Charlie Breitrose
MetroWest Daily News
January 2, 2009

Ariel Sarousi felt surprised and dismayed when asked to provide a fingerprint to cash a check at a Framingham Bank of America branch on Monday.

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The 25-year-old Framingham native, who lives in Virginia, brought a rent check to the Bank of America branch on Beacon Street. He does not have an account with the bank, but the check came from a Bank of America account.

“They asked for an ID, which I provided, and after that they brought out an ink pad,” Sarousi said. “I asked why, and they said they wanted to take a fingerprint. I said, ‘Get out! Please!’ and they said, ‘No, we’re serious.”‘

Sarousi said he had other forms of identification and that should be enough to cash a check.

“I said, ‘You can’t expect me to provide fingerprints to cash a check,”‘ Sarousi said. “I took my check and left.

Anne Pace, a Bank of America spokeswoman, said the company does not comment on individual customer situations. She also said she did not have information on the use of fingerprints.

The Massachusetts Bankers Association has a program to install thumbprint touch pads, intended to deter people passing counterfeit or fraudulent checks, according to the organization’s Web site.

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