Beware, it’s not just real bank checks

How to recognize a bank check?

All bank checks, regardless of the issuing bank, have a high-quality watermark comparable to that found on bank notes and IDs. The pattern is embedded in the paper and not printed on it, to avoid forgery.

The watermark is easily recognizable to the naked eye by transparency. It covers a very large part of the check surface. It includes the words “CHECK BANK”, readable on the back of the check. This mention is bordered at the top and bottom by two striped flames and, on both sides, by two seeders whose light and dark parts of the drawing of one are reversed compared to those of the other.

The additional protection provided by the watermark does not exempt you from the usual checks, namely:

  • Check that the check is issued by an existing bank in France;
  • Call the issuing bank to verify that it has issued this check by indicating the check number, the amount and the name of the beneficiary (yours). Attention: Look for the phone number yourself because the one written on a fake check is certainly that of an accomplice.
  • You can also ask the buyer to send you a scanned bank check in advance: have them forwarded to your bank to ask for a spell notice from the issuing bank. This internal document between two banks allows one to certify to the other that the check will be well settled.
  • Also, check that the date on the check is not older than 1 year and 8 days, in which case it will be out of date.
  • Also be aware of alterations such as stains, scraping or washing marks, different writings …

Caution is needed against the proliferation of falsified checks.