Inspired by this question
Also, not a duplicate of this question as it's focused on image only deposit.
Since checks can be deposited via an image (mobile deposit), it seems like it would be extremely easy to deposit the same check image to multiple accounts. I do not think banks do real-time checks with other banks to make sure the check number has not been used already.
A slightly more complicated question, what if some enterprising thief uses information from a data breach to photoshop a new account and routing number onto the check, and then cash it multiple times across multiple accounts?
Wondering how banks protect themselves against this as checks seem extremely insecure.
The main vector I'm trying to protect myself against is someone in a foreign country with lax laws and regulations getting a copy of the check image, then "cashing it" over and over again.
It seems like a thief in a foreign country would able to evade justice pretty easily, and I'm not sure what the U.S. government could really do to stop them.
By safe, I mean as safe a credit cards, which have several consumer protections in place. It seems like checks are inherently unsafe as your account and routing number are written on them, as well as your name and home address. Credit cards are at least beginning to push chip payments and online services such as PayPal have guarded against double charges (i.e. cashing a check twice).
With credit cards and PayPal, Venmo, etc, I'm trusting a single company that I have a significant history with to not lie or steal from me. That company implements checks to prevent unauthorized charges on their systems.
With checks, it seems like you are handing every individual who handles it, and every individual who can get a picture the ability to clean out your account online.
EDIT 2 (addressing duplication):
Pre-mobile banking the check cashing thief would have to walk into a bank/check cashing store and physically present the check to get money. This made counterfeiting checks harder for 2 reasons
1) Checks are usually printed on special paper and have security features that make it impossible to copy via photocopier. Thus skill and equipment are involved.
2) The counterfeiter must be present in the country to cash the check. Eventually, their luck will run out and they'll get arrested.
Because checks can be cashed via images now, none of the security features are any use, and the counterfeiter can operate out of a country that won't care about check fraud. I was looking for answers that address this type of fraud in particular.