Missing cheques: Use secure drop boxes at ATM kiosks, advise police

Hyderabad: The police have cautioned the public against carelessly depositing their cheques in the drop boxes at ATM kiosks in the city, following the recent incidents of theft of cheque leaves.

Some people lodged complaints with the police, alleging the cheques dropped by in the drop boxes went missing. Police investigations revealed that some people had been targeting the drop boxes at the ATM kiosks, where there were no security guards, and stealing the cheques.

“Thieves are stealing the cheques and are tampering them before depositing in banks. The amount is then transferred to a third party account in other cities,” said a police official.  Every month three or four cases are being reported in the city.

To prevent such instances, police have asked the people to deposit the cheque only in well-guarded drop boxes. The police advised the account holders to script the cheque in such a way that it gets difficult to manipulate the writing.

Police also found that the fraudsters had stolen the cheques from the drop boxes and, after noting the down details of the bearer/ beneficiary, opened bank accounts in banks in at a far off locations. “A person will know only after the amount is credited after receiving an SMS. By that time it is too late as money is withdrawn by the thieves as soon as the cheque is cleared,” said a police official.

A modus operandi adopted by thieves is that after stealing the cheque, they submit some fake documents at a bank and open an account where the stolen cheque is deposited and gets cleared.

The police have asked the banks to install tamper proof drop boxes at ATMs and advised the people not to leave blank spaces on the cheques.