Our sad experience with a Bank Check scam – Altered Checks – Who is responsible?

@Abbyey (760)
Philippines
August 4, 2007 8:49am CST
My uncle who is in business and used in receiving bank checks as payment had an expensive experience with syndicates who alters checks (amount and signature). This happened just last week tuesday, a man who looks very decent orders several goods in my uncles store amounting to 23,800 however the man said his boss issued a 25,000 dated check (July 24) and he just wanted the change. As a precaution we never deliver the goods until the check was accepted in the Bank. However due to trust my cousin (financing) release a check amounting to 1,200 (dated July 30). However when my mom went to the bank the next day 9:30am, the bank informed them that a few minutes ago at 9:00am a man came in to withdraw a check from us amounting to 41,200 (check date was July 20). My mom wasn’t aware of the situation, finished her transaction in the bank and then went back to the office to ask my cousin. To find out that our check was altered, we called the bank to have the check faxed to us, and when my cousin received the copy, she went to the bank to complain, thought the alteration was indeed unnoticeable, her signature was also copied but not precise. The bank manager investigating states that the alteration was so unnoticeable and that they won’t be liable with it. We filled a case against the bank however the bank are also making their own investigation and even though they are apologetic, they are insisting that they cannot do anything about it. What called their attention was when my mom / uncle / cousin declared that they will be given at least 2 weeks to investigate. Afterwards we are moving the accounts to another bank. I think it is just right that the bank pay for it because the only thing that secures a client is that the bank can tell the difference between a real authentic sign from a fraud one. Am I right? Do you agree?
1 person likes this
2 responses
@dimaks (786)
• Japan
4 Aug 07
that is a sad story Abbyey. that is the problem with our current verification system. sometimes easy signatures are unknowingly copied and bring us a big loss. i was thinking if alongside the signature, there will also some kind of a password to be asked to the claimant of any cash or check from a bank. but what i know is, the bank must be holding several signature specimen in their end and compare that to the claimant's signature. i really wonder how they were not able to spot and tell the difference. i wish you good luck with this case.
@Abbyey (760)
• Philippines
4 Aug 07
Thanks dimaks, that is what i & my mom thought. The bank should have identified the difference besides that is the only way they can indeed secure our account. Hopefully we will win the case.
@Abbyey (760)
• Philippines
4 Aug 07
Thanks Dimaks, that is what my mom and i thought. The bank should have noticed the difference. Also it is the only way they can secure our account (via checks) that they can identify a fraudulent/forgery.
@Abbyey (760)
• Philippines
4 Aug 07
Thanks Dimaks, that is what my mom and i thought. The bank should have noticed the difference. Also it is the only way they can secure our account (via checks) that they can identify a fraudulent/forgery. Hopefully in the end of this, the bank will take the responsibility. Tnx
@kgwat70 (13396)
• United States
5 Aug 07
I think the bank should be responsible as they should have noticed or had some other way of noticing if the check was a scam or the signature was a scam. Of course, the person who copied the signature and altered the check, should be held liable and punished for doing that. I would change banks as well as they need to do a better job of noticing these types of things.