Johannesburg - Bank customers should be wary of scams
involving cheque fraud, the SA Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) said in
a statement on Monday.
Despite the noticeable decline in cheque usage, various
scams were being devised by perpetrators to defraud cheque users especially
where business transactions took place, Sabric said.
A business would be approached with an urgent order and
promised payment, supported by a cash deposit or proof of an electronic
The payment would then be made with a fraudulent cheque,
leaving the business out of pocket.
Sabric CEO Kalyani Pillay said it was crucial that payments
be made in cash, or if by cheque the recipient should wait for the cheque to
clear before releasing any goods.
The centre said: "In some cases, banks are noticing
incidents where pages of business cheques are removed from cheque books and
then presented by fraudsters for large cash withdrawals."
It was not unusual for staff at those businesses to collude
with perpetrators, with directors' signatures forged.
"Sabric advises bank customers to keep their cheque
books in a safe place at all times, and to immediately report lost and stolen
The centre advises keeping returned cheques in a secure
place, completing payee details in full and writing the amount in figures as
closely as possible, as well as including the account number in the payee line when
making account payments.
Other advice includes using crossings appropriately, always
marking crossed cheques "not transferable", regularly reconciling
bank statements, and using alternative payment methods.