Battle check fraud: Ask for ID
Tina Williams knows it’s difficult to ask longtime customers to show identification when writing a check.
“When people have been coming in for 12 years, it does upset them when you ask for ID,” the Robb’s Grocery manager said.
But requiring customers to show a valid driver’s license when paying with a check is one way to prevent fraud, Craig police said.
A free program offered by the department is helping businesses get a handle on fraudulent checks, said Michelle Anderson, investigative technician at the Craig Police Department.
Anderson said she has been handling more check fraud cases recently as word of the program is catching on.
“I would say we’re seeing more than last year, but not a tremendous amount,” she said.
Domino’s Manager Nick Augustine said he regularly uses the city’s program to curb check fraud. The store receives about two bad checks a week that are written for amounts ranging from $15 to $35, he said. Augustine also delegates one employee to work part time on recovering the lost funds.
“It’s one of those things we expect,” he said. “We know it’s going to happen.”
To try to stem the problem, Augustine said he asks employees to write down customer’s addresses on orders. That way, an employee can research whether that person has tried to pass a bad check in the past. People can write only three bounced checks to the store before they are required to pay with cash or credit, Augustine said.
“We kind of want to keep people honest, but we do want people’s business,” he said.
The Moffat County District Attorney’s Office also has adopted a check fraud policy.
Businesses must follow rules to help officials with prosecuting bad-check cases. They need to verify the identification of the writer or passer of the check and write that information on the check.
Anderson advised merchants to write down driver’s license numbers or IDs, instead of trusting what is printed on a check.
“Some of the older stores don’t think it’s right to ask a customer for a driver’s license number,” Anderson said. “That’s the key for me to prosecute. When somebody asks me for a driver’s license, it doesn’t bother me.”
Amy Hamilton can be reached at 824-7031.
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