In Check

Twelve easy steps you can follow to protect your business from bad checks.

  1. Your check acceptance policy should include required information, dollar limits and acceptable forms of ID. Make no exceptions to the policy.

  2. Be sure the customer signs the check in your presence and that his or her correct address and phone number appear on the check.

  3. Do not accept checks with hotel addresses, post office box numbers or any other temporary address.

  4. Accept checks drawn on local banks only.

  5. The four digits following the MICR number at the bottom of the check should match the four-digit number at the top right hand of the check.

  6. Do not accept any third-party checks.

  7. Look over each check carefully, making sure the date and amount are correct and clearly written. Avoid checks with crossed out or rewritten marks.

  8. Do not accept checks that are post-dated. You should have the ability to deposit checks immediately.

  9. All checks, except government-issued checks, have a perforation along one side of the check.

  10. Be sure to ask for a valid picture ID. Be wary of "ID cards" that can be obtained at flea markets. Examine the ID carefully to make sure that it has not been altered in any way.

  11. Compare the signatures, photo and physical description of the ID with that of the customer and write the ID number on the check.

  12. Use a check guarantee or verification service.

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