What is an Altered Check?

Altered Check

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Altered Check

An altered check is a check that has been tampered with or changed after it was originally written and signed by the drawer (the person who writes the check). Alterations can include changes to the payee’s name, the amount of money to be paid, the date, or any other important information on the check.

Altering a check is illegal and considered check fraud. This can lead to criminal charges and penalties if the person responsible for the alteration is caught.

Examples of altered checks include:

  1. Changing the payee’s name: The original payee’s name is erased or written over, and a new name is inserted. This allows the person who altered the check to cash it or deposit it into their own account.
  2. Modifying the check amount: The original amount written on the check is changed to a higher value. This is usually done by adding extra digits or altering the written numerical amount.
  3. Changing the date: The date on the check is altered, either to make it appear that the check was written earlier or later than it was, or to extend the validity of the check.

To protect against altered checks, it’s essential to monitor your bank accounts regularly and report any suspicious activity to your bank as soon as possible. Additionally, when writing checks, use a pen with ink that cannot be easily erased, write clearly and legibly, and avoid leaving large spaces between words and numbers that could be altered.

Example of an Altered Check

Example of an altered check:

Original Check:
Payee: Jane Smith
Amount: $150.00 (One Hundred Fifty Dollars)
Date: 04/15/2023

Altered Check:
Payee: John Doe
Amount: $1,150.00 (One Thousand One Hundred Fifty Dollars)
Date: 04/05/2023

In this example, the original check was written for Jane Smith for an amount of $150.00 on April 15, 2023. The altered check now shows the payee as John Doe, the amount increased to $1,150.00, and the date changed to April 5, 2023. This type of alteration is considered check fraud and is illegal.

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