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Check Fraud
If you have a checking account or write checks, you could be a target. There has been a steady increase in financial fraud since October 1999. Normally, from October through February is the busiest time of the year for scam artists.

Be extra careful as you do your shopping and when withdrawing money from ATM’s. Always be aware of the crowds surrounding you. There may be scam artists waiting to catch you off guard. Below you will find some safety tips to follow:
  1. When writing a check for your purchase, make sure you only provide the necessary identification required--your name, address, phone number, and your driver license or state ID. Many merchants are now requiring your SSN. Unless you want to purchase the item from this particular merchant, DO NOT PROVIDE YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER, go somewhere else.
  2. Take your time at the counter. Make sure you retrieve your ID or Driver License, credit card and your credit slip after your purchase.
  3. Secure your receipts in a safe place as you shop. A scam artist can have a heyday with a lost credit slip.
  4. Your pocketbook should always be securely closed and if available with a shoulder strap. It should also be crisscrossed over your shoulder.
May 24, 2006 MSNBC had posted a video and examples of check fraud, including how to protect yourself - http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7914159/
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