Protecting yourself from cheque fraud
Cheques have always been a very easy form of payment for goods and services. However cheques are susceptible to fraud as they can easily be altered and cheque fraud is increasing as a result.
In this section you will find information on how to protect yourself from cheque fraud.
If you have any concerns or questions, please call our Customer Service.
Accepting and paying in cheques
- Never accept a cheque or a banker’s draft as payment from an individual unless you know them and you trust them.
- Request an electronic online payment instead which is safe and secure. This is especially important if you are receiving a payment for a large amount, for example if you have sold your car.
- Cheques take six working days to clear (counting from the next working day from when you deposit your cheque). The bank will allow you to withdraw the funds on the fourth working day. However it is advisable to wait until the end of the sixth working day before withdrawing any funds or making any payments, to be certain that the cheque has cleared and you are protected from any loss arising from cheque fraud. If you are not sure when day six has passed you can use the ‘Cheque Checker’ website or call our Customer Service to confirm if the cheque has cleared.
- You should never accept a cheque if it has been issued for a larger amount than what you are owed. This could be a scam used by fraudsters who will try to obtain the excess amount of money from you. In these cases the fraudster will contact you to advise you that they made a mistake and wrote the cheque for a larger amount. They would then require you to send them the excess amount before the cheque they sent you has cleared. Once the cheque is processed and is found to be fraudulent you will be a victim of fraud. Never send out money against funds which have not cleared into your account.
- You should never deposit cheques in your account which are not addressed to you. If the name of the payee on the cheque is different to the named account holder(s), the cheque will not be processed and will be returned to the drawer.
- You should never accept to deposit cheques in your account for the benefit of a third party.
- Where possible avoid issuing cheques as a method of payment for goods and services. This is because cheques can be easily forged and can be fraudulently altered. Fraudsters will also get hold of your account details and signature if they obtain a copy of your cheque. They can use these details to take money from your account and commit identity fraud.
- Always consider making payments via secure online banking, especially if the payment is for a large amount.
- Avoid sending cheques in the post as these can easily be lost and/or stolen by fraudsters.
- When writing a cheque make sure you write the full name of the individual you are making the cheque payable to. The total amount of the cheque should also be clearly and accurately written in numbers and words. Do not leave any large spaces between words and numbers, and draw a line through any blank spaces you leave in the sections where you write the payee details and amount.
- You should regularly check your bank statement to monitor transactions in your account. You can check your statements through our secure online banking service, 24 hours a day. If you are unsure about a transaction and you suspect fraud you should immediately contact Customer Service.
- You should ensure that you keep your chequebook in a safe and secure place at all times.
- If your chequebook is missing or has been stolen, you should immediately contact Customer Service to report your chequebook lost or stolen. We will ensure that the chequebook is cancelled and a new one will be issued for you.
- We will write to advise you that a new chequebook has been ordered for you. If you do not receive your chequebook within five days from receiving this letter or if you receive your chequebook but it appears to have been tampered with, you should immediately contact Customer Service.