Protect Your Financial HealthChexSystems® encourages consumers to have as much information as possible to help guide and inform them about their financial health. Review the information below to learn more.
Fraud describes a number of activities including, but not limited to, counterfeiting and forgery.
Tips to help prevent fraud
- Keep checks, debit and credit cards secure. Fraud commonly occurs after the theft or loss of these items.
- Balance accounts regularly, to be aware of all account activity.
- Do not write a Personal Identification Number (PIN) on a debit or ATM card or anywhere in a wallet or checkbook for a thief to find.
- Shred old checks and bank statements before they are thrown away.
- Fill in the payee line and amount line completely on checks. Do not leave blank spaces that can be altered.
- Do not provide account information over the telephone unless it is confirmed who is receiving it and why.
- Do not place outgoing mail in an unlocked box. Install a mailbox lock. Cut a slit in the mailbox large enough to slide mail through but not large enough to fit a hand through.
- Learn more about how to identify possible scams by visiting:
Key contacts if you are the victim of checking account fraud
- Financial institutions. Report the fraudulent activity and ask the financial institution to advise what steps to take next. For example, should the accounts be closed, stop payments placed on checks, who else should be notified, and so forth.
- Local law enforcement agency. Give them the necessary information and answer all their questions in detail and request that a police report be filed.
- Check service companies. These companies gather information on returned checks and report that information to their customers. Ask check service companies what information is required to report fraud.
- Credit bureaus. Notify credit bureaus and ask what other information may be required to report fraudulent activity.
- Chex Systems, Inc. Order a consumer disclosure report, dispute any information believed to be inaccurate or incomplete, place a consumer reported identity theft security alert and security freeze on file.
Click below for tips to help avoid potential negative impacts.
Make certain to maintain sufficient funds to cover all automatic payments posted to the account. Before closing an account, identify all automatic payments and discontinue them. If this step is not completed, fees could be charged even after the account is closed. When cancelling automatic payments, be sure to ask the company how long it will take to process the request to allow enough time for final payments to post to the account before it is closed.
Closing an Account
Always contact the financial institution to close an account. If an account is not properly closed, fees may be charged after funds in the account are depleted.
When depositing checks, allow enough time to make certain the check clears (usually 3-5 days, depending on the institution) before withdrawing or using the funds.
Balancing an Account
It is important to balance accounts regularly to avoid using more funds than are available. If an overdraft occurs, funds should be deposited immediately to cover the overdraft amount and any associated fees.
Use caution when agreeing to a joint account or becoming a co-signer on someone else's account. Joint account holders are equally responsible for the handling of an account.
Sharing a Personal Identification Number (PIN)
Do not share a PIN with others. If unauthorized transactions result from a shared PIN, the PIN should be changed. Charges resulting from unauthorized transactions made because of a shared PIN may not be refunded.
There is no legal obligation for a payee to hold a post-dated check. If the check is tendered prior to the post-date, the account holder is responsible for funds availability.
Statements and Other Correspondence from a Financial Institution
Always notify financial institutions where accounts are held of changes to personal information such as an address or name change. Not knowing the status of an account does not remove responsibility for it.
Account or Handling Errors Made by a Financial Institution
It is important to review account statements and receipts closely for inaccuracies. Bring questions or errors to the financial institution's attention immediately. The sooner the financial institution is made aware of the situation, the easier it is for them to review and respond to the matter.
Lost or Stolen Checks or Debit Cards
If checks or a debit card is lost or stolen, it should be immediately reported to the financial institution.
ChexSystems encourages you to be proactive, not just in times of uncertainty, but at all times, in monitoring your financial accounts and credit history. Click below for actions you can take to help protect your financial health.
Tips to Protect Your Credit History
- Ensure your consumer and credit reports are protected. Request free copies of your reports to ensure they are accurate and have no signs of fraud or identity theft.
- Request a free copy of your ChexSystems consumer disclosure report online or call 800.428.9623.
- You can request a free copy of your credit report from each of the national credit reporting agencies once every 12 months at AnnualCreditReport.com.
- ChexSystems wants to make sure that we answer any questions you may have. You may use this site to review answers to the most frequently asked questions, or you can contact Chex Systems, Inc. using the information below.