Writing a check may seem like one of the easiest things in the world. The problem is that there are a lot of fraudsters out there and they will do everything they can to take advantage of a check mistake and you may even lose out financially because of it. If you have been the victim of fraud before then you will know this all too well, and it can even go against you on your credit report. Take a look below to find out more.
How to Stay Safe and Prevent Fraud When Writing Checks
Use Black Ink
Security is incredibly important when writing a check. Make sure that you use black gel ink where possible. This is because it is resistant to check-washing. Check-washing is when a fraudster uses a chemical, such as acetone to erase certain parts of the check. This could be the payee or even the amount. If you don’t have access to a black gel pen then a fountain pen with black ink would work just fine.
Honest Mistakes can be Costly
When writing out a check, you may find that you make a mistake. Sometimes these mistakes can be fixed, but if you can’t fix the mistake then don’t scribble it out. Write VOID across the front and write out a new one. When you do it like this, even if the old check is found, it cannot be used. It is a good idea to run any old checks through a paper shredder if possible before you dispose of it.
Write your numerals as close to the currency sign as you can. If you do not do this, then it’s very easy for someone to add an extra number in front and they can easily change the amount of the check by doing this. When you have done that, draw a line at the end of the amount. This is so people cannot add any numbers after the ones you have written down.
Signing the Check
It’s a good idea for you to sign your check just before you take it to your local Walmart check cashing point. This is because if you happen to lose your check along the way, it makes it impossible for someone to cash it because they don’t have your signature. Never sign a blank check because someone could use this illegally, and avoid scrawling it fast as well. Try and add some swirls, unique loops and letters that are different sizes. This will make it much harder to forge. It is vitally important that you keep it very similar to the signature that you have, however, or it may not be sent properly. The details you add should be very small, and act as a deterrent as opposed to a fool-proof security measure.
Of course, the chances of you becoming a victim of fraud are very slim. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a chance, however, and it does help to try and protect yourself by making sure that you don’t make yourself an easy target. By following the above tips, you can make it much easier to keep your finances safe while also having the security you need to feel confident in all of your check transactions. If you want to take things to that next level, always cash the check yourself.