U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Stale-Dated Check Fraud: How Much Has Your City Lost?

NCJ Number
FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin Volume: 75 Issue: 7 Dated: July 2006 Pages: 9-13
Robert D. Sheeny
Date Published
July 2006
5 pages
This article describes the emerging crime of stale-dated check fraud and offers tips for reducing the potential for fraud.
When municipalities issue checks to vendors for services received, they usually place an expiration date on the check, after which it may not be cashed. A new criminal scheme has emerged in which third party requesters claiming to be acting on behalf of a vendor request a check from government municipalities for services rendered at an earlier date but never paid because the check expired before the vendor could cash it. Criminals are able to get stale-dated check information for a nominal fee, or even for free off of some Internet sites, and then use that information to make fraudulent requests for replacements checks, which are of course never conveyed to the vendor. The author discusses how to detect stale-date check fraud schemes and presents several recommendations for municipalities to reduce the risk of victimization. Recommendations for reducing a municipality’s risk of fraud victimization include the advice to restrict access to stale-dated check registries, publish the names of individuals and businesses whose funds are held in the newspaper on a yearly basis, and establish a policy of mailing payment only to the original vendor. Those in charge of issuing replacement checks or investigating third party requesters are advised to be aware of request information that is incomplete, crude in appearance, and lacking proper notary public certifications. Duplicate forms and third party requesters who were not legally incorporated are also common in stale-dated check fraud schemes. 1 endnote