Check Bouncing Scams

Checks replace cash, and people regularly use them for transferring large amounts of funds. In order to protect the rights of people against check fraud, the UAE penal law has levied punishment on those who issue checks intentionally with the knowledge of insufficient funds in their bank account. 

However, in order to get the penal law's protection, there are some requirements to be found in the check. Those requirements are:  

It should state a specific amount

It should have the drawer's name on it
The check should include a date
It should have the drawer's name on it
The cheque should have drawer's signature on it

Unlike other crimes, a bounced check crime doesn’t require any actual damage to the victim in order to punish the drawer. This crime is punishable by imprisoning the drawer for a period of one to three years or imposing a fine between Dh 1,000 to Dh 30,000 in the UAE.

Bounced checks occur when there is not enough balance in the account to cover the amount written or when the drawer has ordered the bank not to pay any amount from his account. Furthermore, another common method to carry out bounced check crime is to put a signature on it, different to the one provided to the bank.

There have been many cases where checks were used to pay for expensive items but later, the check bounced. Many people have become  victims to this when they sold their car, mobile or other costly items. Usually scammers provide some money in cash along with the written check, therefore many people usually feel that they really are legitimate buyers. By the time the check is given in the bank to get the amount, the scammer has already fled with the item.

If a debtor issues a bounced check to you in the UAE, you should:

File a complaint at the nearest police station against the issuer of the bounced check. Then, file a lawsuit against the issuer in the court. Also, request the court to be compensated for the value mentioned.

The victim can also request the judge to issue an order for restricting the issuer from fleeing to other nation, if you have provided sufficient evidence to convince the judge.

But what if this happens the other way around? If you give a check to pay off a transaction, but you forgot that the funds were insufficient in your bank account, you would also become a criminal. What happens next varies from situation to situation. The police might contact you and ask you to come to the nearest police station. Once you go there, depending on the severity, they might either give you an opportunity to resolve the issue by repaying the amount or may even take you in custody until your friend or relative resolves the issue.