Will COVID and Fraud Finally Kill the Paper Check?

PYMNTS has been writing for years about the ongoing push to #killthecheck, but paper checks live on because of their ubiquity of acceptance and simplicity to issue despite the fact that most people on the receiving end really hate getting them.

However, the price of that simplicity is embracing the many foibles of paper checks — in some cases, with hilarious results. Consider the roughly 200 Rhode Islanders who recently received tax refund checks signed by Mickey Mouse and Walt Disney. Their signatures took the place of Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner and State Controller Peter Keenan’s John Hancocks, which should have been on the checks.

Jade Borgeson, chief of staff for the Rhode Island Revenue Department, told the media that the error was the result of a technical glitch that had the check signatures printed from test files. The majority of the misprinted checks were sent to businesses receiving corporate tax refunds.

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The revenue department told local media that it’s reaching out to impacted taxpayers to apologize for any inconvenience the error caused and will send out new checks without Mickey or Walt’s signatures within a week.

And in a lightly less amusing checks-gone-bad story, a Florida man is accused printing a phony check on his computer to pay for a Porsche that he was allowed to drive away with.

Casey William Kelley was arrested last week on charges of grand theft of a motor vehicle and “uttering” a false banknote, according to The Palm Beach Post.

The paper said the man allegedly purchased a 911 Turbo from a dealership using a fraudulent check written for $139,203.05 last week. A day later, Kelley allegedly attempted to purchase three Rolex watches with a similar do-it-yourself check made out for $61,521…  PYMNTS.com

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