Yes, check fraud. In the fall of 2002, a check that was payable in the amount of $310 was forged to $42,310, and with a new payee. Apparently, the original check issued by the AVMA was diverted and never reached its destination. Software is available that allows the forging of checks that resemble those of an organization or individual. The AVMA's bank questioned the authenticity of the check, thereby preventing it from clearing the bank account.
Shortly after this occurred, three more checks were altered from the original check and submitted for payment. At this point, the bank was monitoring our account and questioned checks that were suspicious. As a result, all of those checks were returned, unpaid.
The bank's corporate security department suggested setting up the process of "positive pay." The AVMA and the bank subsequently instituted this process. Positive pay is a security procedure that protects against losses. The AVMA and the bank carry out this procedure via the Internet. After every check run, the AVMA provides the bank with a list of checks produced. This list includes each payee, the check number, the amount, and the date of the check. Before a check clears, it has to exactly match information on the list.
Every workday, the AVMA goes online with the bank to determine whether any checks that are not on the list are trying to clear our bank account. If a check does appear as an "exception item," the AVMA will determine whether the check is legitimate or counterfeit.