In recent times attempted Bank Draft and Cheque Fraud is a reality with all online and over the phone buying, selling and leasing agreements. With a little bit of knowledge and awareness of what to look out for you can be certain of letting your property safely.
The common trick or scam involves the potential tenant claiming to be in or from another country. They often put in plain words that it is too difficult or complicated to send the money directly to you. After some correspondence they usually send a Bank Draft for much more than the rental cost.
The potential or prospective tenant will then ask for the remaining money to be returned to them or a third party. The Bank draft / cheque will clear into your bank account, only to be stopped and refused weeks later. At this point, the Banks and Building Societies will take the full cheque amount back out of your account. Not only will you have lost the goods, you will be out of pocket for the amount of the cheque and the amount you passed on as the difference.
What is Bank Draft and Cheque Fraud?
Bank Draft and Cheque Fraud is the use of Bank Draft and /or a Cheque to obtain financial advantage by;
- Altering the cheque / draft (payee / amount) without appropriate authority.
- Theft of legitimate cheques/drafts and subsequent alteration and conversion of the proceeds.
- Counterfeiting of cheques / drafts.
- The use of false invoices to solicit legitimate cheques.
- Lodging a counterfeit or stolen cheque/draft into a third party account without authority.
Tips for recognising & avoiding Bank Draft & Cheque Fraud
- The payee can claim to be in or from another country
- The payee / potential tenant looks for account information
The payee of a Bankers Draft does not need you account information to obtain a Bankers Draft.
- They payee asks you to wire money to them after you’ve deposited the Bank Draft / Cheque
- Don’t deposit it, report it.
Ask yourself whether the situation seems logical. Would you go to the trouble of attaining a bank draft for a property that you have not visited to check its condition?
Points to remember
- Don’t accept a cheque, or bankers’ draft, from someone unless you absolutely know and trust them.
- Be aware that, even if your account has been credited with the value of the cheque, there is a risk that the money could be reclaimed if the cheque subsequently turns out to be stolen or counterfeit.
- Always consider other ways of accepting payment for high-value items