Steps to Avoid Identity Theft with your Stolen Checks

The simplest way for fraud to get access to your bank statement is by the use of your own checks. Well, how could other people get your checks? It is so simple! They just snatch your checkbook when you are about to pay for your purchases or they can just pick it from your pockets or bags.

Checks are usually susceptible to thieves especially if you are not attending to it that much. The thief may get one piece of your check or worse, he or she might take your whole check book.

Once you realize that your check book is missing or stolen, you should stop payments for it and have them cancelled. It is wise that you should inform your bank immediately after you realize your check is missing. It is also necessary to request for any check verification service from the bank to know if your missing or stolen checks have already been used

However, if you are a check user and afraid of being a victim of identity theft, here are steps which you can use to protect yourself from having your financial identity, through your stolen checks, used by a thief on his/her shopping spree:

1. Request for an annual credit report from the three major credit agencies to verify all your account transactions. This is to make sure that there are no strange activities in your credit report.

2. Make sure to report all your stolen checks. In addition, it is also good to have a copy of your checking account number. Notify your bank once your check is missing or stolen.

3. Do not put your checkbook in a purse or bag together with your valid ids or passports.

4. Make sure not to put any checking account statements in your mailbox.

5. Request for privacy procedures and information application from your bank. Know the situation once your bank gives your checking account information to someone.

6. Keep all your checking accounts statements to know if you issued each check appropriately.

7. When requesting for a new checkbook, be sure to claim it at your bank personally. Do not permit your bank to just mail it to you since most thieves acquire your personal and financial information by stealing your mails.

8. Do not put your Social Security number on your checks. Do not write/print any of your financial credit information outside an envelope.

9. Review all your check statement and cashed checks using your periodic bank statements to know if there are any unofficial transaction and charges.

10. When applying for a checking account, it is wise to ask the bank how they dispose of your application. Once you have received a confirmation about your checking account application, be sure to shred it to pieces.

11. When writing on your check, use a permanent marker with fine point and write a line before your write the amount. In this way you are already avoiding someone to write an additional “something” on your check.

12. Once you notice that one of your checks is missing, immediately contact your bank about it. You can also file a report to the nearest police station and have a copy of the police report to present to the bank if ever they ask for it.

By having a correct and complete account records, you are preventing identity theft happening to you.

Just follow the steps given, and you will be sure of the safety of your checks and your personal protection therefore, avoiding identity theft.

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