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Posted in Security, Financial Tips

Check fraud is a growing concern that affects individuals and small businesses. Criminals are stealing mail from postal boxes, particularly envelopes containing bill payments or checks. Check washing is the most common type of check fraud, in which fraudsters change the payee's name and the amount of money. Some criminals go one step farther and use the information on the check to obtain sensitive personal information.

Criminals are also increasingly targeting government relief checks, making it essential for individuals to take additional precautions when mailing checks. Postal officials advise Americans to avoid mailing checks whenever possible, and to use secure mail drops such as those available inside post offices.

Here are a few key points to remember:

  • It is not recommended to place checks in residential mailboxes with the flag raised. Instead, drop off checks at secure mail drops inside the post office.
  • When mailing checks, always confirm that the recipient has received them. If the check is not received within a few weeks, notify the bank that issued the check.
  • In the event of a mailbox break-in, it is important to notify the bank.
  • Businesses can protect themselves by opting for a bank’s Positive Pay services, which involve pre-authorizing checks for a specific amount and check number, reducing the criminals' ability to alter the checks and withdraw unauthorized funds.  If you would like to discuss Positive Pay for your business, please reach out to the Bank First Treasury Management team.

We encourage individuals and businesses to stay vigilant and follow safety measures which will help minimize the risks associated with check fraud.

Source AP News:

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