Bank checks are written orders that we use to tell our banking institutions to pay money or to transfer funds from our account to a check holder.
Your bank checks serve as a personal form of money and you can avoid a possible risk of forgery by following five simple suggestions:
1. Use an ink pen so your bank checks' information cannot be easily altered.
2. Fill in all the information on your bank check clearly and legibly, including your signature.
Scrawls can be easier to forge so it's important to take your time when writing a bank check.
3. When filling in a bank check, start at the far left when writing in the amount of your bank check longhand. When you've finished writing in the amount of the bank check, draw a line through any remaining blank space so it cannot be filled in later.
4. Be sure the numerical and written check amounts match exactly.
5. If you make a mistake, void the bank check and start a new one. List the voided bank check in your register to help in later reconciling your account.
Sometimes we encounter problems when we write or receive bank checks. We may find our checking account becomes overdrawn or we may receive a check that "bounces."
Depository institutions must also deal with check problems, including fraud and losses from bounced bank checks.
Banks are protected from some risks by regulation that allows time for a check to clear before a customer is allowed to access the bank check's funds.
In addition, banks establish certain verification and identification procedures to safeguard against losses.