Cashier's Check Fraud
Check fraud is a challenge for all businesses and financial institutions today. With the advancements in technology, it has become increasingly easy for criminals to manipulate or forge checks. Check fraud can happen to anyone; someone can steal a blank check from your wallet or home, or look through your garbage for a cancelled or old check. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent check fraud from happening to you.
ALERT! For information on common scams and steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim, read the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) Consumer Advisory on Avoiding Cashier's Check Fraud.
Store Your Checks Securely - Store your checks, deposit slips, statements, and cancelled checks in a secure location. Refrain from leaving your checkbook in your vehicle, locked or not. Destroy all old cancelled checks, account statements, deposit tickets and ATM receipts (unless they are needed for tax purposes) by either shredding them or tearing them up completely.
Keep Your Number to Yourself and Check Your Statement - Never give your checking account number or any other account number to someone you don’t know, especially over the telephone. Pay particular attention to unsolicited phone calls. And, be sure to reconcile your checking statement within 30 days of receiving it to detect any irregularities.
Mail Bills Securely and Check Your Checks - Do not mail any of your bills from an unlocked mailbox as thieves may take your mail and use your checks for other purposes. And, when you receive new checks you have ordered, examine them carefully for evidence of tampering. If you have a Peapack-Gladstone Bank checking account, report any irregularities to Client Contact Center immediately.
Limit Your Personal Information on Checks and Endorse as Late as You Can - Make sure you protect your identity by limiting the personal information you put on your checks. Do not include your Social Security Number (SSN) or driver’s license number on your check. Avoid endorsing a check you plan to deposit until you are at the teller or drive-up window. If using the ATM, you should endorse the check and put it in the appropriate envelope prior to making your transaction. Never write your credit card number on your check; that is not a necessary form of identification anymore.
Take Precautions When Writing a Check - When writing on your check, use dark pen that cannot be easily erased or covered up. Avoid leaving large blank spaces in the check boxes or amount line of the check. Start the written dollar amounts as far to the left as possible and put a slash between the cents and the 100. Then, draw a line between the cents value and the right side of the dollar line. Always check the number sequence for each pad of checks, and make sure each number matches the check register or duplicate slip as it is used. Be sure to verify your check numbers after each shopping trip, paying close attention to the back of the pad.
At Peapack-Gladstone Bank, we are committed to helping you keep your identity safe from harm and hope you will use these tips to keep your checks and checking account secure. For more information about what checking accounts we have available at Peapack-Gladstone Bank click here, contact Client Contact Center, or visit any one of our conveniently located branches.