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The best protection is prevention, helpful tips to prevent check fraud
It’s no secret, fraud and identity theft cases are reported every day. Even when you put tools in place to protect your business, it is difficult to defend yourself against a highly motivated hacker or thief. Although no one is exempt from the threat of fraud, there are ways to protect your business and your assets through simple precautionary measures. When it comes to check fraud, there are many techniques people use to gain access to your money. Writing a check can be convenient, but it can also lead to your information getting into the wrong hands. Something as simple as knowing how to write checks which are difficult to alter can drastically improve your chance of staying safe and make it harder for someone to manipulate and steal your information. Use these guidelines to writing more secure checks that are hard to change:
Use all free space This step is crucial for filling out the amount of the check. Be sure to begin writing numbers as close to the left of the box as possible, and once you are done, draw a line from the last number to the end of the box. This makes it difficult for someone to fill in any numbers before or after the amount. To be safe, make sure to draw a line when there is free space that could be used to manipulate the amount.
Try capital letters Those who commit check fraud will go to extreme lengths to capture your information and money. Capital letters are clearer and usually more difficult to alter on a check.
Keep a record Ordering duplicate checks, or carbon copies, helps you to keep a record of your finances. Having an original copy of a fraudulent check can serve as proof that a check has been altered.
Be consistent Try to use a consistent signature on all of your checks. When you are consistent, it makes it much easier to identify when someone is attempting to manipulate your check.
Make your mark As many of us learn when we first begin writing checks, it is crucial to write with a pen, rather than a pencil or marker, when you fill out a check to make it unalterable. Still, practices like “check washing” use household chemicals to remove the ink on a check. One of the best ways to guard your money is with high security checks that offer counterfeit-evident security features such as a hologram foil bar and heat reactive ink circle These features not only guard against check tampering, they make it almost impossible to duplicate your check. Using unalterable gel ink pen is another safety measure that will help create fraud resistant checks. Security pens are smear-proof, waterproof and fade-proof on most surfaces. Finally, remember to always shred or destroy canceled checks so that they are not at risk of being stolen or forged.
Finally, American Bank Checks offers AARP members a 20% discount on all checks, forms, and accessories, including our complete line of high-security checks featuring foil-holograms, heat-sensitive ink and 25 other security enhancements.
AARP member benefits are provided by third parties, not by AARP or its affiliates. American Bank Checks pays a royalty fee to AARP for the use of its intellectual property. These fees are used for the general purposes of AARP. Some American Bank Checks offers are subject to change and may have restrictions. Please contact American Bank Checks directly for details.
These articles present general information and are for informational purposes only. They are not a substitute for legal, financial, medical, or other professional advice.