Scam Alert: Stop check fraud

Alicia Colombo

Checks are the payment method most often targeted for fraud. Types of check fraud include:

  • Forgery – Signing a check without authorization or endorsing a check not payable to the endorser
  • Theft – Stealing checks to use for fraudulent purposes
  • Washing – Using chemicals to remove information written on a check
  • Counterfeiting – Illegally printing checks using information from the victim’s account

The best protection against check fraud is vigilance. Follow these tips to keep your money safe:

  • Protect your checks – Checks are relatively easy to reproduce, so protect your bank account and personal information. Keep important documents, including checks and bank statements, locked up at home. Never leave your checkbook out in public or in a car.
  • Monitor your accounts – Regularly reconcile your bank statements or online bank account(s) to spot fraudulent transactions. Set up text alerts for checks drawn on your account over a certain dollar amount.
  • Prevent “check washing” – Write your checks using “fraud-prevention pens,” which contain ink that is more difficult to remove or change.
  • Don’t mail in a mailbox – Thieves can steal checks from a mailbox. Mail checks at the post office, if possible, or try place in a mailbox shortly before the next posted pickup time.
Categories: Finances Milestones eNews