Industry Experts: Cheque Fraud still a huge issue

Recently, I had the opportunity to hear two experts speak on the topic of fraud.  Jas Anand – Senior Director, CIBC Fraud Strategy, had some surprising stats prepared for his presentation.  Here are just a few:

  • Over 5 billion cheques are processed in Canada per year, totaling over $41 Trillion dollars.
  • Commercial and business transactions are still cheque based. Adoption of electronic transactions has been very gradual
  • 93% of all reported fraud is cheque fraud
  • 61% are a result of payee name alteration
  • 57% are a result of counterfeit cheques with your companies MICR info
  • 41%  from loss, theft or counterfeit of employee pay cheques

These statistics are surprising because, like me, you may have assumed fraud has moved into a more sophisticated digital age. The fact is, cheque fraud is still rampant and will affect most businesses if measures are not taken to reduce the risk.

John Poulet recommends the following to reduce your risk:

  • Know your employees:  Criminal and financial background checks
  • Set up anonymous reporting system (“whistleblower” hotline)
  • Complete, secure cheque writing system with audit capabilities.
  • If your cheque volumes are low, you should protect them with a cheque protectograph. All manual cheques should also be written with a protectograph
  • Laser cheques should be secured in a locked office or cabinet
  • Software should have advanced security features

If you have any questions or concerns about cheque fraud, John Poulet is here to help. Call us for a confidential consultation.

~Neil Crawford

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