South Florida check cashers will soon be required to obtain additional identifying information about customers cashing federal tax refund checks over $1,000. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network issued another Geographic Targeting Order on Monday that will apply to check cashers in Miami-Dade and Broward counties from August 3, 2015 through January 30, 2016. Check cashers will have to obtain at the time of the check-cashing transaction: (1) a copy of the customer’s identification (which must evidence nationality or residence and include a photograph); (2) a digital photograph of the customer (surveillance video is insufficient for this requirement); (3) the customer’s phone number; and, (4) the customer’s thumbprint on the check. This GTO is meant to assist in combating stolen identity tax refund fraud, which has increased in South Florida. This crime involves filing a fraudulent tax return using a stolen identity and then cashing the refund check also using fake identification. Requiring check cashers to obtain this additional information (and keep it until at least January 30, 2021) will assist authorities in prosecuting these crimes.
FinCEN’s announcement can be found here.
The order is available here.