Rising Concerns Over Check Fraud

Farmers State Bank Provides Essential Advice to Combat Check Fraud

YALE, IOWA — Despite the dramatic decrease in check usage — a plunge of 82% over the past three decades as noted by the Federal Reserve — the allure of check fraud for criminals has not waned, instead surging to levels that cost billions in losses annually, doubling figures from five years prior.

Farmers State Bank is proactive in deploying strategies to detect check fraud, but emphasizes that customers also have a crucial role in fortifying their financial defense. To this end, Farmers State Bank shares seven effective strategies to help customers steer clear of check fraud:

  1. Vigilance with Mail: Intercepting checks from mailboxes remains a common tactic among thieves. Opt to hand-deliver checks to the post office for mailing.
  2. Secure Storage of Checks: Treat your checks as you would sensitive personal data; store them securely in a locked safe or cabinet when not in use.
  3. Ink Choices Matter: Opt for black or blue gel ink when writing checks. Gel ink bonds with paper fibers, making it difficult for criminals to wash away without leaving traces.
  4. Embrace Online Bill Payments: Leverage your bank’s digital platforms for bill payments to minimize the risk of mail theft.
  5. Adopt Mobile Payments: Utilize mobile payment services like Zelle, Venmo, and PayPal for swift and secure transactions. Ensure your accounts are protected with strong passwords and multi-factor authentication.
  6. Avoid Questionable “Quick Money” Schemes: Exercise caution with too-good-to-be-true offers on social media that could entangle you in fraudulent activities.
  7. Regular Account Monitoring: Frequently review your account for any unusual activity. Prompt reporting of unauthorized transactions to your bank is crucial in mitigating potential financial loss.

Scott Stanley, President and CEO, reinforces the partnership between the bank and its customers in combating check fraud, stating, “While Farmers State Bank is dedicated to employing advanced measures against check fraud, our customers’ vigilance and proactive actions are invaluable. Together, through awareness and the adoption of secure banking practices, we can significantly enhance the protection of our financial health.”

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