks. Generally, the programs require all persons presenting checks for payment who do not have an account with the bank (i.e., noncustomers), to provide a thumbprint.

The teller explains the process whenever a noncustomer presents a check for payment. The teller will not accept the the item if the person objects. A person who does not object to providing a fingerprint is asked to ink his or her thumb on a small pad and place the imprint in the space between the memo line and signature line of the check being presented.

If the bank later finds out the check was fraudulent or was altered, it can provide the check, with the fingerprint, to law enforcement officials.

Any bank that implements this type of plan should exercise care to ensure that it is not applied on a selective basis.

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