Check Security: Making Your Business and Personal Checks Safe to Use
Protecting your finances should not be an afterthought when it comes time to order personal checks online. You need to make sure the checks you purchase come with recommended security features to prevent check fraud and identity theft.
One of the first things you should look for is the presence of the padlock icon on your personal checks. This should be located towards the right edge of the check underneath the box intended for the dollar amount.
Business checks may have the padlock icon in other acceptable places. The padlock symbol is a registered trademark of the Check Payment Systems Association (CPSA). The CPSA authorizes its use and makes sure check printers are following recommended security guidelines. The icon is intended to indicate that there are a minimum of three security features on the check.
Legitimate check printers will use a special type of paper when printing their business checks and personal checks. At Check Advantage we use what is called UV Dull Basesheet. This type of paper is easy to distinguish from typical paper when you put it underneath an ultra violet light. Check Advantage checks also contain StarlighT Invisible Fluorescent fibers which are show up under a UV light.
If you pick up a check and the paper feels flimsier than normal it may be a fake check or you may have purchased personal checks printed on unsecure paper.
Checks with high quality security features will often have a watermark, security screen or ghost security pattern, which may read "Original Document." These words will not show up if a check is photocopied or scanned for illegal reproduction. Color security patterns can also complicate attempts to create fraudulent checks.
Micro printing is another technology that is not picked up by copiers and scanners. On manual checks it can be found around the edge of the check. Micro printing is present on the signature line of both laser checks and personal checks offered at Check Advantage.
Essentially, micro printing is tiny words that usually sread "Original Document." The words are difficult to see without the use of a magnifying glass. There should also be an MP logo next to the signature line.
Another way to deter check fraud is to treat the checks with bleach reactive brown stain and full solvent reactivity. These are chemical reactants that will cause permanent stains if someone attempts to alter a check through check washing. If someone tries to use solvents to clear information from a check, a brown or orange stain will appear with bleach reactive brown-stain treatment, and a blue, green or purple mark will appear with full solvent reactivity.