Check fraud remains one of the biggest problems that financial institutions and businesses have to deal with. The usual victims of check fraud are consumers, merchants, businesses that receive or issue checks, banks and other financial institutions. Each year, millions of dollars are lost through fraudulent checks. It is unfortunate that the advancement in technology has made it easier for unscrupulous individuals and organized crime groups to commit check fraud. They can create an authentic looking check within a few minutes.
Whether you’re a private individual who uses personal checks or an entrepreneur who issues business checks, an understanding of what check fraud is and how it works can help provide the protection you need.
Below are some of the things that you can do to prevent becoming a victim of check fraud:
Use checks with high level security features. The Laser Checks that you use must have advance features that will counter any attempts to have your checks altered or duplicated.
Don’t get used to issuing a check as your primary mode of payment. Use it sparingly. Keep in mind that when you issue a check to pay for your purchases at a nearby retail shop, you need to provide a valid ID. The clerk would then write your information at the back of your check such as your account number, your social security number and your birthday. Your personal information, when it falls in the wrong hands, can be used to commit fraud against you or another unsuspecting victim. If you need to issue a check to pay for your bills, for instance, make sure that they are issued to trusted merchants. If you need to pay for a product or service to an individual or company that you haven’t had previous transactions with, pay them in cash as much as possible.
Balance your checkbook each month. Make it a habit to reconcile your checks and your bank statement. The bank statements that you receive are important and should be inspected thoroughly. Keep in mind that you have 30 days to inform your bank if there are any discrepancies with the information stated in your bank account. Your bank would assume that everything is correct if you do not call their attention to it.
Store your checks in a safe location. Do not leave them in places that can be easily accessed by unauthorized individuals. Inspect your checkbook from time to time. If there is a break in the number sequence in your checkbook, your checks may have been stolen. Inform your bank right away so that they can take the appropriate action.
If you need to pay for something through mail, never leave the envelope containing your check in your mailbox. Someone may steal it and use your check for other purposes. Go to your local post office instead and mail it personally.
With check fraud cases continuously rising each year, you must stay vigilant and take all the precautionary measures to protect yourself from becoming a victim.
*This is a sponsored post for Safe Checks, however, all the points and views are my own.
Image courtesy of Pixomar at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The moment you have decided that filing for bankruptcy is the best way to deal with your current financial situation, finding an efficient bankruptcy lawyer should be your priority. There are several bankruptcy lawyers in new orleans that can help you deal with the whole bankruptcy process properly.
What can your bankruptcy lawyer do for you? Here are some of the benefits of hiring a bankruptcy lawyer:
· After thoroughly assessing your financial situation, your bankruptcy lawyer can explain to you what your options are and can help you come up with the best way to handle the situation.
· An efficient bankruptcy lawyer, who is familiar with federal bankruptcy rules as well as the local rules of the district court where you’ll file for bankruptcy, would be able to determine if you are qualified for any exceptions. He would know the perfect time to file for bankruptcy which could make a huge difference in whether you’ll be able to lose or save your assets.
· If you have any questions or concerns, your lawyer can answer them for you. It is important that you understand completely what filing for bankruptcy means so that you’ll know what to expect. He can explain which debts are covered and which are not.
· If you are wary about creditors harassing you, your loved ones and even your employers and co-workers, your bankruptcy lawyer can do something about that as well. He can talk to them and come up with an arrangement that is favorable for both parties.
· Filing for bankruptcy also involves the filing and submission of various forms and documents. Doing it on your own can be very overwhelming and you may make mistakes that can affect your case. When the court finds out that there are inaccuracies or inconsistencies in the information provided in the documents that you have submitted, they can dismiss the case or you can be cited for bankruptcy fraud.
Filing for bankruptcy does not have to be a difficult, stressful and long process if you utilize the services of a bankruptcy lawyer. Once everything has been dealt with accordingly, you can look forward to the fresh start that you have always wanted. You can begin to work towards your goal of providing a more stable financial future for your family.
Disclaimer : This is a sponsored post for Kirkpatrick and Associates, however, all the points and views are my own.
Dealing with our financial issues is something that not all of us are comfortable with. It is only when a particular financial matter has become worse that we are ‘forced’ to finally deal with it. Incurring a debt that has become too significant and the possibility of facing a lawsuit can make anyone finally take action. These kinds of stressful situations can be avoided if we make a conscious effort of making sure that our personal finances are handled appropriately.