Protect Yourself From Check Fraud
Preventing Check Fraud
Here are steps you can take to protect your financial information.
- When ordering checks, always choose a Trackable delivery method
- With trackable delivery through text or email, you are notified when your order has been placed, when the order has shipped, and when the order has been delivered.
- If your checks are stolen while in transit, or after delivery, you can quickly notify your financial institution.
- Take out-going mail into the post office
- By taking mail into the post office, rather than using unattended, USPS blue collection boxes or your own home mailbox, you decrease the chances of that item being stolen. Any piece of mail which looks like it could contain a check is a target for criminals.
- Use gel pens when writing checks
- Checks stolen from the mail can be ‘washed’, which involves using chemicals to remove the original ink. The payee and the dollar amount are then altered. Using a gel pen to write your checks helps ‘washing’ of the checks more difficult.
- Keep your checks in a safe place
- Always protect your checks and notify your financial institution right away if they are lost or stolen.
- Store checks, deposit slips, monthly and quarterly statements in a secure location. Reconcile your checking statement within 30 days of receiving it to detect any irregularities.
- Never leave your checkbook in your vehicle (whether locked or not).
- Sharing Information
- Never give your checking account number or any other account number to someone you don’t know, especially over the telephone. Be particularly aware of unsolicited phone calls.
- Limit the amount of personal information on your check. DO NOT include your SSN, driver’s license, or telephone numbers on your check.
- Writing or Depositing Checks
- Never endorse a check until you are ready to cash or deposit it.
- Don’t write your credit card number on your check.
- Use dark ink on your checks that can’t be easily erased or covered over.
- Avoid leaving large blank spaces in the check boxes or amount line of the check.
Click here to view an example of how to write a check appropriately.
Take the right precautions to protect yourself against check fraud. Make sure you follow the guidelines provided so you are completely protected by the law if you are a victim of check fraud. It just takes a little more time and effort to protect yourself from fraud.