Check Forgery 101

Think your check is safe after you fill it out? Think again…

Your writing can be removed using a procedure called “check washing.” A solvent is used – usually rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover – to fade out or completely remove what you’ve put on your check.

Here’s a before and after picture:

Check Washing Before

Check Washing After

The check is now ready for a new amount (I’m guessing larger than $10) and a new recipient.

An even better trick for the forger is to cover your signature so it remains in place while everything else is removed.

So how can you avoid becoming a victim of this trick?

Use the right pen.

Based on the excellent testing of Sean Kane, he found that gel pens worked best at resisting these check washing procedures.

See the whole experiment and complete results on Sean’s site.

Author: Dave Nielsen

I started using computers in 1978 on the Apple II and was first online (using my “high-speed” 1200 baud modem) in 1989. I’ve managed web sites for several Fortune 500 companies and for internet start-ups. Working for one of those start-ups is what brought me into the world of credit. I was part of the the executive team that ran QSpace, the first company to offer credit reports over the internet.

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