Check Fraud: What To Do When It Happens to You


Writing a Check

The first step is to call your bank and shut down the checking account.  You must file a police report with your local police department stating the check book was stolen.

You will need to go to the bank and have Customer Service go through your account and verify the checks clearing through the account are yours.  It is recommended to have the bank write a letter stating the date and the reason the checking account was closed.  Please ask your bank to notify you if any checks come in on the closed account so that you can take the proper action to clear up the matter with any merchant or bank.

You will need to contact the check verification companies because even though the account has been shut down; any checks written on the closed account will be denied payment by your bank.  The check verification companies will unsuccessfully try to collect on the fraudulent check on behalf of the company that accepted the check.  The company that took the check will not know why it did not clear; only that it was denied payment by your bank.

It is important to ask what identification was used by the person when it was presented to the clerk. You need to check to see if it is your driver’s license or state identification card number.  If it is your driver’s license, you will need to request a new number from your driver’s license office.  You will have to ask if your state allows this, as each state differs on that particular request. They will inform you whether they allow you to get a new number, and if so, what documentation is required.

Check Fraud may not look like a problem at first, because you have shut the account down.  The problem is that even though you have done everything correctly, you still can become a victim.  This is because the thief can wait to use the stolen checks or create new counterfeit checks and put your information on those them.  You must take the time to check periodically with the check verification companies to see if they are holding any checks with your information.

Check Fraud is very easy to do, but creates a lot of work for you when you need to the matter cleared up.  The holiday season is fast approaching and you must be attentive to your purse especially if you are carrying your check book.


Check Fraud: What To Do When It Happens to You was written by Wilma. Wilma is a Victim Advisor at the Identity Theft Resource Center.

Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC) is a nonprofit, nationally respected organization dedicated exclusively to the understanding of identity theft and related issues. The ITRC provides victim and consumer support, public education, and advisory services to governmental agencies, legislators, law enforcement, and businesses.