Cheque fraud is not a new concept, but it's becoming increasingly common in today's digital age. Just recently, an Ontario businessman lost a staggering $38,000 because someone copied his cheques and cashed them fraudulently. The worst part? He couldn't get his money back because he didn't report the fraud in time. This real-life story serves as a wake-up call for all small business owners. Read the full story here: https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/ontario-businessman-loses-38k-in-cheque-cashing-scam-1.6577559
The Importance of Timely Monitoring
Time is of the essence when it comes to cheque fraud. Most banks, including TD Bank as mentioned in the Ontario businessman's case, have a time limit for reporting fraudulent activity. In many instances, you have just 30 days from the transaction date to report the fraud. If you wait for your monthly paper statement to arrive, you're already losing precious time. So, what's the solution? Weekly account monitoring.
The Role of a Bookkeeper
If you're juggling multiple responsibilities as a small business owner, it's easy to overlook the details. That's where a bookkeeper comes in handy. A dedicated bookkeeper can keep an eye on your accounts and flag any suspicious activity. But remember, communication is key. If your bookkeeper has questions or concerns, it's crucial to respond promptly. This two-way communication can make all the difference in catching fraud early.
Tips to Prevent Cheque Fraud
Here are some practical steps to protect your business:
Secure Your Cheques: Don't leave your chequebook lying around. Keep it in a secure location.
Regular Account Monitoring: Make it a weekly habit to review your accounts. Better yet, have your bookkeeper do it for you.
Respond Quickly: Don't wait to respond to your bookkeeper's inquiries. If something looks off, don't wait. The quicker you act, the better your chances of resolving the issue.
Go Digital: As the bank suggests, consider using electronic payments like wire transfers or direct deposits. They're generally more secure than cheques.
Cheque fraud is a growing concern, but you're not powerless. By taking proactive steps and maintaining open communication with your bookkeeper, you can significantly reduce the risk. Don't wait for fraud to find you; take action today and keep your hard-earned money where it belongs—in your account.
Canadian Bankers Association https://cba.ca/protecting-yourself-from-cheque-fraud
Until next time,