Looking for cheap checks? Make sure they have these security features to protect yourself from fraud

Personal checks online and how to protect yourself from fraud

Checks at banks can easily cost upwards of $35. To save costs, many people go to the internet to look for cheaper alternatives. While you may find many great deals, you want to make sure you don’t select a company whose quality is so poor that your checks may also be considered fraudulent because they lack the essential security features. Yes, banks can refuse to process your check if they feel it doesn’t meet the security requirements. Another consequence of poor or lack of security features on your checks can result in ‘check washing’. This is a process in which a crooks dip your checks in a chemical to remove your writing. They now have a blank check to cash in with any amount from your account.

To avoid these situations, look for these security features before you purchase checks from online companies.

  1. MP Logo
    This logo indicates that there are microprinted words in the signature line, that are unreadable to the naked eye. These microprinted words are very hard to effectively duplicate, thus preventing check counterfeiting.
  2. Padlock icon
    This icon indicates a minimum of three security features on the check. This icon is a registered trademark of the Check Payment Systems Association (CPSA).
  3. Security Warning
    Advises that the checks contain several security features to prevent counterfeiting.
  4. Microprinting
    These are microprinted words, located in the signature line of the check. They look like a line and are very hard to effectively duplicate, thus preventing check counterfeiting.
  5. Invisible fluorescent fibers
     These special fibers are only visible under UV light.
  6. Security screen
    On the back of each and every check is text reading “Original Document”. These security features are also very hard to duplicate.
  7. Premium check paper with these features
  • UV dull base-sheet – Ultraviolet reactive paper that can be authorized by bank personnel depending on how the paper reacts to the UV light.
  • SecurLaser – A special surface treatment that is applied to both sides of the check to maximize printer ink adhesion. This guarantees that readability of the magnetic ink that is used to print the microprinting line.
  • Full chemical reactivity – the paper changes appearance when exposed to chemicals such as bleach, acids, alkalis as well as polar and non-polar solvents. These chemicals are used by crooks for check washing and rewriting amounts and signatures on blank checks.

These are just some of the check features available to checks. While most checks will not have all of these features, they will have at the very least 3 – 4. It’s always better to have more security features on your cheques to protect yourself from check fraud.

ChecksAdvantage.com is one of the companies that I have used and consider secure. They provide all of these security features as well as ensure that their checks meet ANSI X9 standards and are Check 21 compliant.  The best part is a box of 150 checks runs for about $7.50 with free shipping. However, for a slight premium, you can purchase checks with personalized images. They have a selection of over 2500 images to choose from.  


Have you had any issues with check fraud? Do you have any other thoughts on purchasing checks over the internet?



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