Q: Fraudulent Economic Impact Checks. We are worried about individuals presenting fraudulent IRS economic impact checks. What can a bank do to reduce the risk of accepting a fraudulent paper check?
A: The United States Treasury Department has informed us that economic impact checks will look similar to IRS tax refund checks. They can be verified using the Treasury Check Verification Application (https://tcva.fiscal.treasury.gov/approot/tcva/TCVA_Welcome.html), provided that the financial institution has a valid routing transit number, check number and check amount. This site also provides a description of Treasury Check Security Features.
Financial institutions should be alert to increased attempts of fraud. Federal law enforcement agencies are observing a rise in economic relief fraud and expect the fraud attempts to continue throughout the pandemic.
This Q&A was contained in the Frequently Asked Questions for Financial Institutions Affected by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Referred to as COVID-19) – As of March 3, 2021 (which may be updated from time to time). This may be found on the FDIC’s website here: https://www.fdic.gov/Coronavirus/faq-fi.pdf.