A check is a medium that gives permission to the bank to pass money to the drawee that is written and authorized by the drawer. The amount is then debited from the account of the drawer. Most check need to be presented within six months from the date they were drawn.
But, like all other means of funds transfer, checks are vulnerable to theft and deception. Here are some steps you can take to safeguard your transactions and of course, your hard-earned money.
Cross Checks to Make it Clear for Whom
To protect a check from any fraud, one can put two lines on the extreme side of the check. Two parallel lines on the corner of the check signify that no person can receive cash against the check. But the amount will be transferred through an account. This helps you identify in which account the money will be transferred. You can secure the check better, if you write nontransferable or account payee only in between the two lines. This will help the check in going into the account of the drawee and will not be transferred to anyone else’s account.
Don’t Drop in Unattended Mailboxes
Sometimes you have to pay bills by mail. In that case, avoid using mailboxes. Because once you leave them in mailboxes they remain unattended for a long time. Thieves are in search of such acts when they can take away your checks. To be more protective, don’t leave your checks in the mailbox, rather make sure you drop or submit them by yourself in the post office.
If you suspect that a check has been altered, it is important to call the bank or inform your account manager immediately. Checks can be altered in ways that your signature can be copied and the amount can be increased. You are not responsible for any exceeding amount in the check unless you were not responsible while writing the check.
There are some more useful tips that one must keep in mind before giving out checks-
- Keep checks in a secure and reliable place. The checks should not be easily available to anyone. Their security is of utter importance. Treat them as cash and make sure they are not kept somewhere which is easily available to fraudsters.
- Go through your bank accounts every month and take care of every detail. Anything that looks suspicious to you must be checked in detail. If there are some transactions that were not performed by you, you must immediately inform your bank and stop that account to keep further fraud at bay.
- Once an account is closed, make sure all the unused checks are destroyed or discarded.
- Always prefer using electronic ways of payment a preferred option. It is a safe and fast. Keep checks as the last option. This might help you till a lot of extent.
- While giving checks to people make sure the dates and amount are correctly written. Everything stated on the check must be clear and true. Anything that is vague gives the thief a chance to play with your bank accounts.
Apply these basic tips for protecting your checks from fraud and abuse.