Consumer advocate and also self-described “tech skeptic” Bob Sullivan describes what the calls “the next fraud wave,” made possible “thanks come the intersection of really old and very brand-new banking technology.”

Basically, it offered to be the the only means you might cash or deposit a check written come you was to surrender the actual physics copy the it. But nowadays, much more and more banks market a new online-checking tool dubbed “remote deposit capture,” which allows you deposit a check with your smartphone. Essentially, you deserve to send a photograph of the inspect rather than the inspect itself.

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"Double presentment"

So after you deposit the inspect you still have actually the initial copy that it. This method that – whether accidentally or on function – you might deposit the inspect a 2nd time (or even more than that), a trouble which the banking industry calls “double presentment.” Sullivan said:

It taken place to Louise Moon Rosales the Vermont. Double in the previous year, she wrote checks to salary for tiny services such as yard work. Both were cashed…and climate cashed a second time a few months later. Her bank honored both payments. For example: a $100 inspect she composed to a high school student because that yard work was cashed in December, and then again in April. How?

Turns the end the student offered “remote deposit capture” to deposit the inspect the first time, and also then deposited it again part months later — an moral mistake, no a deliberate effort to walk fraud. The student refunded the money when she learned about it. Together Sullivan explains, “The trouble is a brand-new one because that consumers, who aren’t provided to hanging ~ above physical check after they’ve to be cashed. Some financial institutions tell consumers to hold on come the paper for a month or more, leading to inescapable confusion end what’s been cashed and also what hasn’t.”

No systems in place

More ominous 보다 the opportunity of honest-mistake twin deposits is the believed of dishonest people deliberately depositing the same check multiple times. Most banks are an excellent at catching double presentment if it"s attempted at the exact same banking school through the same an equipment – because that example, the same examine deposited twice over the same phone.

But it"s harder for a bank to catch twin presentment over various channels, such as “first deposit over your phone, 2nd deposit at the bank"s ATM.” and also if someone tries depositing the same inspect multiple times at completely different banking institutions, the financial institutions thus far don"t have any systems in ar to identify a inspect that"s already been deposit at a different financial institution.

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Bear in mind: this trouble is not limited only to civilization who use mobile bank options. Anyone that writes a physical check is in ~ risk, since even if you-the-check-writer don"t use mobile banking, the check recipient can still usage remote deposit catch to deposit it. You should carefully examine your checking account withdrawal activity every month — and do not assume that, when a given check has been cashed, friend no much longer need come worry around it. With remote deposit capture, a check that"s already been cashed still has the potential to be cashed again countless months later.