Check printing is still prevalent today. In a variety of circumstances, a paper check is a practical payment alternative. Even in today’s high-tech world, processing checks is affordable for both buyers and sellers, and they still work. Check fraud has surged despite a drop in check writing. This post is meant to teach you how to secure payments if you are still accepting payment via paper check.
Ever notice how many private details are on your personal checks? The information on your checks includes your name, address, account and routing numbers, and in certain situations, even your phone number. In addition, it’s occasionally necessary to include your social security number or driver’s license number on a check, which only serves to exacerbate the situation. You definitely wouldn’t want one of your bank checks to get into the wrong hands with such a wealth of personal information.
The idea is to make your checking account as secure as possible by taking a few simple safeguards since many people find it impossible to completely do away with checks. This article provides information on how to increase the security of your check payments. Read on to find out more Reasons.
Reasons Checks Can Be Harmful
- Inappropriate check disposal
You may have grounds for fear even if you are mailing a check to a dependable friend or family member. People may now deposit checks into their bank accounts with only a click of their phone’s camera, thanks to the simplicity of mobile deposit. But after that, what happens to the check? You won’t have any assurance that whoever you send a check to will swiftly destroy it once it has been deposited, but you can only hope. It may be quite simple for a criminal to dig the check out of the garbage and take your account number, routing number, and personal information if they simply throw the check-in without destroying it.
- Possibility of mail theft
Although sending a check by mail is generally seen as safe, mail theft is a persistent problem that the U.S. Postal Service attempts to prevent, with thousands of mail thieves being apprehended each year.
- There are too many people viewing your private data
You truly have no idea who will be handling your check after it gets to its destination when you mail it in to pay a payment. That means a large number of people could potentially have access to your account information and personal data.
- Unlike credit cards, checks don’t provide the same level of security
If someone takes money from your checking account, you have two days to report the theft, or you might be held liable for up to $500 in fraudulent charges. Furthermore, you risk being held responsible for every amount if you don’t disclose the fraud within 60 days. Although some financial institutions do provide their customers with more comprehensive protection against check-related fraud, this is not something that is required by law.
You might be unsure whether you ought to use paper checks, given the dangers attached to them. Although using a personal check can be risky, there are still many situations where it is the best option. Paying via check, for instance, can assist you in avoiding extra costs that some companies and governmental entities impose on credit card transactions. Plumbing companies, florists, and photographers are just a few examples of small businesses and independent contractors who prefer checks over credit card payments.
The fact that checks can end up in the wrong hands is an issue. A criminal might cause a lot of harm if they manage to get their hands on one of your checks. They may make fake checks to steal money from your account, or they could use your account details to make online purchases utilizing “electronic check” payment methods.
Tips on How to Secure Your Checking Account
Since many people find it impossible to do away with checks completely, the goal is to keep your checking account as secure as you can with a few simple steps. Here are some pointers to lessen the risks associated with paper checks:
- Checkbooks should never be carried around; instead, they should be kept secure at home. Additionally, be sure to dispose of used checkbooks and checks properly. They should be shredded to protect your private information.
- To prevent someone from cashing your check, never mark this field (“pay to the order of” line) as “cash” or leave it empty. When writing your check, always include a clear definition on the “pay to the order of” line. Be sure to write a specific name or business address on your checks.
- It is advisable to monitor your bank accounts frequently and be sure to report any suspicious activity immediately. It’s simple to check your accounts daily using online and mobile banking and many banks let you set up automated notifications to notify you of any erroneous logins or transactions.
- When feasible, pay your bills online. By entering into your online account and making a one-time payment, you can pay quite a lot of service providers. You can also use your bank’s online bill-pay service, if it is available, or schedule recurring payments with your service providers
- Make electronic P2P payments. Consider using a person-to-person payment platform like PayPal, Payoneer, or Venmo to send money online for gift payments rather than writing out checks. Using these services to pay contractors who don’t accept credit cards may potentially be an alternative
- Securely send checks. Should you have to mail a check, tuck it away in the envelope with the other papers or cover it with a security envelope. You should also refrain from sending checks from your personal mailbox at home. Going to the post office or using a government Postal Service mailbox is safer given that they are frequently a great deal more secure than a private mailbox.
- Monitor your checks. You should check your account after writing a check payment to ensure the check has been cashed. Call the recipient of the check to make sure they received it if you see that a service provider or a loved one hasn’t cashed it. Contact your bank to have a stop payment put on the check if it looks like it was lost in the mail.
To Sum It Up
It’s important to be aware of the risks that checks present even when their frequent use is required. By writing fewer checks, ensuring their delivery safely, and taking the time to monitor your account’s activity, you may help create a protection mechanism against check fraud.
Assessing the security measures you have already put in place will help you identify areas where there is room for improvement as you start to think about how to safeguard checks. SmartPayables has the security needed to safely process check payments.
This is a Sponsored Post – the author has requested this post be shared on WE magazine for Women and WE were compensated for sharing.
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