Counterfeit cheques – a warning

There has been an alarming increase in the number of counterfeit cheque frauds being reported to Action Fraud since late last year.

Fraudsters are contacting a wide range of businesses and requesting to pay by cheque for the sale of goods and/or services. The business is then sent a cheque from the fraudster with a higher value than the amount anticipated, followed by a request for the difference with instructions on how to pay it back (usually via bank transfer or money transfer service).

Following the ‘refund’, it becomes apparent that the cheque was fraudulent and no funds are credited to the business’ account. The fraudsters tend to use pressure tactics to persuade the businesses to refund the amounts immediately prior to the cheques clearing.

We recommend you remain very cautious when dealing with cheques where the amount provided is higher than agreed. Wait until the correct balance is received before providing the goods/services, or wait until the cheque has cleared before refunding the difference.

If you have been affected by this, please contact our Forensics team on 0191 285 0321.

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