Personal and business bank account protection is governed by different rules and restrictions.
Business account holders have much less time than consumers to report cases of fraud.
The bottom line is that you also have more liability and less protection than consumer account holders. That said, we are here to provide you with the education and banking tools to help fight fraud and protect your money scams like check washing!
What is check washing and how is it used?
Criminals steal paper checks sent through the mail. They may fish them out of USPS mailboxes or take them out of personal mailboxes. They may even rob postal workers in search of checks. Once they have the check, they use chemicals to “wash” away information on the check - typically, the payee's name and the check amount.
What happens next?
They then cash or deposit the check.
They may sell the check to someone else. If you have mailed a check that was paid, but the recipient never received it, you may be a check washing victim.
They now have other information that can comprise your identity and/or bank account.
How can you protect yourself?
Sign up for online banking and enable Bill Pay to pay your bills online.
Download Solutions Bank Mobile Banking and enable Bill Pay to make payments from your phone.
Set limits on your checking account and use mobile banking to send yourself alerts.
Enroll in USPS Informed Delivery so you can expect when your mail will be delivered. Sign up for e-Statements to view your statement online instead of receiving a paper copy by mail.
Use our security solutions like, ACH Alerts and Positive Pay. Click here to learn more.
Consider making payments using e-check, ACH automatic payments and other electronic and/or mobile payments. Click here to see video tutorials and click-thru demos!
Use pens with indelible black ink so it is more difficult to wash your checks.
Follow up with charities and other businesses to make sure they received your check.
Use online banking to review copies of your checks to ensure they were not altered.
Regularly review your bank activity and statements for errors.
Don’t leave blank spaces in the payee or amount lines of checks you write.
The United States Postal Inspection Services also recommends that you:
Drop off mail in blue collection boxes before the last scheduled pick-up time or directly at your local Post Office.
Regularly check your mail. Do not leave your mail in your mailbox overnight.
If you’re heading out of town, have the Post Office hold your mail or ask a trusted friend or neighbor to pick up your mail.