Protect Your Accounts From Check Washing

Not all threats to your accounts happen online. 

Check washing has been around for decades but is still very real. Criminals steal paper checks sent through the mail, and once they have a check you wrote and mailed, they use chemicals to “wash” the check in order to change the amount or make themselves the payee. They then deposit your check and steal money from your account. If you have mailed a check that was paid, but the recipient never received it, you may be a check washing victim. 

Use these tips from the American Bankers Association to protect your business against check washing:

  • Consider making payments using e-check, ACH automatic payments and other electronic and/or mobile payments. 
  • Use pens with indelible black ink so it is more difficult to wash your checks. 
  • Follow up with payees to make sure they received your check. 
  • Use online banking to review copies of your checks to ensure they were not altered. 
  • If you still receive paid checks back from the bank, shred – don’t just trash them. 
  • Regularly review your bank activity and statements for errors. 
  • Don’t leave blank spaces in the payee or amount lines of checks you write. 

If you suspect your accounts have been targeted by scammers, reach out to Client Services as soon as possible. 

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