Tips for Protecting Your Checking Account

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Check fraud is a serious problem in the United States. You should do all you can to protect unauthorized access to the funds in your checking account. Here are some important tips to follow in this effort:

  • Store your checks, deposit slips, monthly and quarterly statements, and cancelled checks in a secure and locked location.
  • Never leave your checkbook in your vehicle (whether locked or not).
  • Reconcile your checking account soon after receiving your checking statement to detect any irregularities.
  • Never give your checking account number (or any other account number for that matter) to someone you don’t know, especially over the telephone. Be particularly aware of unsolicited phone calls.
  • Unless needed for tax purposes, destroy all old cancelled checks, account statements, deposit tickets and ATM receipts.
  • Examine new check packages carefully for evidence of tampering.
  • Limit the amount of personal information provided on your check. DO NOT include your Social Security Number or driver’s license number on your check.
  • Do not mail bills from an unlocked mailbox.
  • Never endorse a check until you are ready to cash or deposit it.
  • Don’t write your credit card number on your check.
  • Use dark ink on your checks that can’t be easily erased or covered over.
  • Avoid leaving large blank spaces in the check boxes or amount line of the check. Start written dollar amounts as far to the left as possible and put a slash between the cents and the 100 (i.e. Seventy five dollars and 60/100--------). Also, draw a line between the cents value and the right side of the dollar line.
  • Check the number sequence for each pad of checks and make sure each number matches the check register or duplicate slip as it is used.
  • Always verify your check numbers after each shopping trip, paying close attention to the back of the pad of checks.

It is also extremely important to order checks from your financial institution if you have a checking account with them. They take many precautions to provide you with safe and secure checks in an effort to combat any type of counterfeiting and alteration. You will be grateful for the security measures your financial institution provides with their checks in the long-run.