Prevent Check Fraud on Your Personal Accounts
Learn the basics of check fraud protection so you can safeguard your accounts
As a conscious consumer, it's important to be aware of check fraud. You can protect yourself by being vigilant and looking for signs to ensure your personal checks aren't at risk of alteration or cloning so that the amount or payee is changed. Use these helpful guidelines for check fraud prevention, and ask a trusted financial advisor for more detailed information if you are concerned about a specific check or series of checks.
How to protect your own checks from check fraud
Guarding your personal banking information is essential to preventing check fraud on your personal or business checking account. Here are some tips you can follow to prevent check fraud from happening to you:
- Reduce your reliance on checks by paying with a debit or credit card or using online banking.
- Use online banking to routinely review your account activity, including viewing images of checks that have been cashed.
- Store blank checks in a secure, locked location. Never leave them in a vehicle or open desk.
- Reconcile your statement when you receive it. If there are any problems, notify your bank immediately to avoid the monetary losses that accompany victims of check fraud.
- Never give out your account number to anyone.
- File canceled checks, account statements or other receipts that may contain your account number, as some experts recommend keeping these documents as proof of payment. Shred these when no longer needed for record-keeping.
- Review ordered checks as soon as you receive them to be sure none are missing.
- Mail bills from the Post Office for additional security.
- Limit personal information like Social Security Numbers or phone numbers on your checks.
- Don't leave blank spaces on the lines for payee or amount.
- Use gel pens rather than ballpoint as the ink is more difficult to wash out with acetone and other check bleaching chemicals.
- Don't endorse a check until you are about to cash or deposit it at the bank.
Carefully guarding personal information is the most important step in preventing check fraud
By following the check fraud prevention tips above, you can better safeguard your personal information. Another smart idea is to bank with Citizens Bank. We provide FDIC insurance on your bank accounts and can help in the prevention of check fraud. For more information on how to increase your check fraud protection, call 1-877-360-2472 to speak with a customer service representative. Our checking accounts also come with high-quality secure checks and ordering so you can be sure your information is safe.