Did you know that 1.2 million fraudulent checks are written each day? Today more
than ever, it’s important to educate yourself on check
safety and how to practice it daily.
These tips will teach you how to use a check securely:
How to Void a Check.
A voided check means that a check that has been disabled and is no longer
available to cash or deposit. To void a check, write the word “VOID” clearly in
large letters on the face of the check. It is a good practice to write “VOID”
in two places; first, in the payment amount box and, second, in the signature
line. This will disable anyone from filling out these vital components. Make
sure that you also record the check as voided in your register.
How to Cancel a Check.
To cancel a check, you must contact your financial institution. They will
request an oral or written request to stop payment. You will need to have the
check number and amount of the check ready when submitting this request. To be
sure that the check was cancelled, request confirmation from your financial
institution. A cancellation fee from your financial institution may apply.
Post-dating a check means writing a future date on the check. This often occurs
when someone wants the recipient of the check to wait until a later date to
cash or deposit the check. When giving a post-dated check to someone,
coordinate the date with them to ensure that it will be cashed or deposited in
a timely manner. When receiving a post-dated check, make sure that it’s from
someone you trust. It is illegal to write a post-dated check knowing that the
funds will not be available. In certain cases, be aware that you may be able to
cash or deposit a post-dated check prior to the future date if necessary.
Ordering Checks Securely.
When ordering checks, confirm that all your information is
accurate. This includes your name, address, account number, and routing number.
Never provide your social security number as part of placing an online or
direct mail check order. Make sure that the website you’re ordering checks from
begins with https instead of http, which helps to ensure the server is secure
and contains a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) with a digital certificate from a
third-party vendor such as GlobalSign. You may also want to consider adding a
security service to your check order, such as EZShield. Reputable companies such as
Checks Unlimited will utilize these safety features in addition to others.
Sending Checks in the Mail Safely.
When sending a check in the mail, make sure to always write in the name of the
payee. This first step makes it difficult for someone else to cash or deposit
the check. Next, conceal the check within the envelope. This can be easily
achieved by folding a piece of paper around it. Also, dropping the letter off
at a post office rather than leaving it in the outgoing mail of your home is
another safety tip. Additional steps may also be taken such as utilizing a
tracking service or disabling the check from being cashed by endorsing it as
“deposit only” on the back so it can only be deposited into a bank account.
Safe Disposal or Shredding of Checks.
Prior to disposing a check, it is a good idea to redact the personal
information and account information on your check, making such information
obscure and unreadable. To help you with this, see
Guard Your ID Stamp. When it comes to disposing of checks, another idea
is to shred them. This quick and easy step will help to protect you from
identity theft. If shredding is unavailable, you may cut up the check, but make
sure to cut lengthwise through personal and private information such as your
name, account number, and routing number. For extra security, dispose of the
clippings separately to make it more difficult for anyone attempting to piece