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Cybersecurity, Financial Fitness, Online Security |

Protect Yourself: Mobile Deposit and Fraudulent Checks

With all the talk of online fraud, phishing texts and phone calls, and data breaches, it might seem safer to simply use checks. And mobile deposit makes getting paid by check so easy. But with the convenience, we sometimes see increased risk.

Unfortunately, check fraud is just as prevalent as other types of fraud, so you need to make sure your check is valid before you try to deposit it in your account using mobile deposit.

  1. Know who is giving you the check. Make sure you recognize both the sender of the check and the financial institution they are sending it from. Although cashier’s checks have long been considered safe, fraudsters have gotten much more savvy when it comes to making fake checks look real, and even these types of checks may be fake.
  2. Don’t accept checks for more than the agreed-upon amount. One type of check fraud involves sending a check that is written for more than the amount and asking the recipient to send back the overage right away. The problem? The check is no good, and the recipient is out the money they sent back — sometimes in the thousands.
  3. Don’t spend the money right away. One of the best features of mobile deposit is that funds are available very quickly. But you may want to wait until the check has fully cleared before you spend the money, rather than relying on the courtesy amount made available.
  4. Know your network. One of the benefits on mobile deposit is that you can deposit a check to your account anytime, anywhere. But you will want to make sure you are on a safe network when you log into online or mobile banking for any reason. Public wifi networks can be compromised, potentially putting your sensitive banking information at risk. If you must deposit a check or login into to the app while away from your own secure home network, turn off wifi on your phone so you send the data through the cellular network.
  5. Learn how to spot fraud. Examine the check completely, looking for any mismatched typefaces, numbers that seem cut off, blurry text, or missing watermarks. If you are unsure whether you can trust a check, please bring it to the branch rather than using mobile deposit. We can help you determine whether it is valid.
  6. Check your accounts regularly. To stay on top of any potential issues, make sure you check your accounts on the app or online banking on a regular basis. If you see any activity you don’t expect, please contact us right away.

Mobile deposit offers unparalleled convenience, but it’s essential to stay vigilant and cautious. By following these tips and staying informed, you can help protect yourself from falling prey to fraudulent checks. Remember, when it comes to your finances, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Stay vigilant, stay informed, and keep your finances secure!

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We're Heritage Grove Federal Credit Union. We're here to help you stand tall, to offer great solutions and sound financial advice. We want to help you achieve your financial goals, and we look forward to serving you. Call us at 503-588-0211 or 1-877-695-8321 with questions, any time!