Keep Your Checks Safe
Personal checks are still an important method of making payments. Paper checks provide customers with an easy and convenient tool to make payments when they prefer not to use digital technology, or at times when technology is not an option. Unfortunately, paper checks are also subject to theft and fraud.
Recently, there has been a rise in reported thefts of checks from home postal boxes and even from locked community postal boxes. Fraudsters then alter checks and redirect payments to themselves. Sending paper checks through the mail increases your risk because it opens the door to possible theft and stolen funds.
Pay attention to these important safety tips if you need to mail a check.
Check Safety Tips
- Try to avoid mailing checks but if you need to, mail your checks by taking them to the post office and handing them to a clerk or depositing them into a secure mailbox inside the facility.
- Be sure to wrap the check or use a heavy envelope so it is not obvious that a check is inside.
- Complete your check using a security or fraud prevention pen to make fraud more difficult.
Good General Practices for Check Safety
Take a few precautions to help safeguard your information and reduce your risk of fraud with the use of personal checks.
- Be sure to fill out the “payee” line and include the current date on every check you write.
- Limit the information pre-printed on your check to just your name and address. Avoid including your birth date, telephone or any personally identifying numbers.
- Keep your checks in a safe place – don’t carry them around with you or leave them in the car.
- Monitor your bank account activity regularly so you will know immediately if something has gone wrong.
Consider making digital payments with Burke & Herbert Online Banking whenever possible. To make payments to individuals, use the Burke & Herbert Bank Online Banking feature to have a check mailed from the Bank directly to your recipient.
To learn more about preventing mail theft, check out opens in a new windowtips from the United States Postal Service.