What Protections Do Customers Have From Others Writing Checks In Their Name?

What protections do customers have from others writing checks in their name? There is quite a bit of protection for customers. The protection depends on the type of fraudulent activities that occur. "There...

"There is quite a bit of protection for customers. The protection depends on the type of fraudulent activities that occur," states Gwen Evans a professional with ten years experience in the banking industry.

"Banks are liable for certain types of fraudulent activities. In some case the bank of first deposit is liable, and in other cases the bank on which the check is written is liable', continues Mrs. Evans.

With check fraud being an increasing problem in the United States, your account should be immediately closed if you notice that your checks have been stolen. Make sure the bank notifies the appropriate check verification service, such as TeleCheck or Certegy, Inc. While no federal laws limit check theft losses, state laws may protect the victim who takes the proper precautions to prevent and notify the bank of the possibility of check fraud, the bank will be held responsible should fraud actually occur.

Criminals have several options when it comes to stealing check theft. The thief can use checks that have been stolen from you, they can take an existing check and change the recipients name through a process called check washing, or they an add their personal information to your checking account and change the mailing address. In addition, they can create additional checks that mirror your checks by counterfeiting, or they an open an account using your information. This is called check synthesizing.

To protect themselves, customers must reconcile their bank statements on a timely basis in order to pinpoint discrepancies. Another precaution the customer must take is to write the check in away that would make check alteration difficult. For example, leaving space that allows a fifty-dollar check to be turned into a five thousand dollar check will make you liable if the check is altered. You should leave no empty spaces on which someone can add words or numbers to your checks.

Meanwhile, new technology is created every day that will help banks and their customers' develop countermeasures that are effective against check fraud. These measures can reduce exposure to check fraud by making theft more difficult. Current UCC Codes outline specific check fraud responsibilities for banks and corporations. Court decisions have already established guidelines for legal responsibilities, and failure to meet these guidelines can cause a bank or company to experience financial loss.

Additional measures exist to protect a bank customer that includes forgery protection. If a bank cashes a check that has a fraudulent signature, then the bank is responsible. Fortunately, for the banks, they tend to cash checks only if the check holder has an account with that bank of if the check is drawn on that bank. "Although the policies to serve customers only were not set up as a forgery protection method, it is a pleasant side effect, ads Gwen Evans, a banking professional with ten years experience.

To help protect yourself, use debit and credit cards primarily and only use checks with individuals you know and trust. Never have your Social Security number or driver's license number printed on checks. Also, consider removing your first name and home address from your checks and use your first initial and a PO Box instead.

© High Speed Ventures 2011