(PRWEB) September 29, 2012
Sherry Tingley, founder of business checks website Coolchecks.net, and principal writer of her popular personal and small business finance blog, has some timely advice for people who want to protect themselves against the rising threat of check fraud.
Citing the advice of former master fraud artist Frank Abangale, who was portrayed in the 2002 film “Catch Me if You Can” and is now a security consultant, Tingley recommends the following five tips:
1. Keep check writing to a minimum. Many people fail to realize that a standard check offers plenty of identifying information, including name, address, phone number, and per the law in some states, a driver’s license number as well. Add the bank account number, routing number and signature, and it’s easy to see why writing as few checks as possible is a key way to prevent check fraud.
2. Watch out for tax-time scams. Fraudsters consider tax season to be hunting season, since mail to Uncle Sam offers a staggering amount of personal information – plus, a check that can be manipulated to steal funds. People not only have their information compromised, to add insult to injury, the IRS can start charging punitive late-filing fees and interest.
3. Only use secure mail boxes. While there was a time that placing outgoing mail in the mailbox and lifting up the flag was perfectly fine, those days are over. If the post office is too far, then use a secure box for your mail carrier to collect.
4. Safeguard checks and checkbooks. While it’s handy to have checks in a glove compartment, it’s an invitation for thieves to steal personal information. And remember, clever thieves only take a few checks from the back, so that it’s not clear anything’s missing for weeks, sometimes months.
5. Balance your checkbook. Despite how easy this is -- especially with online access to checking account data -- more than half of Americans don’t bother. Remember, in the event of a discrepancy, you have to notify the bank within a set period of time. If not, then you assume full liability for the loss.
“According to the 2012 AFP Payment Fraud and Control Survey, check fraud remains the most vulnerable payment type for fraud attacks,” commented Tingley. “And according to the Faces of Fraud Survey by BankInfoSecurity, check fraud is just behind payment card fraud as the most common type of fraud attempt – it’s even ahead of phishing scams, which are everywhere these days. Clearly, check fraud is serious problem, and it’s my hope that these five tips help people protect themselves before disaster strikes – not after.”
To read Tingley’s full blog post on check fraud, click here.
For more information or media inquiries, contact Sherry Tingley at sherry(at)coolchecks(dot)net or 801-599-0052.
Led by its Founder Sherry Tingley, Coolchecks.net offers a wide selection of business checks from several leading check printing companies. The company’s small business and personal finance blog features a wide selection of practical articles, advice, insights and tools for small business owners and individuals. Learn more at http://www.coolchecks.net