Risk with paying someone with a personal check

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MathIsMyWayr
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Re: Risk with paying someone with a personal check

Post by MathIsMyWayr »

bltn wrote: Sat Aug 15, 2020 8:54 pm
livesoft wrote: Sat Aug 15, 2020 2:52 pm I have never worried about and never had fraud committed in more than 45 years of having accounts with checks and sending checks to lots of places and trades people, friends, enemies, stores, US government, state governments, utilities, whatever, wherever.
I agree .

If someone were able to cash a fraudulent check on my account, I would expect my bank to make good my loss. Maybe that s naive, but loss of bank account security due to payment with checks is very low on my list of worries.
TImes are different now. We no longer live in the age of vacuum tubes and mechanical calculators. You don't have to worry about Bonnie & Clyde, but online criminals in the far away countries. Will banks stand behind me for my alleged negligence in safe guarding my banking information?
Teague
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Re: Risk with paying someone with a personal check

Post by Teague »

It's pretty straightforward. If your account is illegally messed with, notify the bank within two business days of when you become aware of that. Personally I would do so immediately, I don't know why anyone would wait. You could theoretically be on the hook for fifty bucks, but I'm not aware of any bank that doesn't cover the whole amount involved.

12 CFR Part 1005 (Regulation E)
https://www.consumerfinance.gov/policy- ... ns/1005/6/
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MathIsMyWayr
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Re: Risk with paying someone with a personal check

Post by MathIsMyWayr »

Banks lost $2.2B due to fraud in 2016. I don't think banks are charity organizations. Somehow bank customers are on the hook. Many people have better things to tender than checking their accounts frequently.
Teague
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Re: Risk with paying someone with a personal check

Post by Teague »

At this point I think I'd suggest switching Yap Island stone coins.
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TropikThunder
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Re: Risk with paying someone with a personal check

Post by TropikThunder »

MathIsMyWayr wrote: Sat Aug 15, 2020 11:05 pm Banks lost $2.2B due to fraud in 2016. I don't think banks are charity organizations. Somehow bank customers are on the hook. Many people have better things to tender than checking their accounts frequently.
BANKS lost $2.2B, not customers. We’re all paying for that collectively in fees already, whether your account incurred a loss or not. Just like credit card fraud, you don’t have to pay for unauthorized charges, but “we” all “pay” in the end anyway.
hudson
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Re: Risk with paying someone with a personal check

Post by hudson »

bltn wrote: Sat Aug 15, 2020 8:54 pm
livesoft wrote: Sat Aug 15, 2020 2:52 pm I have never worried about and never had fraud committed in more than 45 years of having accounts with checks and sending checks to lots of places and trades people, friends, enemies, stores, US government, state governments, utilities, whatever, wherever.
I agree .

If someone were able to cash a fraudulent check on my account, I would expect my bank to make good my loss. Maybe that s naive, but loss of bank account security due to payment with checks is very low on my list of worries.
me too....
I did take my driver's license number off of my checks. Otherwise, I have no problem writing a personal check. If I can, I send checks with my credit union's bill pay service. When I hire a contractor, before I agree to a deal, I make sure that I understand what kind of payments he/she will take. At that time, we discuss and agree on payment details. If the bill is a few hundred, I'll pay cash. If over that, I like paying with a personal check.
Last edited by hudson on Sun Aug 16, 2020 7:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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nisiprius
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Re: Risk with paying someone with a personal check

Post by nisiprius »

In many decades, including the age when checks were common, I've never had my checking account hit with a forged check. I've had to dispute credit card charges perhaps six times, including one outright $1,000 fraudulent charge.
MathIsMyWayr wrote: Sat Aug 15, 2020 1:12 pm It is well recognized that the bank routing and account numbers are confidential information.
"Citation needed," please. Who says they are confidential? The routing number, of course, is public information that can be found by a web search. Pick a bank at random: there must be a bank with a name like "Farmer's Bank" in Iowa, right? Web search for "Farmer's Bank, Iowa, Routing Number" and hey! presto! Farmers Savings Bank - Marshalltown, 73911951." (For fun, try a web search on "73911951.")
Apparently a lot of damage may be done by someone who is in possession of the information.
Cite an example. Read the article carefully. It says they can raid the account; it doesn't say they can do it successfully. Not one example is given of anyone actually losing money. "A gentleman told the crowd that his checking account was hit recently for a $1,000 payment to Dominion Energy for someone's natural gas bill... The man got his money refunded to his account.
How should I pay someone (not a business accepting credit cards) a large sum of money safely?
Teller's check. It is safe in the sense of not disclosing your account number. Of course, it doesn't protect you in the case where the person you give the check to scams you, e.g. takes your money and doesn't give you the car. It's also safer for the recipient so people usually love them.
If I have to give the information to someone such as a accountant, how should I protect myself?
1) Be vigilant. You want to let the bank know ASAP.

2) If you don't want to just live with the risk, keep a checking and savings account at the same bank, one that lets you do instant savings -> checking transfers--online or at an ATM machine. If they're at the same bank, then normally the transferred amount is instantly shown as "available funds" in the checking account. Keep the minimum amount in the checking account. When you want to write a check, transfer the necessary amount to the checking account just before writing the check. Then if someone does access the account, most of the time there's only $10 for them to steal. In fact the check will probably bounce and alert both you and the bank (and if you're paranoid about it you can then close that account).

For convenience you might want to have an "everyday" and a "risky" checking account at the same bank. You can probably manage that. For example if you are part of a couple with a joint account you can probably get the bank to open an individual checking account with only your name on it that can still get instant electronic transfers.

3) When you pay by check, use your cell phone camera and document the heck out of the transaction.
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andypanda
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Re: Risk with paying someone with a personal check

Post by andypanda »

I keep a few thousand in my checking account and do an online transfer from my money market account if I need to write a large check. I've had the checking account since 1974.

Fwiw, back in the good old days many decades ago merchants would take your driver's license and write your SS# on the check in case it bounced. This was when Virginia still used SS#'s as a DL#. I knew lots of people, including me, who ordered checks with our SS# printed on them under the name and address. It speeded things up at the cash register.

:)
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nisiprius
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Re: Risk with paying someone with a personal check

Post by nisiprius »

MathIsMyWayr wrote: Sat Aug 15, 2020 9:45 pm...TImes are different now. We no longer live in the age of vacuum tubes and mechanical calculators. You don't have to worry about Bonnie & Clyde, but online criminals in the far away countries. Will banks stand behind me for my alleged negligence in safe guarding my banking information?...
The problem is that the kind of fraud you are worried about is rare. Banks don't like to talk about it, real information is hard to come by, in my experience banks simply won't answer hypotheticals or discuss their internal security procedures. They just will say something bland like "I wouldn't worry about it, but if anything does happen call us right away, and we will work with you to get it resolved" or something like that.

(My last experience trying to get "what-if" answer from a bank involved wire transfers. I do very few wire transfers, and I had to make one that was huge by my standards, and had some "what-if" worries. My question didn't get answered, but the wire transfer went through OK).
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Kenkat
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Re: Risk with paying someone with a personal check

Post by Kenkat »

With the different times also come some very powerful tools that banks and merchants can use to prevent bank account fraud - for example:

www.giact.com
seawolf21
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Re: Risk with paying someone with a personal check

Post by seawolf21 »

000 wrote: Sat Aug 15, 2020 2:57 pm Your checking account number is public information; it is printed right there on the check and is how the bank knows from whom to draw the funds.

If check fraud is a concern, do not keep a lot of money in your checking account. This is one reason "savings" accounts exist.

You can also pay with a cashier's check, money order, or cash.
+1. It these numbers are “confidential,” they wouldn’t be printed on your checks. The only defense against this info being made public is to burn your checks.

Check forging has a long history. Check out “Catch Me If You Can” which is a biography on Frank Abagnale.
TropikThunder
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Re: Risk with paying someone with a personal check

Post by TropikThunder »

seawolf21 wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 11:38 am
000 wrote: Sat Aug 15, 2020 2:57 pm Your checking account number is public information; it is printed right there on the check and is how the bank knows from whom to draw the funds.

If check fraud is a concern, do not keep a lot of money in your checking account. This is one reason "savings" accounts exist.

You can also pay with a cashier's check, money order, or cash.
+1. It these numbers are “confidential,” they wouldn’t be printed on your checks. The only defense against this info being made public is to burn your checks.

Check forging has a long history. Check out “Catch Me If You Can” which is a biography on Frank Abagnale.
I love the scene where he’s floating the Pan Am logos off of model planes in the bathtub to make fake payroll checks. :P

Second thought, OP shouldn’t watch that movie or their paranoia level will go up.
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ResearchMed
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Re: Risk with paying someone with a personal check

Post by ResearchMed »

seawolf21 wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 11:38 am
000 wrote: Sat Aug 15, 2020 2:57 pm Your checking account number is public information; it is printed right there on the check and is how the bank knows from whom to draw the funds.

If check fraud is a concern, do not keep a lot of money in your checking account. This is one reason "savings" accounts exist.

You can also pay with a cashier's check, money order, or cash.
+1. It these numbers are “confidential,” they wouldn’t be printed on your checks. The only defense against this info being made public is to burn your checks.

Check forging has a long history. Check out “Catch Me If You Can” which is a biography on Frank Abagnale.
Last I heard, Abagnale was still working with law enforcement (or perhaps private consulting by now?) and helping to prevent or catch others doing things like this. I think he was behind some of the security paper that started being used for checks, etc.

See also:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Abagnale

Quite a story, even if only some of the tales of early adventures were accurate.

RM
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arcticpineapplecorp.
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Re: Risk with paying someone with a personal check

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. »

student wrote: Sat Aug 15, 2020 2:49 pm What I do is not optimal but it is something. I have a checking account with a few hundred dollars and no overdraft protection. I transfer money to it when I need to write a check.
that's what I do as well.
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MathIsMyWayr
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Re: Risk with paying someone with a personal check

Post by MathIsMyWayr »

TropikThunder wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:10 pm
seawolf21 wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 11:38 am
000 wrote: Sat Aug 15, 2020 2:57 pm Your checking account number is public information; it is printed right there on the check and is how the bank knows from whom to draw the funds.

If check fraud is a concern, do not keep a lot of money in your checking account. This is one reason "savings" accounts exist.

You can also pay with a cashier's check, money order, or cash.
+1. It these numbers are “confidential,” they wouldn’t be printed on your checks. The only defense against this info being made public is to burn your checks.

Check forging has a long history. Check out “Catch Me If You Can” which is a biography on Frank Abagnale.
I love the scene where he’s floating the Pan Am logos off of model planes in the bathtub to make fake payroll checks. :P

Second thought, OP shouldn’t watch that movie or their paranoia level will go up.
If you truly believe that a checking account number is a public knowledge, please post your full checking account numbers here. By the way, my credit union no longer prints the account number on its statement. Comparng with a con guy like Abagnale is silly. He does not have to bother a little guy like me. He may as well walk into a Bank of America CEO's office pretending to be a new CEO.
vbede772
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Re: Risk with paying someone with a personal check

Post by vbede772 »

I was a victim of fraudulent activity due to using a personal check last year.

I needed a copy of a record from a DMV office in a state I used to live in. I filled out a form (which of course had much of my identifying information--name, address, phone # etc.) and sent in a check for $6.00.

A few weeks later I logged in to see my checking account balance, and it was negative in the amount of -$45,000.00. I actually had about $30,000.00 in the account, the other $15,000.00 was over drafted. You might imagine my emotional reaction to this news.

What happened was someone opened a paypal account using my information and account and sent money to, I suppose, an accomplice, or another person fraudulently using someone else's identity.

I did receive all of my money back within 10 days. The protections are the same as for credit cards, but when it is your checking account you are waiting on a positive resolution and refund, not a credit card issuer.

It was only after the fact that I realized someone at the DMV was the thief. My first suspicion was that I was hacked, but the bank told me their investigation concluded that this happened as a result of a paper check falling into the hands of someone dishonest. Since I had written just this one check recently (the most recent check I wrote was over 10 months before this one), I surmised what happened.

I have since closed this account, and will no longer write personal checks - ever. It is just too easy for the criminals these days.
seawolf21
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Re: Risk with paying someone with a personal check

Post by seawolf21 »

MathIsMyWayr wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:47 pm
TropikThunder wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:10 pm
seawolf21 wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 11:38 am
000 wrote: Sat Aug 15, 2020 2:57 pm Your checking account number is public information; it is printed right there on the check and is how the bank knows from whom to draw the funds.

If check fraud is a concern, do not keep a lot of money in your checking account. This is one reason "savings" accounts exist.

You can also pay with a cashier's check, money order, or cash.
+1. It these numbers are “confidential,” they wouldn’t be printed on your checks. The only defense against this info being made public is to burn your checks.

Check forging has a long history. Check out “Catch Me If You Can” which is a biography on Frank Abagnale.
I love the scene where he’s floating the Pan Am logos off of model planes in the bathtub to make fake payroll checks. :P

Second thought, OP shouldn’t watch that movie or their paranoia level will go up.
If you truly believe that a checking account number is a public knowledge, please post your full checking account numbers here. By the way, my credit union no longer prints the account number on its statement. Comparng with a con guy like Abagnale is silly. He does not have to bother a little guy like me. He may as well walk into a Bank of America CEO's office pretending to be a new CEO.
As you said, you are the little guy; numerous organizations have a lot more at risk.

Tax authorities from Fed to State governments have access to ABA/account numbers for those who do direct deposit. For those that don't they expose their bank details to millions of people receiving paper checks for tax refunds, social security, COVID hand outs etc.

State Department has access to millions of people's ABA/account numbers when they apply for passports.

Countless companies' account payable and payroll have have access to the ABA/account numbers of their vendors and employees or vice versa if they choose to do paper check instead of ACH transfers.

If this is really a concern to you, be vigilant and review statements. Alternatively just open a checking account at a no-fee online bank and transfer just enough from your primary bank accounts to cover checks written and destroy any checks you may have from your primary accounts.
mptfan
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Re: Risk with paying someone with a personal check

Post by mptfan »

vbede772 wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 2:29 pm I did receive all of my money back within 10 days. The protections are the same as for credit cards, but when it is your checking account you are waiting on a positive resolution and refund, not a credit card issuer.
This is a very important distinction that is often overlooked by those who claim that debit card or check protections are the same as credit cards.
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MathIsMyWayr
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Re: Risk with paying someone with a personal check

Post by MathIsMyWayr »

seawolf21 wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 3:34 pm
MathIsMyWayr wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:47 pm
TropikThunder wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:10 pm
seawolf21 wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 11:38 am
000 wrote: Sat Aug 15, 2020 2:57 pm Your checking account number is public information; it is printed right there on the check and is how the bank knows from whom to draw the funds.

If check fraud is a concern, do not keep a lot of money in your checking account. This is one reason "savings" accounts exist.

You can also pay with a cashier's check, money order, or cash.
+1. It these numbers are “confidential,” they wouldn’t be printed on your checks. The only defense against this info being made public is to burn your checks.

Check forging has a long history. Check out “Catch Me If You Can” which is a biography on Frank Abagnale.
I love the scene where he’s floating the Pan Am logos off of model planes in the bathtub to make fake payroll checks. :P

Second thought, OP shouldn’t watch that movie or their paranoia level will go up.
If you truly believe that a checking account number is a public knowledge, please post your full checking account numbers here. By the way, my credit union no longer prints the account number on its statement. Comparng with a con guy like Abagnale is silly. He does not have to bother a little guy like me. He may as well walk into a Bank of America CEO's office pretending to be a new CEO.
As you said, you are the little guy; numerous organizations have a lot more at risk.

Tax authorities from Fed to State governments have access to ABA/account numbers for those who do direct deposit. For those that don't they expose their bank details to millions of people receiving paper checks for tax refunds, social security, COVID hand outs etc.

State Department has access to millions of people's ABA/account numbers when they apply for passports.

Countless companies' account payable and payroll have have access to the ABA/account numbers of their vendors and employees or vice versa if they choose to do paper check instead of ACH transfers.

If this is really a concern to you, be vigilant and review statements. Alternatively just open a checking account at a no-fee online bank and transfer just enough from your primary bank accounts to cover checks written and destroy any checks you may have from your primary accounts.
True. Big organizations have a lot more at risk. They also have a lot more resources to protect them. Just imagine you were a little crook. Would you target Microsoft hoping to get away with a loot. The fact that many organization have information about you including employers, financial institutions and government agencies does not let you lower the safe guarding requirement of information.
seawolf21
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Re: Risk with paying someone with a personal check

Post by seawolf21 »

MathIsMyWayr wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 3:57 pm
seawolf21 wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 3:34 pm
MathIsMyWayr wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:47 pm
TropikThunder wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:10 pm
seawolf21 wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 11:38 am
+1. It these numbers are “confidential,” they wouldn’t be printed on your checks. The only defense against this info being made public is to burn your checks.

Check forging has a long history. Check out “Catch Me If You Can” which is a biography on Frank Abagnale.
I love the scene where he’s floating the Pan Am logos off of model planes in the bathtub to make fake payroll checks. :P

Second thought, OP shouldn’t watch that movie or their paranoia level will go up.
If you truly believe that a checking account number is a public knowledge, please post your full checking account numbers here. By the way, my credit union no longer prints the account number on its statement. Comparng with a con guy like Abagnale is silly. He does not have to bother a little guy like me. He may as well walk into a Bank of America CEO's office pretending to be a new CEO.
As you said, you are the little guy; numerous organizations have a lot more at risk.

Tax authorities from Fed to State governments have access to ABA/account numbers for those who do direct deposit. For those that don't they expose their bank details to millions of people receiving paper checks for tax refunds, social security, COVID hand outs etc.

State Department has access to millions of people's ABA/account numbers when they apply for passports.

Countless companies' account payable and payroll have have access to the ABA/account numbers of their vendors and employees or vice versa if they choose to do paper check instead of ACH transfers.

If this is really a concern to you, be vigilant and review statements. Alternatively just open a checking account at a no-fee online bank and transfer just enough from your primary bank accounts to cover checks written and destroy any checks you may have from your primary accounts.
True. Big organizations have a lot more at risk. They also have a lot more resources to protect them. Just imagine you were a little crook. Would you target Microsoft hoping to get away with a loot. The fact that many organization have information about you including employers, financial institutions and government agencies does not let you lower the safe guarding requirement of information.
Is your concern more at prevention in the first place or recovering after the fact?

If the former, I don't see how having more resources will make it less likely for fraud to take place in the first place. Let's say you have a bank holding an account for a Fortune 500 vs. an individual. The Fortune 500 can have army of lawyers but I don't see them preventing fraud from taking place in the first place.

But again, for most people, their employers have their bank details for direct deposit, so for many of those individuals don't have an army of lawyers either.

If your interest is prevention , then open another account and deposit only as much as needed for checks drawn from and only from that account..
illumination
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Re: Risk with paying someone with a personal check

Post by illumination »

I had someone steal a check for property taxes from my mailbox, made copies, and wrote counterfeit checks.

It's a real thing, I'm just "picky" about who I give checks to. A random landscaper I don't really know? No way. I can get cash instead, and they prefer it anyway. For something like a car purchase, I wouldn't give a second thought to writing a check. Something like that goes straight to a bank for processing.

Even if you're really careful, this stuff just happens, best defense is just keeping a close eye on your accounts for activity. You will be made whole.
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MathIsMyWayr
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Re: Risk with paying someone with a personal check

Post by MathIsMyWayr »

seawolf21 wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 5:45 pm
MathIsMyWayr wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 3:57 pm
seawolf21 wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 3:34 pm
MathIsMyWayr wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:47 pm
TropikThunder wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:10 pm
I love the scene where he’s floating the Pan Am logos off of model planes in the bathtub to make fake payroll checks. :P

Second thought, OP shouldn’t watch that movie or their paranoia level will go up.
If you truly believe that a checking account number is a public knowledge, please post your full checking account numbers here. By the way, my credit union no longer prints the account number on its statement. Comparng with a con guy like Abagnale is silly. He does not have to bother a little guy like me. He may as well walk into a Bank of America CEO's office pretending to be a new CEO.
As you said, you are the little guy; numerous organizations have a lot more at risk.

Tax authorities from Fed to State governments have access to ABA/account numbers for those who do direct deposit. For those that don't they expose their bank details to millions of people receiving paper checks for tax refunds, social security, COVID hand outs etc.

State Department has access to millions of people's ABA/account numbers when they apply for passports.

Countless companies' account payable and payroll have have access to the ABA/account numbers of their vendors and employees or vice versa if they choose to do paper check instead of ACH transfers.

If this is really a concern to you, be vigilant and review statements. Alternatively just open a checking account at a no-fee online bank and transfer just enough from your primary bank accounts to cover checks written and destroy any checks you may have from your primary accounts.
True. Big organizations have a lot more at risk. They also have a lot more resources to protect them. Just imagine you were a little crook. Would you target Microsoft hoping to get away with a loot. The fact that many organization have information about you including employers, financial institutions and government agencies does not let you lower the safe guarding requirement of information.
Is your concern more at prevention in the first place or recovering after the fact?

If the former, I don't see how having more resources will make it less likely for fraud to take place in the first place. Let's say you have a bank holding an account for a Fortune 500 vs. an individual. The Fortune 500 can have army of lawyers but I don't see them preventing fraud from taking place in the first place.

But again, for most people, their employers have their bank details for direct deposit, so for many of those individuals don't have an army of lawyers either.

If your interest is prevention , then open another account and deposit only as much as needed for checks drawn from and only from that account..
Again, you missed the point. If you were a small time crook, would you dare to defraud Exxon Mobil? You know that they will chase after and bring you to justice. A little Joe? Heck, there might be a chance for a success of a small sum.
Can you imagine a legit organization defrauding you? If they want something out of you, they will come in the front door. I would not worry about them having my info, but am concerned with small time crooks getting hold of my info.
Northern Flicker
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Re: Risk with paying someone with a personal check

Post by Northern Flicker »

I always try to use a credit card or online billpay for payments. Not only is your account number protected, but legal protections are stronger.

Account numbers are divulged to other parties for ACH as well.

Any situation covered by Federal Reserve Regulation E has stronger protection than if it is not in play and you have to rely on the Uniform Comnercial Code.
Risk is not a guarantor of return.
seawolf21
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Re: Risk with paying someone with a personal check

Post by seawolf21 »

MathIsMyWayr wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 7:14 pm
seawolf21 wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 5:45 pm
MathIsMyWayr wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 3:57 pm
seawolf21 wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 3:34 pm
MathIsMyWayr wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:47 pm
If you truly believe that a checking account number is a public knowledge, please post your full checking account numbers here. By the way, my credit union no longer prints the account number on its statement. Comparng with a con guy like Abagnale is silly. He does not have to bother a little guy like me. He may as well walk into a Bank of America CEO's office pretending to be a new CEO.
As you said, you are the little guy; numerous organizations have a lot more at risk.

Tax authorities from Fed to State governments have access to ABA/account numbers for those who do direct deposit. For those that don't they expose their bank details to millions of people receiving paper checks for tax refunds, social security, COVID hand outs etc.

State Department has access to millions of people's ABA/account numbers when they apply for passports.

Countless companies' account payable and payroll have have access to the ABA/account numbers of their vendors and employees or vice versa if they choose to do paper check instead of ACH transfers.

If this is really a concern to you, be vigilant and review statements. Alternatively just open a checking account at a no-fee online bank and transfer just enough from your primary bank accounts to cover checks written and destroy any checks you may have from your primary accounts.
True. Big organizations have a lot more at risk. They also have a lot more resources to protect them. Just imagine you were a little crook. Would you target Microsoft hoping to get away with a loot. The fact that many organization have information about you including employers, financial institutions and government agencies does not let you lower the safe guarding requirement of information.
Is your concern more at prevention in the first place or recovering after the fact?

If the former, I don't see how having more resources will make it less likely for fraud to take place in the first place. Let's say you have a bank holding an account for a Fortune 500 vs. an individual. The Fortune 500 can have army of lawyers but I don't see them preventing fraud from taking place in the first place.

But again, for most people, their employers have their bank details for direct deposit, so for many of those individuals don't have an army of lawyers either.

If your interest is prevention , then open another account and deposit only as much as needed for checks drawn from and only from that account..
Again, you missed the point. If you were a small time crook, would you dare to defraud Exxon Mobil? You know that they will chase after and bring you to justice. A little Joe? Heck, there might be a chance for a success of a small sum.
Can you imagine a legit organization defrauding you? If they want something out of you, they will come in the front door. I would not worry about them having my info, but am concerned with small time crooks getting hold of my info.
FYI. Check fraud is a criminal matter. Exxon Mobil or the individual is not chasing after the perpetrator, the State is.

A legit organization is not defrauding you, it’s the employees with access to sensitive information that potentially can defraud.

As for a small time crook, If you were forging checks let’s say for $1k. Which account would have less chance of bouncing? Exxon’s or some individual’s account?

If you are concern about small time crooks then, I say again, open a no-fee checking account, transfer in funds as necessary from your primary account into it. Problem solved.
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simplesimon
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Re: Risk with paying someone with a personal check

Post by simplesimon »

vbede772 wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 2:29 pm I was a victim of fraudulent activity due to using a personal check last year.

I needed a copy of a record from a DMV office in a state I used to live in. I filled out a form (which of course had much of my identifying information--name, address, phone # etc.) and sent in a check for $6.00.

A few weeks later I logged in to see my checking account balance, and it was negative in the amount of -$45,000.00. I actually had about $30,000.00 in the account, the other $15,000.00 was over drafted. You might imagine my emotional reaction to this news.

What happened was someone opened a paypal account using my information and account and sent money to, I suppose, an accomplice, or another person fraudulently using someone else's identity.

I did receive all of my money back within 10 days. The protections are the same as for credit cards, but when it is your checking account you are waiting on a positive resolution and refund, not a credit card issuer.

It was only after the fact that I realized someone at the DMV was the thief. My first suspicion was that I was hacked, but the bank told me their investigation concluded that this happened as a result of a paper check falling into the hands of someone dishonest. Since I had written just this one check recently (the most recent check I wrote was over 10 months before this one), I surmised what happened.

I have since closed this account, and will no longer write personal checks - ever. It is just too easy for the criminals these days.
Thanks for sharing. This is interesting because there are lots of missing pieces here that you probably don't have the answer to.

1) They obtained your social security number.
2) They were able to verify two micro-deposits or some security measure like that.

I had a large fraud against me last year with PayPal. A new credit card (administered by Synchrony Bank) was opened in my name with a balance run way up. The criminals must have obtained my social security number somehow because the card did indeed show up on my annual credit report. Makes me wonder if PayPal (or Synchrony Bank's) safeguards are particularly weak.

They initially denied my fraud claim and it took filing a report with the police and the FTC for them to accept the claim.
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MathIsMyWayr
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Re: Risk with paying someone with a personal check

Post by MathIsMyWayr »

seawolf21 wrote: Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:50 am FYI. Check fraud is a criminal matter. Exxon Mobil or the individual is not chasing after the perpetrator, the State is.

A legit organization is not defrauding you, it’s the employees with access to sensitive information that potentially can defraud.

As for a small time crook, If you were forging checks let’s say for $1k. Which account would have less chance of bouncing? Exxon’s or some individual’s account?

If you are concern about small time crooks then, I say again, open a no-fee checking account, transfer in funds as necessary from your primary account into it. Problem solved.
Agree that check fraud is a crime, so is a bike theft or a house break-in. I experienced small crimes. What happened? Police took down notes and asked to file an insurance claim. Be realistic. Authorities do not sit idle waiting for cases. They have to set priorities. This is what they call a political pressure or whatever. You also have to understand that small time crooks might not be smart at school, but that they are street smart, far smarter than you may imagine in the comfort of your home. Whether something is a crime or a civil offense does not matter much. When a drunken driver is about to hit you, are you going to find comfort that he is about to commit a series traffic code which will be taken care of by police?
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Kenkat
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Re: Risk with paying someone with a personal check

Post by Kenkat »

MathIsMyWayr wrote: Wed Aug 19, 2020 8:21 am You also have to understand that small time crooks might not be smart at school, but that they are street smart, far smarter than you may imagine in the comfort of your home.
My sister in law was a victim of check fraud; a check was stolen from a US postal service mailbox, washed and cashed. In talking with the police, they told her you’d be surprised how many of these street smart crooks will take that stolen check to Wal-Mart, present their ID and cash the check. It gets traced back to the ID and the police said they issue a warrant for arrest or sometimes will try to go pick them up at the address on their ID. They also said there are more sophisticated crime rings and it is much harder to catch those. She was reimbursed.

All that said, their advice was to take mail with checks enclosed directly to the post office or use online payments.

All payment methods have risks as well as financial and legal institutions trying to mitigate those risks. Check / ACH is high on your list of concerns, higher than I would rank it, but no worries, there is risk there so take advantage of some of the suggested mitigation risks in posts above.
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