Forge Me if You Can
Horner also stressed the necessity of secure check stock. If a company uses a readily available stock and a criminal is able to purchase it and replicate the check then “there is no way for the bank to look at it and know that it is a forged check. ... [The criminal] created a real check on real stock.” For this reason, Diversiform will not ship blank check stock.
Abagnale’s thoughts on controlled stock are the same. He has designed several lines of checks, printed and tightly controlled to his specifications, with numerous security features, both overt and covert. His most recent checks, SuperCheck and SuperBusinessCheck, include thermochomatic inks and warnings to protect the check writer from fraud due to teller error. He explained his process: “When I design a check, I ask myself ‘how would I forge this check and what would I do to replicate this? Color copy it? Scan it?’ Then I go on and eliminate every possible conceivable thing that could happen to it and then come up with a finished check.” Abagnale pointed out, he does not sell the checks or make commission on them. He has simply designed a secure check to fill what he perceived as a hole in the market in his efforts to protect consumers. This dedication has earned him much respect above and beyond his already extreme expertise.
Check fraud is rarely prosecuted anymore. This leaves preventative measures up to producers and distributors as well as the common sense of the end-user. “If you look at the statistics,” Abagnale informed, “last year there were 20 billion dollars in forged checks, which is huge. Bank’s took only 10 percent of those losses. Ninety percent of those losses were pushed back to the customer, to the company or to the business.” With the stakes so high, those involved in check printing, distribution and security can’t afford to remain in the dark on these issues. Helping prevent fraud means better business for everyone.