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Check and Credit Card Fraud

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Publication Date: September 2003

Publisher(s): U.S. Department of Justice

Author(s): Newman Graeme

Topic: Justice (Crime and criminals)

Keywords: fraud; credit; check

Type: Report


The Problem of Check and Card Fraud.
This guide describes the problem of check and card fraud,
and reviews factors that increase the risks of it. It then
identifies a series of questions to help you analyze your
local problem. Finally, it reviews responses to the problem,
and what is known about them from evaluative research
and police practice.
The guide covers fraud involving (1) all types of checks
and (2) plastic cards, including debit, charge, credit, and
"smart" cards. Each can involve a different payment
method. While there are some obvious differences
between check and card fraud, the limitations and
opportunities for fraud and its prevention and control by
local police are similar enough to warrant addressing them
together. Furthermore, some cards (e.g., debit cards) are
used and processed in a similar way to checks, and
electronic checks are processed in a similar way to cards,
so that the traditional distinction between cards and
checks is fast eroding. Table 1 summarizes the essential
differences between check and card fraud.