Check companies have developed a number of new strategies to prevent check fraud. Unfortunately, it is still a major problem in the United States and Europe. A recent study from J.P. Morgan found that 82% of companies found that check fraud was the most common financial crime that affected their organization. Fortunately, fewer of these attempts are successful, because consumers have taken new measures to protect themselves.
What Can You Do to Avoid Being the Victim of Check Fraud?
Check fraud is a serious problem that affects millions of people and businesses each year. The problem costs the United States economy an estimated $19 billion annually. You will need to be diligent about protecting yourself.
There are a variety of things that you can do to fight check fraud. Here are some ways that you can reduce the risk while writing checks.
Use All Space on the Check
Scammers often try to increase the figures of stolen checks. You will want to make sure that you take up all the space so that they can’t do so. Start by writing from the far left side of each space and draw a line at the end. This makes it difficult for them to add numbers to the check.
Choose Checks Carefully
You will want to make sure that you buy checks that are designed to limit the risks of check fraud. You may want to scrap your old fashioned checks and buy ones such as those at https://www.buy-cheap-checks.com/.
Start With a New Check for Mistakes
We have probably all made simple mistakes when writing checks. You can make small changes and initial them, but it is much safer to start from scratch. A scammer could copy your initials, cross out the figure and add a new one.
Most experts recommend writing “VOID” across the old check so that it can’t be cashed. However, it is much safer to start over with a new one in case the scammer is able to remove the words with a laser printer or weak acid solution.
Keep Your Signature Consistent
You want to keep your signature as consistent as possible. You want to make sure that your bank can identify your signature easily so they can notice fraud.
Write in Permanent Ink
It should be obvious that it is a bad idea to write a check in pencil. However, many bank tellers have said that people still do it. You want to avoid doing so, because it exposes you to the risk of fraud.
Know What to Write for the Payees Name
You should always make sure that you have the name of the person that you are writing the check to. You should never write it out to “cash”, because anyone can put it into their own account. You also should write the check to the company name instead of the owner of the business if possible. It is easier for someone with a similar name of a forged ID to cash the check themselves it if is written to an individual.