John Zollinger, executive vice president and cirector of commercial banking at Home Bank, spoke with Jan Swift of the Discover Lafayette podcast asbout how to stay vigilant to fight fraudsters from accessing your financial assets.
You can listen to their conversation here.
Banks work diligently to protect their clients’ financial holdings, he said. It is a time and energy-intensive challenge and it behooves each of us to be more aware of the ways we can protect ourselves on the front end.
Banking has changed dramatically from the days of teaching kids how to open a checking account and write checks. John spoke of the dangers of check fraud and how we should start relying less on paper checks in lieu of online banking solutions.
It has become commonplace for checks to be stolen and then washed by eraser or chemical baths which remove the ink and allow an alteration to the original. While most checks have security features such as watermarks, threads, and holograms, and alterations can look like a third-grader did the task, with 1 million checks being deposited per month many fakes slip through the cracks.
While artificial intelligence is used to forage out fakes, unless a check is made out for over $10,000, it is unlikely to be picked up on. So criminals make up for it in volume, and as Zollinger said, “the check fraud business is an industry.”
“Stop writing checks when you can,” he said. “Writing a check and handing it to somebody is probably still safe and secure. But writing a check and putting it in the mail with the USPS is not secure.”