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How to Write a Check Safely

Mar 6, 2008
If you are new to check writing, then listen up. Though it's not the most difficult thing in the world, safely writing a check is something that everyone needs to know before it is all said and done.

Use Ink Only

Always use a pen to write a check to prevent any kind of tampering with the check. Never use a pencil when you are check writing because someone whod prefer to fill in the blanks with the amount theyd like to receive could easily erase your pencil marks. To avoid dishing out blank checks to people, be sure to use some kind of ink. Although a pen is acceptable according to most people, it is wise to use a permanent marker if possible. This is significant due to those occurrences in which people have committed "check washing", which is a process in which criminals use chemicals to remove checks' ink. A permanent marker prevents this possibility.

Dating and Identifying Tips

When you first glance over a check, it may strike you as extremely complicated. However, once you have all of the information, the blanks are easy to fill in. First, you need to fill out the current date on the check. A lot of people post date checks. Did you know it is illegal? Write the correct date on every check. Once this has been accomplished, be certain to clearly write the name of the recipient on the "pay to the order of" line. Be absolutely certain you've written their complete name.

Filling in the Amount

The most important piece of information on the check is the amount of money it's worth. You will have to input this information in two places. First, you must input this in the dollar amount line, which can be found just under the "pay to the order of" line. Write out the full amount, including any cents that are involved in the transaction. Filling out this portion of the check will help prevent against someone changing around the numbers that you input. Speaking of those numbers, you will have to input them into the amount box, which can be found on the right side of the check.

Signing the Check

When you are all done with the other parts of the check, it's time to sign the check. It is very important that you sign the check with your standard signature, similar to the one that can be found on your driver's license. If you don't take great care to do this, then the bank could throw up red flags on your check and you could have to answer annoying questions about potential fraud. With the amount of check fraud and forgery going on today, banks are on the lookout for signatures that look suspicious or don't match your normal signature. The final part of the check is the "info" section, which is optional. Most people like to write what the check is for just for their own bookkeeping ease. Generally, the more information you provide, the better off you will be.

In general, it isn't difficult to write a check. However, check writing isn't something that should be taken lightly. Be certain to take a great deal of care in filling out each section of the check as carefully and completely as possible, so as to minimize the possibility that your check will be manipulated. This will prevent future headaches from occurring.
About the Author
Bill Gordon shares his extensive knowledge of the checking industry on his site http://www.PersonalChecksPro.com which is a consumer resource site that compares the offerings of many online artistic check printing companies.
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