Checking account fraud is one of the fastest growing crimes in the nation according to law enforcement officials. The Federal Reserve estimates that losses resulting from this crime will hit $10 billion this year.
New technology is a prime reason for the rapid growth of this crime. Inexpensive computer programs, scanners and improved printers and copying technology make it easier than even for thieves to set up a fraudulent check sting.
What can you do to protect yourself?
Never respond to unsolicited requests for your checking account, social security or other financial information.
Safeguard your checks at home and on the road.
Shred unused checks before disposal; even if they are from a closed account.
Never have your social security or drivers license number preprinted on your checks.
When mailing checks, use a heavy envelope or wrap checks in paper to conceal them from view.
Know how many checks you ordered; verify your order and accuracy of the information on your checks.
Check your balance frequently and promptly review and reconcile checking account statements for accuracy and fraud.
Notify your bank and post office if newly ordered checks or routine bank statements don't arrive in a timely manner.
Immediately notify your bank and file a police report if any checks are stolen and close compromised accounts.
If you live in a state that uses your social security number as your driver's license number, request an alternative random number.
Additional information on Phising Scams, Identity Theft and Safe Internet Banking can be found here: