Recently Woburn, Massachusetts police arrested a newspaper delivery person whom they allege stole $225,000 from the customers on his route. According to the Woburn police, the delivery person took the checks he received as tips and forged phony checks using the routing numbers and other information clearly indicated on the real checks that he received from his customers. At one time, it took talent to be a check forger, but with today’s computer software anyone can take the information on a real check and easily print out their own perfectly forged checks.
I tell you this not to discourage you from using paper checks, although I personally believe that you are safer making payments electronically than through checks mailed out in envelopes. However, there are many times when you may need to use a check so the important thing to remember is to keep your checkbook in a secure place where people cannot easily steal it or even steal a single check from the back of the checkbook in order to get the information they need to make a forged check that could be used to empty your account. You also should make sure that you regularly monitor your checking account on at least a monthly basis or even more often, which you can do online. If you identify phony charges to your account, you can notify the bank immediately and you will not be liable for funds lost to a forged check. It has been said about liberty, but it also applies to personal security, that the price is eternal vigilance.