Check fraud is one of the oldest forms of payment fraud, and among the most popular among criminals. As technology has made it easier for fraudsters to create realistic counterfeit checks and false identification, check fraud continues to be one of the biggest challenges for businesses, financial institutions, and law enforcement.
What Can You Do?
- Implement Positive Pay. It's the most effective way to identify check fraud.
- Safeguard incoming and outgoing mail. If regular statements or bills fail to reach you, call the biller to find out why. Put outgoing mail in a secure mailbox.
- Shred unwanted documents that contain sensitive information before disposing of them, including junk mail, financial solicitations, bank statements, paid checks, doctor bills and insurance documents.
- Reconcile monthly statements ASAP. Report questionable activity immediately to head off any additional fraud.
- Perform research before giving checks to any unfamiliar charities or organizations.
- Pay bills online to reduce your check volume in circulation.
- Keep your check stock locked up at all times. When checks are printed, every check should be accounted for, including voided, jammed and cancelled checks.
- Using your City National Visa Check Card to pay for purchases is quicker than writing checks and also reduces your check volume in circulation.
- Use gel pens that indicate they are designed to help prevent check fraud on the label. Normal pens use pigments that dissolve in water, allowing for "check washing."
- Never give your account number or other personal information to someone you do not know. Personal information obtained on the phone, over the Internet, on e-mail or by other means can be used to create fraudulent checks and facilitate identity theft.
- Use enhanced check stock with embedded security features.
- Do not preprint personal information such as driver's license number, social security number or phone number on your checks.
- Do not write the complete account number of a credit card on your check.