The Worthless Check Division of the Economic Crime Unit aids victims of worthless check crimes by either securing restitution or processing criminal complaints against those who issue worthless checks for goods and services.
What to look for when you accept a check
If you want to protect yourself from losses due to bad checks, there are certain "rules" you must follow that can have a big impact on your success. Many of the most important rules apply at the moment you accept the check for payment. State statutes, local requirements and simple practicality also influence what can or cannot be done to recover a loss to a bad check.
There are some steps you should always take when accepting a check.
Double Check the Signature. Watch the person sign the check. Pre-signed checks are often trouble. Compare the signature against a photo ID that contains the person’s signature. A Driver’s License is best - and record the Driver’s License number or Social Security number. Student ID numbers and Military ID are also good identifiers that you should get if possible.
Compare the Amounts. If the amount written in numbers and the amount written in words don’t match, the bank won’t accept it. Carefully read both versions of the amount. If they don’t match, don’t accept the check.
Check Number. It’s a fact that most bad checks are written on new accounts. Be especially aware of checks that seem to be on a new account (i.e. Numbers in the "low 100’s" or "low 1000’s").
Today’s Date. Post-dated checks often mean trouble. Make sure the date on the check matches the date you accept it.
Complete ID. It is important that you get as much identification as possible. The Social Security Number is preferred but, at a minimum you MUST get the following:
- Address (a street address is best)
- City - State - Zip
- phone Number
- Drivers License, Social Security, Military or Student Number