As mentioned before there are many ways to prevent becoming a victim of check fraud most of which fall into three categories (1) maintaining control of your checks blank or written, (2) check security features in the manufacturing of the checks as well as (3) using the right type of ink. We have already cover the type of ink to use, so let's continue with maintaining control and check security features.
Maintaining control of your checks:
It is important to maintain control over the check especially when you send a check through the mail. The key is to prevent the wrong people (criminals) from obtaining your check to alter it any way.
· Do not leave outgoing mail in an unlocked mailbox. Be sure to maintain control of your written checks from the time you write it to the time it goes into the post office or directly to the mail carrier.
· Do not leave the red flag raised. This is an obvious sign saying: Thief, please come over and take a look in my mailbox.
· Install a lock on your mailbox. This will prevent your incoming mail from being stolen.
· Ask your bank if you can pick up your book of checks at the bank branch.
· Be sure to shreds canceled checks and keep books of blank checks in a safe or lock box.
· Examine bank statement after receiving them. It is important to report any check fraud within 30 days of receiving your monthly statement, otherwise the bank does not have to reimburse you for loss.
Check security measures:
Check manufactures help deter check fraud by making checks difficult to copy, alter, or counterfeit by using some of the following security measures:
· Watermarks: Watermarks are made by applying different degrees of pressure during the paper manufacturing process. This offers protection from counterfeiting because copiers and scanners generally cannot accurately copy watermarks.
· Chemical Voids: Chemical voids involve treating check paper in a manner that is not detectable until eradicator chemicals contact the paper. When chemicals are applied, the treatment causes the word "VOID" to appear, making the item nonnegotiable.
If you Google check washing or check fraud you will find a lot of information. Remember to maintain control of your checks when sending them in the mail, use the check security features to your advantage and write your checks with Gel ink. And as always, be sure to use common sense when it comes to your keeping control over your checks and your bank account information. Happy check writing.
Anyone know what Check Washing is?
Check washing is a process where someone steals a check that has been written and erases the ink and rewrites the check to themselves for whatever amount they want. As you can imagine, this can lead to the loss of hundreds and thousands of dollars.
#1 The chemicals: The chemicals that are used can be purchased at your local Walmart. Some of the chemicals on the list are Acetone, Benzene, Bleach and Carbon Tetracloride.
#2 The check itself: Thieves then steal the written checks from mailboxes with the Red Flag up or directly from the postal bag. Then a little bit of spit and polish and your check that was meant to pay your bill is now made out to the thief ready to be cashed.
There are many ways to prevent becoming a victim of check fraud most of which fall into three categories (1) maintaining control of your checks blank or written, (2) check security features in the manufacturing of the checks as well as (3) using the right type of ink (Gel ink is recommended).
Gel ink: It is important to use the right type of ink when writing your checks. Based on recent ink security studies, you should use a gel pen, like the Uniball 207 that uses gel ink that contains tiny particles of color that are trapped into the paper, making check washing a lot more difficult.
Stay tuned for more information on maintaining control and check security features. . . . .
How many of you like to pay bills? Anyone, Anyone? I know paying bills is not the most glamorous or fun thing to do, however it must be done. So, I have a way to streamline your bills so it easier to pay your reoccurring bills. However, before I tell you this, you must remember that you must be responsible about this. Just because you change how you pay your bills, doesn't mean you should not pay the bill. Credit cards can be useful tool, however managing your debt is very important. You will understand more in a minute.
Most of us have reoccurring monthly bills, like electrical, gas, cable and/or cell phone. Most of the companies that offer these services allow for payment with a credit card at a predetermined time. You can set up payments for all of these bills on one credit card to be paid on the due date. This way your bills will be paid on time and at the end of the month you only have to pay one bill, the credit card bill. The company receives your payment on time - they are happy. You spent less time paying the bill - you are happy.
Many credit cards offer rewards for every dollar spent. You may be able to pay these reoccurring bills and be saving points up to turn into cash back or airline tickets or whatever the case may be. That is quite a nifty benefit to simply paying your bills.
Also consider only using this one credit card for these reoccurring monthly bills. Be sure to keep this credit card at home in a safe place. The reason for this is to prevent the credit card information for being stolen or comprised. It is unlikely the companies you are paying will allow you credit card information to be compromised. On the flip side, if you are using the same credit card for your daily purchases, here, there and everywhere, there is a good chance it will be compromised. Then you will have the pleasure of calling all the companies to give them the new credit card number. That does not sound like a time saver to me.
If you are able to set routine up of paying your bills with one credit card and you are responsibly pay your credit card bill completely every month not only will you have paid your bills in less time, but you may also see positive effects on your credit score and report. As we all know, paying your bills consistently in full and on time is important to creating a good credit history which translates to good credit score and related interest rates on future purchases. Good stuff.
So let's review: By setting up your reoccurring bills on a designated credit card you will consistently pay you bills on time, you will spend less time paying the bills, you may be able to reap rewards you didn't even know about and your credit history of paying bills on time will be easier to maintain and it may improve your credit score. Wow!
Page Maintained by: Jennifer Shulman
Jennifer is committed to helping her clients as well as other folks improve their daily financial circumstances by providing simple financial solutions.