Although many people are particularly fearful of doing their bill paying online, in many instances, you are probably safer from identity theft paying your bills electronically than if you pay your bills using conventional paper checks. At one time it took great skill to be a check forger, however, today the software necessary to print legitimate appearing checks is easy to get. If an identity thief has access to one of your real checks, the identity thief can then take the account information and bank information on your check and insert it into a forgery of your check that will look entirely legitimate. Recently there has been an upsurge in check forgeries. Police in York, Nebraska alerted the public this week to two groups of identity thieves. One group is forging the checks of individuals while the other is forging checks of businesses.
Identity thieves get your real checks in many ways. They may steal your wallet or purse in which you carry a check. They may rob your home and steal a blank check. They may rob your mailbox in which you might have put mail with checks in them for pickup by the postal carrier. They may work at a company or for someone whom you paid with a check. Regardless of how they get your check,you can be in trouble.
If you use proper security software on your computer or portable device, you may want to pay your bills online and eliminate paper checks as much as possible. There are far fewer places for your checks to be stolen if you pay online. Whether you pay online or use paper checks or a mixture of both, it is important to constantly monitor your bank account for any breaches of security of your account. You are not responsible for funds stolen from your bank account by a check forger. The bank will reimburse you for any losses, but obviously, the sooner you discover any security breach, the easier it is to remedy the problem.