C.H.E.C.K. List To Protect Yourself Against Bad Check Writers

Card every “check writer” - Write down the photo ID number (preferably an Arizona Driver License) and date of birth of the signer. Remember, a social security card is not legitimate identification.

Handle the check - Feel the edges of the check. Can you feel a perforated side? How does the paper feel? Was it washed, erased, chemically wiped, taped together or altered with white correction tape?

Examine the preprinted information - Is there a printed address and name? Does the banking institution currently exist? For Arizona banks, do the numbers at the bottom (routing numbers) start with "12" for banks or "32" for credit unions? Is the check number at the top showing up on the bottom row of numbers? Routing numbers at bottom of check should not be in shiny ink, but should reflect flat or dull.

Confirm the handwritten data - Make sure the date is accurate, and the dollar amounts match. Be sure the signature matches the account name and that it is legible. Print the signer's name above the signature if you cannot read it.

Keep your procedure consistent - Even if you think you know the check writer, insist on seeing ID and write the information on the check (AZ Driver License, date of birth).