Do you send paper checks through the mail? Do you know how to protect yourself against check fraud?

Mailing a paper check from your home mailbox or a postal drop box is the most unsafe way to pay your bills. Thieves often steal checks and use chemicals to remove the ink, then they change the payee’s name and amount to whatever they want. Sometimes they take it a step further and sell your account information online.

Whether you are paying bills from your personal account or business account, take these ten steps to protect yourself from check fraud.

  1. Use Online Payment Services: Whenever possible use secure online payment methods to eliminate the risk of paper checks being stolen or altered.

  2. Monitor Your Accounts: Use online banking and mobile banking daily to monitor your accounts. Be sure to set up text or email alerts to notify you of unusual account activity.  Don’t wait for the end-of-the-month statement.

  3. The Pen Matters: Write your checks using a non-erasable black gel pen. Black ink is more difficult to remove than blue and the gel ink soaks into your check, making it harder to bleach away.

  4. Direct Post Office Drop-Off: Place your check in a security envelope before mailing. Take it directly to the post office and hand it to an employee to ensure secure handling. If you have to place your payment in a mailbox, drop it off at a secure postal collection box inside the post office right before collection time.

  5. Secure Mail Handling: Use a locked mailbox for receiving mail and don’t let delivered mail sit in your mailbox. Pick it up right away. When traveling out of town, arrange for the post office to hold your mail for you until you return.

  6. Monitor Check Clearing: Review your account alerts and paid transactions regularly to verify when your checks clear and ensure the amounts match what you originally wrote.

  7. Check Image Verification: Review your paid check images to ensure the payee and amount haven’t been altered (also look at the back of the check where it’s endorsed).

  8. Limit Personal Information: To reduce the risk of identity theft, avoid including unnecessary personal information on your checks such as your Social Security number, driver’s license, or telephone number.

  9. Keep Checks Secure: Store your blank checks in a secure location to prevent unauthorized access.  Properly dispose of old or unused checks by shredding them to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands.

  10. Educate Yourself: Stay informed about common check fraud methods and scams to better protect yourself against potential threats.

And remember, if there is unusual or suspicious activity on your account, notify us immediately. The sooner you report it, the better chance we have in helping you recover your funds.


What to do if you’re a victim:

  • Contact us immediately at 877-226-5820 

  • File a report with your local police department or sheriff’s office.

  • Contact the United States Postal Inspection Service at or call 877-876-2455

  • Consider using an identity theft protection service to help secure any compromised information.