Consumers beware when using checks

When you get your checks, protect them

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It may not be the most popular way you pay, but you must be mindful when using and ordering checks just the same. 22News is working for you with how to protect your banking information.

For many consumers, plastic has taken over as the most popular way to pay; but depending on preferences or payment options, others still sign and tear until they get to the last check of the book. Before you place your next order, buyers beware.

According to Milagros Johnson of the Office of Consumer Information in Springfield, “People want quick, easy, and inexpensive. Those three things are putting us all at risk of identity theft and privacy issues and accounts being hacked.”

Kirk Burnham, the Senior Vice President of Polish National Credit Union, told 22News they advise their customers to reorder through the bank, where routing and account numbers are already on file and protected.

Suzanne Stebbins of Chicopee told 22News that’s the only way she’ll re-order, after having a nightmare experience donating to charity online.

I don’t trust the internet. I already got scammed. All of the sudden I got a virus and they got my credit card number and they were charging to my credit card. Thank God my bank helped me out. Now though I’m kind of leery,” said Stebbins.

If you do choose to order checks online or through a print ad, research the business. Look into the history of the company, and see if they’re accredited with the Better Business Bureau.

When you get your checks, protect them. Whenever you write a check, you’re giving away your banking information.

While there are safeguards to protect account holders, those numbers can still be useful in the wrong hands.