The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued a booklet Tuesday designed to help banks, businesses, and the public avoid check fraud.

"Check Fraud: A Guide to Avoiding Losses" describes several common check fraud schemes and prevention techniques. For example, to reduce losses from check alterations, banks should check whether the handwriting is consistent and whether there are signs of erasure.

To avoid counterfeiting, banks should ensure that no employee has access to both customer information and stocks of checks without account numbers, the booklet said.

To order the booklet, call 202-974-5043, or visit the OCC's Web page at

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