Recognizing a Fraudulent Check

What is a Fractional?

A fractional is used to determine the financial institution of the share draft if the MICR line is ever damaged or torn off:

  • 2 digit city and state prefix pre-assigned by “Accuity” (in the example, the prefix is 25 – see red below)

  • Digits 5-8 of the routing number and transit number indicating the institution identifier (in the example, this is 5678 – see blue below.)

  • First 4 digits of the routing and transit number indicating the Federal Reserve district (in the example, this is 1234 – see green below.)

A fractional can be used as a fraud detection tool. The information in the fractional should always match the information in the MICR line. The check shown below is a fraud. The state code “56” should be used, instead of “25,” which is a city code. See State Codes.

images\fractionalcheck_shg.gif

Elements of a Check

images\checksample_shg.gif

Federal Reserve Perforation – Look for at least one perforated side on the check

Bank address – The address of the bank should correspond to the appropriate Federal Reserve District. For example, if you receive a check drawn in California, the routing/transit number generally should depict the Twelfth Federal Reserve District (12). Note, however, that some banks with offices in several Federal Reserve Districts are using a routing/transit number for one Federal Reserve District and a bank address in a different Federal Reserve District.

District and Office - The first two digits of field of field 5, the routing/transit number in the MICR line, indicates the Federal Reserve District.

Federal Reserve Districts

01

Boston

07

Chicago

 

 

02

New York

08

St. Louis

 

 

03

Philadelphia

09

Minneapolis

 

 

04

Cleveland

10

Kansas City

 

 

05

Richmond

11

Dallas

 

 

06

Atlanta

12

San Francisco

 

 

The third digit indicates the particular District Office. As an example, in the Sixth District, the numbers and offices are:

District Offices (Sixth District)

1

Atlanta

4

Nashville

2

Birmingham

5

New Orleans

3

Jacksonville

6

Miami

State Codes

Eastern

Southeastern

50

New York

60

Pennsylvania

51

Connecticut

61

Alabama

52

Maine

62

Delaware

53

Massachusetts

63

Florida

54

New Hampshire

64

Georgia

55

New Jersey

65

Maryland

56

Ohio

66

North Carolina

57

Rhode Island

67

South Carolina

58

Vermont

68

Virginia

59

Hawaii**

69

West Virginia

Southwestern

Western

80

Missouri

90

California

81

Arkansas

91

Arizona

82

Colorado

92

Idaho

83

Kansas

93

Montana

84

Louisiana

94

Nevada

85

Mississippi

95

New Mexico

86

Oklahoma

96

Oregon

87

Tennessee

97

Utah

88

Texas

98

Washington

89

Alaska*

99

Wyoming

 

101

Territories and Dependencies*

Central

70

Illinois 

71

Indiana

72

Iowa

73

Kentucky

74

Michigan

75

Minnesota

76

Nebraska

77

North Dakota

78

South Dakota

79

Wisconsin

 

*State prefixes for Alaska, Hawaii, and Territories and Dependencies are listed numerically under the corresponding region. They are not, however, geographically located in that region.