Checking account fraud happens more often than people think. In fact, over 500 million checks are forged each year in the US. If you are not careful you can easily become a victim to this crime. Luckily, there are a couple things that you can do to protect yourself from checking account fraud. Here are some things you should do.
1. Protect Your Checks
You should never leave your checkbook lying around the house, or in your car. You should protect your checkbook like you would cash or your credit card. Someone could easily take you checkbook and write checks under your name, or get your bank account information and use it for their benefit. This is why you should keep your checks in a safe place, and only use them when you have to.
2. Use Online Bill Pay
Many banks have started using a process called online bill pay. This allows you to send bills from your checking account. The great thing about this option is that the bank can verify the check so that you are sure that the check came from you. This allows you to set your checkbook aside and just have the bank do the work for you.
3. Use Online Banking
With online banking you can see everything that is going on in your bank account. No longer do you have to keep track of every penny, you can see the activity of your account as often as you want. The bank may not always catch problems since they don’t know what purchases you did and didn’t make. Instead, you should be checking frequently to make sure that you authorized every transaction and if there are any problems, call the bank immediately.
4. Never Print Your SSN On Your Checks
You should use the bare minimum information on your checks. Some people think it is best if they print their SSN on their checks, but this can get you into a world of trouble. All the seller needs for your check is a way to contact you, your bank number and the amount you wrote the check for. Don’t give anyone more information that is necessary. In addition, never give out this information to anyone unless your bank tells you to.
By doing these simple things you can protect yourself from bank fraud. If you ever have any concerns or are worried that you might have been victimized, talk to a place like Visterra Credit Union right away. They have precautions set in place to protect you.