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Five Tips to Protect Your Checking Account

February 06, 2024

In today’s world, our checking accounts are still the main tool we use to keep and manage our money. And while hand-written checks are used less often, it is still vital to know how to protect your checking account if you write personal checks.

Here are five tips to protect your account:

  1. Keep Your Checks Safe
    Store your checkbooks in a safe place at home and properly dispose of old ones. Shredding is the best way to protect the sensitive information on them.
  2. Track Your Checks
    Check your account often for suspicious activity/charges and balance your checkbook against your bank statement every month to make sure all of the purchases being debited from your account are actual purchases you made.
  3. Write Checks to a Specific Person or Business
    The “Pay to the Order of” line should be completed with the full name of the
    person or business you are writing the check to. Never write checks out to “cash”. Any unintended person who has your check will be able to deposit that check.
  4. Use Dark Ink and Avoid Large Blank Spaces
    Using dark ink on your check makes it harder for fraudsters to erase or cover over what you have written. Also, avoid leaving large blank spaces in the check boxes or amount line of the check that fraudsters can use to change the dollar amount. Start writing dollar amounts as far to the left as possible, put a slash between the cents and the one hundred, and draw a line between the cents value and the right side of the dollar line.
  5. Notify Your Bank Immediately of Any Problems
    If you notice any unauthorized transactions or fraudulent charges, contact your bank immediately!

This article may reference and link to third party information that has been verified to the best of our abilities. There is no guarantee of accuracy. Heartland Bank does not endorse companies, services, or products referenced in its articles and is not responsible for the content, links, privacy, or security policies of these third parties. Information in the above article may include material from AARP (https://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/info-2023/prevent-stolen-checks-mail-theft.html), SmartAsset (https://smartasset.com/checking-account/top-5-ways-to-protect-your-bank-accounts), Bank Five (https://www.bankfive.com/blogs/february-2020/how-to-protect-yourself-when-using-paper-checks) and Navigant Credit Union (https://navigantcu.org/14-ways-to-protect-your-checking-account).