How to Protect Your Banking Account from Check Fraud

Check fraud can mean one of two things: the scammer forges or alters a check you write, or issues a fake check to you. Either way, it’s bad news for your finances. Starting the day you open a bank account online, there are things you can do to protect yourself from check fraud. Closely monitoring your statements and transaction activity is the best way to safeguard the checks you’ve written. Also, examining checks you receive can help you avoid being duped by a bad check.

Ensuring checks you write aren’t compromised

While you can’t absolutely guarantee that check fraud won’t occur, you can greatly reduce the likelihood by:

  1. Storing your checks securely. Don’t leave a blank checkbook in your car or in a common spot at work, for example.
  2. Writing fewer checks. Choose cash, debit cards or credit cards instead.
  3. Opening your checking account online daily and closely reviewing transaction details.
  4. Filling in each check completely. Any blank space, particularly on the amount line, can leave you vulnerable to someone withdrawing more from your account than you intended.
  5. Inspecting new checks to be sure none are missing when they arrive.

Looking for indications that a check written to you is bad

It can be very frustrating to discover that a check you tried to deposit bounced because of something disingenuous. These signs can indicate a suspicious check:

  1. The check lacks an address.
  2. There are hand-written changes to a check that is printed.
  3. The check is missing an authorized signature.
  4. The bank account and routing numbers at the bottom are shiny. (Ink used on credible checks is not glossy.)
  5. The check numbers on the top and bottom of the check don’t match.

Find other ways to protect yourself when you open a checking account online

You are the best defender of your banking accounts. Being vigilant with your money and taking a careful look at checks you receive can help you protect your funds from would-be scam artists. When you open a bank account online, be sure to read the online bank security policy to learn the other ways that your information is safeguarded.

Contributed content was created and provided by RBS Citizens Financial Group.


How to Protect Your Banking Account from Check Fraud — 2 Comments

  1. Those are some good tips. It sucks when you have the money for your retirement options then all of a sudden they are all gone because of fraud. So i suggest reading this blog again and taking notes to put on your work desk as a reminder. Or would you just rather bookmark this one?

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