Do you own your own business?
Do you ship goods or perform services after a customer has shown that they have paid by sending you a copy of a deposit slip?
If you answered yes to both of those questions then you really do need to read this article…
No business can ever really afford to lose money as a result of criminal activity and especially not during this current economic crisis.
For that reason they will often review their policies and procedures in order to ensure that they are following best practices and not leaving themselves open to customer fraud.
Smaller businesses may well require payment to be made before any goods or services are rendered and will ask for proof of such payment which will be in the form of a bank deposit slip.
If they are shown a stamped deposit slip then they will consider the funds to be theirs and will then fulfil their side of the contract, only to find later that the money has not been credited to their account.
Furthermore, the payee will then not be traceable and so the business is left out of pocket.
HOW IS THE DEPOSIT SLIP SCAM ACTIONED?
A fraudster will approach a business and will then show great interest in whatever product or service they offer.
They will typically then choose one of either high value to themselves, or something that they can sell on for a large amount of money.
They will offer to make payment by depositing the required amount of money into the company’s business account and will then say that they will return with a deposit slip as proof of payment.
The scammer will then go to the bank and make the deposit, only it won’t be for the correct amount.
For example, if they are buying a product for $1000 they will deposit a smaller amount, such as $10.
Most deposit slips do not have a field for the amount to be entered in words, they just have a space for the value to be recorded in numbers.
Therefore it is very easy for the fraudster to get the $10 slip stamped before altering it to look like a payment of $1000 had actually been made.
This ‘proof of payment’ is then taken back to the victim and the goods or services are collected, with only a tiny fraction of the true cost having been paid.
HOW DO YOU AVOID THE DEPOSIT SLIP SCAM?
Many businesses are aware of the problems and dangers associated with accepting payment via checks and credit cards but hopefully you are now equally aware of the risks associated in taking in cash via deposit slips.
Unless you have actually witnessed the bank deposit being made then you have no guarantees that the payment has really been made, at least not to the value indicated on the slip.
Therefore you should be skeptical and not release any goods or services until you have confirmed that the full value of payment is yours.
This can be done by contacting your bank and verifying the value of the deposit.
When speaking to the bank confirm that the payment was made in cash rather than via a check as that that is another ruse that is sometimes used (the checks are stolen and, ultimately, get dishonored).
Ensure that the funds are confirmed as being in your account, in full, before dispensing with any goods or fulfilling any service requests.