ST. PAUL - Deluxe Corp., the world's largest check printer, has created a new antifraud feature for some of its products.

The feature is a hidden code word - "original" - inscribed on the back of each check. The code word can be exposed by scratching the check with a coin.

This "rub and reveal" feature protects against illegal check duplication and chemical altering of checks, two of the most common forms of check fraud, Deluxe officials said.

U.S. banks lost in excess of $800 million to check-related fraud in 1994, according to figures from the American Bankers Association.

Deluxe offers several other fraud prevention options, including microprinting, security screens, chemically sensitive paper, and watermarks.

"Effective fraud prevention requires a layering of products to help protect financial institutions whenever there is an opportunity for fraud," said Dave Warfield, fraud prevention manager at Deluxe.

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