Great Tips For Protecting Your Checking Account

by admin on April 26, 2010


1. Don’t give your account number and bank
routing information to anyone you don’t

Give out your account information for transactions
only if you are familiar with the company you are
dealing with. And if you have not done business with
a company before, give out account information only if
you have initiated the transaction. Criminals may ask
you for your bank account number and then withdraw
money from your account by creating a demand draft
(sometimes called a “remotely created check”) or making
an electronic transfer. They may also ask for your
debit or credit card number and other personal information.
Don’t fall for these scams and don’t let yourself
be pressured into “free trial offers.” To be removed
from telemarketing lists, sign up for the National Do Not
Call Registry online (
or by calling, toll-free, 1-888-382-1222.

2. Review your monthly statement.

Make sure all the checks, debits, automatic payments,
and other withdrawals are ones you authorized. If
you see a transaction you did not authorize, notify
your bank immediately. If your bank has online banking,
you don’t have to wait until your bank statement
comes—you can check your transactions at any time.

3. Notify your bank about any problems as
soon as possible.

The sooner you alert your bank to a problem, the
sooner they can get it resolved. In some cases, your
bank may require you to notify them in writing. Keep
copies of any documents you give the bank until
the problem is resolved. If you think the problem
is a result of fraud, you should also contact your
state attorney general.

4. If you don’t have enough money in
your account, don’t write the check
or authorize the debit.

Checks are being processed more quickly
these days, which means the money may be
debited from your account sooner. Also, many
stores and utility, insurance, and credit card companies
will convert your check to an electronic payment,
which also means the money will be debited from
your account sooner. If you don’t have enough money
in your account when you write a check or authorize a
debit, you could find yourself paying a fee. For more
information, see the Federal Reserve Board’s publications
“What You Should Know about Your Checks”
htm) and “Protecting Yourself from Overdraft
and Bounced-Check Fees” (

5. Know your rights under consumer
protection laws.

If you have a problem with an electronic debit or
electronic fund transfer, you have certain rights under
the federal Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA), as
explained in the Board’s “Consumer Handbook to
Credit Protection Laws” (
pubs/consumerhdbk/electronic.htm). You also have
rights under the EFTA if you have a problem with
a check that has been converted, as described in the
Board brochure “When Is Your Check Not a Check?”

Source: Federal Reserve Board

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