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Fraud Defense 101: How to Safeguard Your Business from Payment Fraud Trends

March 07, 2024
Fraud Defense 101: How to Safeguard Your Business from Payment Fraud Trends

As check and payment fraud continue to surge nationwide, it's imperative, to remain vigilant in this new digital age. United TranzActions is committed to staying at the forefront of industry trends, consistently researching and identifying innovative strategies to combat fraud. Our goal is to ensure that our merchants are well-protected against the evolving landscape of fraudulent activities. Below, you'll find crucial tips on preventing check fraud and recognizing common tendencies of fraudulent check writers.

Essential tips for preventing Check Fraud:

  • BE SURE to verify the driver’s license is not expired and is a valid U.S. driver’s license. Validate that it is an ACTUAL driver’s license and NOT a state issued ID card.

  • Confirm that the person pictured on the license is the same person writing the check.

  • Make sure the signature on the “driver’s license” matches the signature on the check.

  • If the driver’s license number is pre‐written on the check, ask to see the actual Driver’s license and verify that the written number matches the number on the driver’s license.

  • Inspect the security features on the check such as holographic elements and embedded watermarks, which fraudsters often struggle to replicate. Counterfeit checks usually feel lighter and possess a slippery texture.

  • The Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) has a dull, non-reflective appearance and a unique texture. In contrast, counterfeit checks may feature shiny MICR numbers. By feeling and visually inspecting the MICR line, you can distinguish the authenticity of the check.

  • Look for any variations in font size, or misalignments, as these can be red flags indicative of fraud.

  • Understand that most valid checks feature at least one perforated edge, a result of professional printing processes. If all edges appear uniformly smooth, the check might have been printed using personal computer equipment which is a red flag.

  • Practice obtaining the driver’s license of the person picking‐up the merchandise.


  • The individual/persons act suspicious during transaction and usually avoid eye contact. Also, possibly wearing a mask to conceal their identity.

  • The customer becomes unusually irate if any delays or declines and then provides different information to obtain a payment approval.

  • The Fraudster may have other checks readily available in the event of a decline.

  • Orders placed online or over the phone. Particularly with new customers placing large dollar amount orders.

  • Usually request to pick up in‐store and will send a ‘runner’, avoiding delivery. Often shopping outside of local area.

  • Requests shipping to a different location (possibly different state) to avoid going to a local store.