Thumbprint program designed to reduce fraud

Thumbprint program designed to reduce fraud In an effort to combat check fraud, the South Dakota Retailers Association has implemented a program which has proven successful in 40 other states.

The group is promoting a simple but highly effective program called the Thumbprint ID Program. The system uses an inkless touch pad to register the thumbprint of a person who writes or cashes a check. While the touch pad leaves no ink residue on the user's thumb, it does leave an identifiable thumb print on the check, which can be used by law enforcement to verify identity. If the check is fraudulent, the store turns the document over to law enforcement as evidence. Retailers do not store the fingerprint records in-house.

"Every year, thousands of bad checks are passed to South Dakota merchants," notes SDRA Executive Director Jerry Wheeler. "This costs retailers money, clogs up the court systems, and ends up costing honest consumers more for their purchases. While the Thumbprint ID Program won't solve all the problems, it's certainly a major step in the right direction."

A similar program has been implemented by the South Dakota Bankers Association, and is in place at many banks throughout the state.

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