How Does Check Fraud Work
Fraudsters will steal checks and “wash them,” changing the recipient’s name and possibly the check amount as well. Fraudsters will often steal checks right out of your mailbox.
🚩When you put up the red flag on your mailbox to let the postal carrier know you have outgoing mail, you’re notifying fraudsters as well. For them, a red flag literally is a red flag to check your mailbox! In recent years, fraudsters have been successful at stealing checks from the blue U.S. Postal Service mailboxes in many public areas. You can read more about that here.
How to Fight It
There are many ways to protect yourself from check fraud
- Instead of mailing checks, try using alternative payment methods, such as Online Bill Pay.
- If you must mail a check, go inside the post office or use the drop box attached to the building and inaccessible to fraudsters.
- Do not mail checks using the blue USPS boxes on the street, these are vulnerable to theft.
- Check your online banking to ensure your checks are clearing for the correct dollar amount - on your computer or mobile device!
- Look at images of checks that have cleared anytime day or night in our online banking.
- Businesses have access to a low-cost high success prevention tool called Positive Pay.
What to Do if Your Checks are stolen:
- Contact your bank immediately
- Call U.S. postal inspectors at 877.876.2455 to report mail theft
How we can protect you.
One of the best ways to help avoid being a fraud victim is to stay informed and bank with people who know you. At CNB St. Louis Bank, many of our staff members have been with us for years and know customers by name. While it’s nice to be neighborly, these close relationships have another purpose that’s just as important.
Because we know you, we’re better able to identify out-of-the-ordinary transactions.
In short, good service is about more than being good neighbors. It’s powerful fraud protection and just one more way we’re Banking. For You.