In a world with direct deposit, digital bill pay, and e-statements, check fraud is one of the easiest ways for thieves to steal your money.
The best step you can take to protect yourself from check fraud is to use them sparingly. If you can, we recommend using digital payment methods instead of writing checks.
Read on for a short list of tips for frequent checkbook users
- Don’t put checks in your residential mailbox. Your mailbox is basically an unlocked door and you can count on criminals taking advantage of it.
Instead, use a P.O. Box or drop them in a U.S. postal box. This way, your checks will be in a secure place while they wait to be delivered.
- Don’t leave your checkbook in your car. Or your purse. While these locations may seem private and secure, thieves are more likely to swipe from a purse or a car than a house.
Instead, keep your checkbook at your house. If you really need to write a check on the run, just take one and leave the book at home.
- Don’t throw that bank statement away! When check fraud does occur, many people don’t realize it at first because they don’t examine their account statements.
Instead, open your statement and compare it to your checkbook balance. According to a U.S. law (Article 3, Section 406 of the Uniform Commercial code), if you don’t notify your bank of a suspicious transaction within 30 days of the transaction date, your bank doesn’t have to refund you!
Check users and non-check users alike should always remember to destroy anything with your account information on it before you throw it away.