Close this search box.

Table of Contents



Kiting is a fraudulent financial practice that involves the deliberate issuance of a check with insufficient funds, intending to take advantage of the time it takes for the check to clear. Typically, the individual or company at fault writes checks between different banks to create the appearance of available funds. This deceptive act is illegal and punishable by law.


The phonetic pronunciation of the keyword “Kiting” is /ˈkaɪtɪŋ/.

Key Takeaways

  1. Wind and kite control: Kiting requires understanding and effectively managing the wind, along with maneuvering the kite for efficient flight. This involves proper kite launching and landing, as well as maintaining flight control in various wind conditions.
  2. Safety and responsibility: Ensuring personal and public safety is paramount in kiting. This includes using appropriate safety gear, understanding the risks and potential hazards, following local kiting rules, and always being aware of your surroundings and other individuals in the area.
  3. Techniques and styles: There are a wide variety of kite types and disciplines, such as single-line kites, dual-line kites, and power kites. Each type offers a different flying experience and requires specific skills to master. Additionally, kiteboarding, kite landboarding, and snowkiting are popular sports that combine kiting with boardsports.


Kiting is an important term in business and finance as it refers to a fraudulent practice where funds are transferred between different accounts to create an illusion of higher cash balances than what truly exists. This deceptive strategy may be used by individuals or companies to artificially inflate their financial statements, potentially misleading stakeholders, investors, and regulators. The significance of understanding and addressing kiting lies in ensuring financial transparency, maintaining trust in financial markets, and promoting ethical business practices. Detecting and preventing kiting is crucial to protect individuals and entities from financial loss and to preserve the integrity of financial systems.


Kiting is a financial scheme primarily aimed at manipulating an institution’s financial records to create the illusion of enhanced liquidity, typically by exploiting the float—the time difference between when a deposit is recorded and when it is cleared by the bank. Essentially, it is an illegal and fraudulent act that is executed to disguise a shortfall within a company’s accounts or to artificially boost the account balance. In some cases, kiting is executed by writing a check from one account and immediately depositing it in another account, all the while knowing that the balance in the first account is insufficient to cover the value of the check. By doing so, an individual or company can take advantage of this temporary boost in funds and improve the appearance of their financial stability. The main purpose of kiting is to misrepresent financial health and mask account deficiencies, which in turn may allow a company to continue to obtain credit or additional financing. Moreover, individuals may use kiting strategies to temporarily float funds between accounts and maintain a false appearance of solvency. It’s important to note that kiting is illegal and can lead to severe consequences, including criminal charges, financial penalties, and damage to one’s reputation. Financial institutions and auditors are always on the lookout for kiting activities, employing strict internal controls and monitoring procedures to identify and address this type of fraudulent behavior promptly. By understanding the purpose and implications of kiting, it becomes apparent that maintaining transparency and relying on ethical financial practices is crucial for the long-term success and stability of any individual or organization in the world of business and finance.


Kiting refers to the fraudulent practice of manipulating a financial transaction or account balances to make it appear that funds are actually available when, in reality, they are not. This act usually involves the use of floating checks or intentionally taking advantage of the time taken to process transactions between two financial institutions. Here are three real-world examples: 1. Check Kiting: A person has two bank accounts: Account A and Account B. The person writes a check for $500 from Account A to Account B, despite having insufficient funds in Account A. They then deposit the check into Account B, making it appear that they have an additional $500 in Account B. Before the banks can discover the discrepancy in Account A, the person writes another check from Account B to Account A, effectively creating a cycle of checks that “float” between the two accounts. The person takes advantage of this cycle to withdraw or spend money that does not actually exist. 2. Corporate Kiting: A company might use kiting when it faces cash flow issues. For example, the company could write a check for $10,000 from its account at Bank A and deposit it at Bank B, even though it knows there’s not enough money in the account at Bank A to cover the check. By the time Bank B realizes that the check from Bank A is insufficient, the company quickly transfers funds from another source to Bank A to cover the check and avoid detection. 3. Credit Card Kiting: A person is experiencing credit card debt in two different credit cards: Credit Card A and Credit Card B. The person takes a cash advance from Credit Card A to pay the balance on Credit Card B. After a while, they take a cash advance from Credit Card B to pay the balance on Credit Card A, creating a cycle that continues to shift the debt between the two cards without actually paying it off. This practice exploits the interest-free period on credit card advances to delay payment and avoid overdue penalties.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is kiting in finance and business?
Kiting is a fraudulent financial practice that involves the manipulation and exploitation of financial transactions, often between two or more banks, to gain access to funds temporarily without having the necessary funds to cover the transaction. The term is derived from the idea of a check “floating” or “flying” between banks, like a kite in the air, before actually being processed and cleared.
How does kiting work?
Kiting usually involves writing a check from one bank account without sufficient funds, depositing it into another bank account, and then using the funds from the second account before the check is cleared. The goal is to create the illusion of having money in the account, while in reality, there are no funds to cover the check. It can also be done by manipulating electronic transfers or using credit cards.
Is kiting illegal?
Yes, kiting is an illegal financial practice and is considered a form of bank fraud, embezzlement, or larceny. Individuals caught engaging in kiting can face severe legal repercussions, such as fines, imprisonment, or both.
What are the risks associated with kiting?
The risks associated with kiting include detection by banks, financial loss, potential legal action, and damage to one’s reputation or credit score. Banks have systems in place to detect suspicious transactions that may indicate kiting, and if caught, an individual may face serious consequences.
How do banks and other financial institutions prevent kiting?
Banks and financial institutions have implemented various measures to prevent kiting, such as tracking and analyzing account transactions for unusual patterns, utilizing automated systems to monitor account activity, shortening the time frame for clearing checks, and training employees to recognize signs of kiting. Additionally, they may collaborate with law enforcement to investigate cases of suspected kiting.
Are there any legitimate situations in which kiting could be mistaken for a legal transaction?
Yes, businesses or individuals might inadvertently engage in transactions that resemble kiting without intending to commit fraud. For example, a timing mismatch between inflows and outflows of cash might create a temporary shortage, leading to a bank account being overdrawn. Such instances can usually be resolved by providing evidence that the transactions were legitimate and not an attempt to defraud the bank.
How can businesses and individuals avoid being accused of kiting?
To avoid being accused of kiting, businesses and individuals should always maintain accurate and up-to-date records of their account balances, avoid writing checks or making transactions when insufficient funds are available to cover them, and promptly rectify any discrepancies or negative balances with their banks. If there are legitimate cash flow timing issues, proactive communication with the bank and proper documentation can help explain and resolve the situation.

Related Finance Terms

Sources for More Information

About Due

Due makes it easier to retire on your terms. We give you a realistic view on exactly where you’re at financially so when you retire you know how much money you’ll get each month. Get started today.

Due Fact-Checking Standards and Processes

To ensure we’re putting out the highest content standards, we sought out the help of certified financial experts and accredited individuals to verify our advice. We also rely on them for the most up to date information and data to make sure our in-depth research has the facts right, for today… Not yesterday. Our financial expert review board allows our readers to not only trust the information they are reading but to act on it as well. Most of our authors are CFP (Certified Financial Planners) or CRPC (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) certified and all have college degrees. Learn more about annuities, retirement advice and take the correct steps towards financial freedom and knowing exactly where you stand today. Learn everything about our top-notch financial expert reviews below… Learn More