The check has been a popular form of payment dating back to Roman times. Although there’s been a decline in check usage due to the rise of digital payment services, some forms of check fraud are actually on the rise, according to reports.

But how are fraudsters scamming check users? The answer may surprise you.

Mailbox Marauders

With the prevalence of technology in society today, you may think check fraudsters use high-tech methods to get to your money, but you would be mistaken. In fact, they take a simplistic and old-fashioned approach by stealing checks directly from your mailbox, car, or other accessible location. Checks are often taken while the victim is running an errand inside a store or gym, for example. Once stolen, checks are counterfeited or altered and presented as legitimate at a bank or other financial institution.

Some fraudsters will sell the altered checks on the dark web, potentially exposing your account details to other criminals and would-be thieves.

Protecting Yourself from Check Fraud

The good news is keeping yourself safe from check fraud can be as simple as the scam itself. All it takes is some vigilance and keeping these six tips top of mind:

  1. Keep your checks in a secure location. Consider a locked filing cabinet or safe deposit box for all your important personal documents.
  2. Never store your checks, ID, or wallet in your car. Do not keep important documents, such as checks, in your car, gym bag, public locker, or other location that is easy for a scammer to access.
  3. Mail checks by dropping them off inside the post office and when you are unable to do so, ensure you mail checks from a locked mailbox.
  4. Monitor your account activity. If a check clears for a different amount or it’s been an unusual amount of time for a check to clear, report it to your financial institution.
  5. Use alternative payment methods when you are able to, such as Bill Pay or ACH.
  6. If you notice your checks, identification, or wallet are missing or stolen, immediately contact FirstBank at 1-800-964-3444.

Our goal is always to provide you with the resources and tools you need to keep your money safe. Learn more by visiting our Fraud Protection page at

“This page may contain links to external websites. These links are displayed for your convenience. FirstBank does not manage these sites and assumes no responsibility for the content, links, privacy policy, or security policy.”