Someone Forged My Signature On A Check And Cashed It (Do This Now!)


Someone Forged My Signature On A Check And Cashed It

Someone cashing a check by forging your signature is one of the most common types of fraud. Not only is it scary, but it can leave your bank account near-empty!

But all hope isn’t lost. We’ll tell you exactly how to deal with it below.

How Banks Deal With Forged Signatures on Cashed Checks (Lost Check)

Most national banks reimburse any improperly endorsed cashed checks. However, they have a right to investigate the circumstances to prove whether you’re entitled to a reimbursement.

If the bank can confirm the following, you may not be eligible for a refund:

  • The bank clerks used the standard diligence and care when cashing the check.
  • The bank accepted the check in good faith.
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On top of that, if it’s discovered that you haven’t kept on top of your financial reporting, you could be somewhat liable.

The same applies if you’ve mishandled your checkbook or completed checks incorrectly.

To handle your case correctly, the bank asks you to fill in an affidavit. You might also need to file an official police report, but that depends on your circumstances.

What’s an Affidavit?

An affidavit is simply a written statement that you swear to be true. In other words, it is an oath that everything written on the document is nothing but the truth. 

How to Report Signature Fraud

When you need to inform your bank of a forged cashed check, time is vital.

Generally speaking, you have 30 days from the statement date to find the problem and tell your bank. However, this period changes from bank to bank, so we advise checking before getting into a sticky situation.

Aside from keeping an eye on the time, you should also:

  1. Shutdown Your Checking Account — You should call your bank and request a hold or closure. You don’t want the fraudulent individual making further withdrawals. Ask them to inform you about any additional movement on your now-closed account on the same phone call.
  2. Contact Check Verification Company — Even though you’ve closed your account, checks deposited will be denied by the bank. So, verification organizations won’t be successful in collecting fraudulent checks.
  3. Take Extra Precautions — Ask your bank what type of ID was used by the fraudster when it was shown to the clerk. You must identify whether your state identification or driver’s license is compromised. If it’s your driver’s license, make sure you request a new one from your local DMV office. 

Is Forgery a Federal Crime?

Forgery is a federal crime when somebody creates or possesses false paperwork like military documents, postage stamps, money, and more. However, it’s typically a state crime.

What Is The Penalty for Signature Forgery On Checks?

Speaking of states, it’s important to note that the penalties for the person who committed this crime against you vary wildly depending on where you live. See what the fraudster could face in your state:

states Minimum Penalty Maximum Penalty
AlabamaUp to 1 year in jail and $6,00020 years in prison and $30,000
AlaskaUp to 1 year in prison and $10,00010 years in prison and $100,000
ArizonaUp to 3 years and 9 months in prison9 years in prison
ArkansasBetween 3 and 10 years in prison and up to $10,000Between 5 and 20 years in prison and $15,000
CaliforniaUp to 1 year in county jailBetween 2 and 4 years in prison
ColoradoBetween 3 and 12 months in jail and between $250 and $1,0001 and 3 years in prison and between $1,000 and $100,000
ConnecticutUp to $5,0005 years in jail
DelawareUp to 3 years imprisonment1 year in prison and a $2,300
FloridaUp to $5,0005 years in prison
GeorgiaUp to $1,000 and 12 months in county jail15 years in prison
HawaiiUp to 1 year in jail and up to $4,0002 to 10 years in prison and $10,000
IdahoAt least 1 year in prison14 years in prison
IllinoisLess than 1 year in  prison and up to $2,500Between 2 and 5 years in prison and $25,000
IndianaBetween 2 and 8 years in prison and up to $10,00030 years in federal prison and $250,000
IowaUp to 2 years in jail and between $625 and $6,2505 years in prison and $7,500
Kansas$500 and 30 days in jail23 months in prison and $2,500
Kentucky5 years in prison10 years in prison
Louisiana$5,000 and 6 months in jail$5,000 and 10 years in prison
Maine0-1 year in prison and up to $5,0005 years in prison and $5,000
MarylandUp to $1,00010 years in prison and $1,000
MassachusettsUp to 2 years imprisonment in house of corrections10 years in jail
Michigan1 year in prison14 years in prison
MinnesotaUp to 3 years in prison and up to $5,00010 years in prison and $20,000
Mississippi2 years in Penitentiary10 years in Penitentiary and $10,000
MissouriUp to 4 years in prison10 years in prison
MontanaUp to 6 months in prison and up to $1,50020 years in prison and $50,000
NebraskaUp to 3 months in prison and $1,0004 years in prison and $25,000
Nevada1 year in prison and up to $5,0005 years in prison and $10,000
New HampshireUp to $1,2007 years in prison and $4,000
New JerseyUp to 6 months in jail and at least $1005 years in prison and at least $500
New MexicoUp to 6 months in jail and up to $5009 years in prison
New YorkUp to 1 year in jail7 years in prison
North CarolinaBetween 3 and 12 months in prison31 months in prison
North Dakota1 year in jail and up to $3,00020 years in prison and $20,000
Ohio6 to 12 months in prison or $2,5008 years in prison and $15,000
OklahomaUp to 1 year in jail and up to $1,00010 years in prison
OregonUp to 1 year in jail and up to $6,2505 years in prison and $125,000
PennsylvaniaUp to 5 years in prison and up to $10,00010 years in prison and $25,000
Rhode IslandUp to 5 years in prison and up to $1,00010 years in prison and $1,000
South CarolinaUp to 1 year in prison and up to $1,00010 years in prisozn and a fine
South Dakota0-1 years in prison and up to $10,0005 years in prison and $10,000
Tennessee1 year in prison and up to $3,0002 years in prison and up to $3,000
TexasUp to 2 years in prison and up to $10,00010 years in prison and $10,000
UtahUp to 5 years in prison and a fine15 years in state prison and a fine
VermontUp to $1,00010 years in prison and $1,000
Virginia0-1 year in prison and a $2,500 fine10 years in prison and $2,500
Washington0-1 year in jail and fine5 years in prison and $10,000
West Virginia2 years in prison10 years in prison
Wisconsin9 months in jail and up to $10,0006 years in prison and $10,000
Wyoming6 months in prison and up to $75010 years in prison and $10,000

References

https://www.criminaldefenselawyer.com/resources/forgery-laws-alabama.htm

https://www.techchecks.net/resources/faked-signature-how-to-deal-with-check-fraud

https://www.findlaw.com/state/alaska-law/alaska-insurance-fraud-laws.html

Marissa K.

Hi! I'm Marissa. A personal finance nerd, content writer, and Managing Editor. I'm here to bring you all the latest cool ways to save, make and invest extra money. So, helping you to live your dream life!

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