How To Protect Yourself From Check Fraud

The single biggest mistake that most consumers make
with regard to check fraud is thinking that it could not
happen to them. New laws place consumers at greater
risk for bearing the responsibility of check fraud
perpetrated against them, if they fail to report the
fraud within 30 days.

It all adds up to the importance of paying attention to
a number of common-sense practices:

* Don't leave a blank space when writing out dollar

* Avoid abbreviations. ("IRS," for example, can
easily be changed to "MRS.")

* Pick up checks from your mailbox promptly.

* Order checks from your bank. Though more
costly than mail-order firms, checks ordered from
your bank are harder to alter.

* Protect your deposit slips. A common scam
involves con artists who deposit worthless checks
into your account, getting some of the "deposit"
back as cash.

* Review all cancelled checks, to be sure that
they have not been altered. Report any
irregularities promptly.

BONUS TIP for business owners: Keep signatures
of authorized check users out of the public eye.
Consider a fake signature on your company's
direct-mail solicitations.

Source: Marjory Abrams, in
"Bottom Line Personal" (adapted)

Tips courtesy of Magazine --

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