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NPC'S DIRECTOR OF LOSS PREVENTION DESCRIBES NEWEST BAD CHECK SCHEMES TO POLICE OFFICIALS AT SEMINAR

 LAS VEGAS, Nevada, Nov. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- "White Collar criminals are becoming more and more aggressive and inventive in their check fraud schemes, requiring a concerted effort by law enforcement agencies and check acceptance companies to protect the merchants being victimized," said Jack Scott, director of loss prevention for National City Processing Company's (NPC) Check Services Division.
 With more than 100 billion checks written during 1992 and volume increasing each year, major retailers estimate that the number of uncollectible checks jumped by 39 percent during the 1992, said Mr. Scott, a featured speaker on check fraud at the National Fraud Investigators' Seminar, held here recently.
 Riverdale, N.J.-based NPC Check Services (formerly JBS Associates) is one of North America's largest check authorization companies, providing a variety of guarantee and verification programs. During 1993, the company will authorize over $10 billion in checks from approximately 100,000 merchant locations throughout the U.S. and Canada.
 This huge volume in check transaction provides the company with timely information on the latest fraudulent a schemes. "Check authorization companies are the front-line people," said Mr. Scott. "We see it happening first and we are the first to determine how to combat it." Addressing senior law enforcement officials from around the country who specialize in white collar crime, he called for a closer working relationship between check authorization companies, other fraud investigators from private industry and law enforcement agencies to reduce the number of bad checks being passed and to vigorously prosecute career criminals.
 Using its own database of bad check activity, NPC Check Services can sort through millions of transactions to identify career criminals and the newest methods they use to defraud their victims, he explained. Mr. Scott described NPC's systems and procedures during his presentation and offered these resources to law enforcement officials struggling with reduced budgets for investigations.
 Citing two new trends in back check schemes, Mr. Scott said NPC has seen dramatic increases in refund schemes and counterfeit checks. "Refund schemes are the number-one external loss problem for retailers. One industry statistic suggests that up to 42 percent of all refunds are fraudulent," he related.
 Criminals who use this method will write a fraudulent check for merchandise, get a receipt, then return the merchandise to another store in the same chain. The refund they get on the original bad check can be cash, a check, gift certificate or merchant script for the full amount.
 "Counterfeit checks are becoming a more significant problem because anyone with a personal computer, software and a laser printer can be a master forger," Mr. Scott explained. Previously, counterfeit checks showed up most often as


cashiers checks, but now they are being passed off as government checks, payroll checks, even corporation checks paid to suppliers.
 During 1992, the Federal Bureau of Investigation reported that 15 bad checks were being written every second in the U.S., said Mr. Scott, and it has gotten substantially worse during 1993. He urged members of The National Association of Fraud and Bunco Investigators and the Southern California Fraud Investigators Association -- both of which were heavily represented at the seminar -- to view NPC as a resource and a key liaison with fraud victims.
 "When a white collar criminal passes a bad check at one of our merchants, the merchant simply calls us and we became the key contact with the police," he reported. "We handle the follow-up and represent them in the criminal investigation. And when the case comes to trial, we are the merchant's expert witness," he said.
 NPC's Check Services Division authorizes checks for retailers, auto dealers, hotels and mail order houses, and has 26 offices throughout the U.S. and Canada. Parent company NPC, headquartered in Louisville, Ky., is a subsidiary of National City Corporation (NYSE: NCC).
 -0- 11/2/93
 /CONTACT: Gabrielle Tarpey of NPC Check Services, 800-824-6117, or Bill Parness of Parness & Associates, 908-290-0121/
 (NCC)


CO: National City Processing Company ST: New Jersey, Nevada IN: SU:

SH-RW -- NYFNS3 -- 9451 11/02/93 07:32 EST
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Date:Nov 2, 1993
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