Three Tips For Guarding Against Check Fraud

dreamstime_xxl_18110450In a previous blog post, we briefly discussed the many faces of bank fraud, which occurs when a person or group obtains money or other assets from a bank or other financial institution using illegal means. Among the more common types of bank fraud is check fraud, which includes the modification, theft, and forgery of checks. For example, a criminal might steal a victim’s checkbook and proceed to write fraudulent checks. Other crimes include changing check values or payees, check counterfeiting, and depositing checks without having the authorization to do so. Keep these tips in mind to guard yourself against check fraud:

  1. Stay Balanced

Keeping a balanced checkbook will help you more readily identify fraud within your account because you will be able to immediately notice any missing funds. It is important to reconcile your bank statement each month to ensure that no fraud is occurring.

  1. Fill Out Checks Completely

Leaving space makes it easier to alter your check. When filling out a check, make sure to fill it out completely without leaving any extra room, especially within the fields for payee name, numerical amount, and amount in words.  It’s also safe practice to only sign a check once it is completely filled out.

  1. Keep Checks Safe

Store your checks in a safe place when you aren’t using them. A document safe or lockable filing cabinet are great at-home options, and when out of the house, you should keep your checks securely on your person rather than in your vehicle. Invest in a locking mailbox if you don’t already have one.

If you’re facing a check fraud or any other bank fraud charge in the Newark area, contact the Law Offices of Robert J. DeGroot. We have more than forty years of experience providing trusted defense against both state and federal charges.