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  Take Steps to Protect Your Checking Account Information

It is fine to use your checking account information on the Web or over the phone to pay bills or to pay companies you know and trust. But you should safeguard your checking account information, just as you would your address, phone number, Social Security number, and other account numbers.

Here's a list of steps consumers can take to prevent checking account number theft:
  • Safeguard your checking account information, just as you would any other sensitive personal information.
  • Never give your checking account information to telemarketers or to callers claiming to need to confirm or verify your checking account information.
  • Don't carry your checkbook around with you unnecessarily.
  • Don't leave bill payments or other checks in your mailbox.
  • Always review your monthly account statement, or go to your financial institution's web site to view your account activity more frequently. Report any unauthorized transaction or suspicious activity to your financial institution immediately.
  • Report lost or stolen checks and checkbooks immediately to your financial institution.
  • Tear or shred any old checks or account statements before throwing them away.
  • Consider using electronic alternatives to paying by check when making purchases or paying bills. This substantially reduces, or even eliminates, the number of people that see the personal and account information that is printed on your checks, and provides better protection under Federal regulations.
  • If you believe your checking account information has been stolen, contact your financial institution immediately.
Consumers have better protection with electronic payments than they do when using paper checks. There are federal regulations that provide consumers with substantial protection against unauthorized electronic debits to their checking accounts. There are no comparable federal regulations for checks.
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