Bad Check Check-off

Consider these tips from Bankrate.com for reducing bad checks in your operation.

1. Don't accept checks, period.

This is drastic, but you'll never get a bounced check.

2. Watch out for low-numbered checks.

Usually, a low number means a new account, perhaps one that was set up to defraud businesses such as yours. The odds are increased that these low-numbered or starter checks are fraudulent. According to Myvesta.org, nine out of 10 bad checks bear numbers from 101 to 499.

3. Scrutinize every check.

Look for inconsistencies and things that just don't seem right. For example, personal checks with four smooth edges (no perforations) or shiny print jobs are worth a second look -- they may be counterfeits produced on a laser printer. Also, compare the series of numbers at the top and bottom of the check: The last three or four numbers of the Federal Reserve number at the top of the check (usually at the upper right) should match the first three or four numbers of the routing/transit number (usually on the lower left) Checks should also have the name of the bank and usually a location.

4. Post a bad-check policy.

Warn customers that stiff penalties await them, such as state fees, should they write a cold check.

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