How to protect your bank account from 'check washing': Better Business Bureau

ByJason Knowles and Ann Pistone WLS logo
Saturday, December 10, 2022
How to protect yourself from 'check washing' during holiday season
Here's how to protect your bank account from "check washing," according to the Better Business Bureau.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Here's a quick tip as you're paying bills or sending checks as gifts this holiday season.

The BBB has been alerting consumers after a growing trend in what's known as "check washing." Scammers can take you to the cleaners by washing checks in a simple bath of household chemicals to erase the original name and dollar amount written on the check.

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Victims often have no idea there is a problem until someone they sent a check to indicates the check was never received, or they see a check written to a stranger with a higher dollar amount.

  • The BBB said it's a reminder to regularly check your bank accounts.
  • Use a pen that contains "indelible" black gel ink to write your checks. This type of ink cannot be washed away.
  • Bring your checks directly to the post office. Don't put them in your mailbox or a blue mailbox, which can be targeted. And, get your incoming mail right away.
  • If you can, pay your bills online instead.