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Counterfeit Checks in the Philippines

Remember Frank Abagnale, Jr? Catch me if you can! Do we have somebody as “talented” as he is in the Philippines when it comes to making counterfeit checks?

Recently, somebody we know almost got victimized. It was reported tonight in TV Patrol. See TV Patrol video here.

The woman in the video went to the BPI Branch in Cubao to encash a check under her name for Php95,000. The bank did a standard procedure of verifying from the account holder due to the amount to be encashed. There was no suspicion of a fake check. The counterfeited check has the right account number and the signature is exactly the same as that of the account holder’s. The check number does exist. But here’s the catch: Upon further verification, the check in question was already cleared December last year.

Note though that if the bank did not verify from the account holder because of the large sum of money involved, the woman and her cohorts would have been smiling on their way out of the bank Php95,000 richer. Who would have shouldered the discrepancy? The bank or the account holder?

How skillful is/are the person/s involved? It was reported in the same news that this isn’t the first time this happened. The people behind this modus operandi are so smart they were able to create a legitimate looking check. They are so gullible to encash a large amount of money that needed verification.

What if the account owner is not in the Philippines when the supposed phone verification happened? In my case, it has always been a necessity to issue checks whenever I’m in the Philippines before I go back here in Seoul. Now, that would be a terrible scenario…

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3 thoughts on “Counterfeit Checks in the Philippines

  1. the same thing goes with a credit card. Its good that at least in Pinas, most establishments are really strict when it comes to verification of identity of the holder. I lost a credit card a few years back, within an hour after i lost it, the bank representative called me to inform that an attempt was made to purchase a camera worth 20k from my card, but of course it failed since the policy of the store is to ask identities, scrutinize and inform the bank for expensive purchases. Whew!

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