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Proactive Measures to Not Fall Victim to Check & Mail Fraud

Check and mail fraud are becoming an enticing target for criminals to abuse. In today’s digital era, safeguarding your finances and personal information has never been more crucial. Criminals are constantly on the lookout for vulnerable individuals who may unknowingly expose their sensitive data, leaving them susceptible to potential financial losses. 

Have you ever noticed a check that seemed unfamiliar or one that was cashed for a different amount than what was originally issued? If so, you may have fallen victim to these types of fraud.

Incidents involving check and mail fraud have also seen a significant rise in recent years, primarily due to checks being intercepted before reaching the Postal Office. These intercepted checks are then altered, washed, counterfeited, and subsequently cashed by criminals.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service reported approximately 300,000 complaints about mail theft in 2021, nearly double what was reported the year prior.

Moreover, stolen checks often contain personal details such as names and addresses, which are later utilized for identity theft. Criminals also exploit this information, along with bank account details, to carry out fraudulent activities like ACH fraud, Business Email Compromise (BEC), and other related schemes.

Fortunately, there are several proactive steps you can take to protect yourself. In this article, we will explore effective tips to safeguard both your finances and identity. These measures include utilizing alternative payment methods, securing your sensitive documents, and regularly monitoring your accounts. By implementing these strategies, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to identity theft and financial fraud.

Protecting Your Finances and Identity: Key Tips

  1. Ensure you drop off your mail directly at the Post Office and promptly retrieve mail on a daily basis.
  2. Consider using gel ink pens as they are much harder to remove and deter fraud when it comes to personal checks.
  3. Enroll in eStatements to prevent your bank documents (statements, tax forms and notices) to be stolen in the mail.
  4. Verify that check payments are received by the intended recipients.
  5. Consider using alternative payment methods such as wire transfers, ACH, and bill pay.
  6. Take advantage of alerts and notifications offered by your online banking service.
  7. Monitor your online banking accounts and reconcile your statements frequently.

Payee Positive Pay Service

Business customers may take advantage of our Positive Pay Service. If you have already signed up for it, make sure you also sign up for our Payee Positive Pay service which provides with enhanced security (Contact your account officer for information).

By staying vigilant and following these recommendations, you can actively protect yourself against the rising threat of check and mail fraud and maintain the security of your financial resources.

For additional tips on fraud prevention and maintaining the security of your personal information, click here.

Amerant Editorial Team
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