The Danger of Using Checks

My piece on being hugely ripped off by check fraud from last week's Ventura County Reporter…I'm still dealing with the mess, and the creditors.


The alarming truth:

According to the accounting firm Ernst & Young, more than 500
million fraudulent checks are written every year in the U.S., out of a
total of approximately 60 billion checks. The Nilson Report, a news
service for the credit industry, estimated four years ago that check
fraud cost the banking system more than $20 billion a year.

when a check-fraud crime results in an arrest, most prosecutors don’t
pursue the case. According to banking industry statistics, 75 percent
of check fraud cases are dropped, and up to 90 percent of such cases in
urban areas that are plagued by more violent crimes. A Department of
Justice survey in 2004 found a 2 percent imprisonment rate for
check-fraud cases.

I loved what one detective said to me, about the danger of putting a check in your mailbox to pay a bill, and raising the red flag:

“A crook could just happen to be driving by, see the flag up and say, ‘Hey, look, it’s my birthday today,’ ” said [Det.] Almazan.    

Published by Kit Stolz

I'm a freelance reporter and writer based in Ventura County.

One thought on “The Danger of Using Checks

  1. Oh, man, Kit, I’m so sorry that you have to deal with all the fall out of this. Thanks for using your experience to educate others!



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