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AFP Report: Checks Still Prime Target For Fraudsters

The 2013 AFP report shows that checks are still the leading form of payments fraud for businesses.

Out of all the respondents, 87% of fraud affected organizations said that checks were the primary target of the fraud attempt. Following behind checks were:

  • Corporate purchasing cards: 29%
  • ACH debits: 27%
  • Wire transfers: 11%
  • ACH credits: 8%.

While the number of corporate checks has decreased, they still remain the most popular vehicle for payments fraud. The most common type of check fraud was counterfeit checks. The typical scenario for counterfeit check fraud is when a check falls into the hands of a criminal who then copies the MICR line from a corporate bank account. The check fraud breakdown is as follows:

  • 63% of respondents confirmed that they had experienced MICR line check fraud
  • 49% claiming payee name alteration
  • 28% said dollar amount alteration
  • 14% claimed loss or theft in employee pay checks
  • 3% claimed loss or theft of check stock

Out of all check fraud respondents, 16% suffered actual financial loss, while the remaining 84% saying that they did not suffer any loss.

While number of checks has decreased with businesses overall, it is still one of the leading methods of payments among businesses. Many businesses seem to be moving to an online solution, but with cyber criminals becoming more sophisticated than ever, those too can be fraught with risk.

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