Check Acceptance Tips
The best way to reduce your losses is to avoid taking bad checks from the start. The following tips are suggestions to help you establish good procedures for accepting checks.
Remember, you are not required to accept a check from anyone. If you feel uncomfortable or suspicious, trust your intuition. Ask for another form of payment.
A clearly posted check acceptance policy for your employees and customers can go a long way toward reducing your losses. Policies should state which types of checks can and cannot be accepted and include the consequences to bad check writers.
All I.D. can be forged. The most reliable form of I.D. is that which contains a photo and a physical description. Take the I.D. in hand and write the I.D. number, birth date, address, and other description data on the front of the check. Ask questions. If the I.D. does not belong to the person writing the check, they may be thrown off guard.
Approximately 85 percent of all bad checks are written on accounts only a few months old and bear check numbers between 101 and 150. Use caution. Do not accept counter drafts.
Require a street address, in addition to a P.O. Box number. Obtain a phone number as well.
Pre-dated or post-dated checks are not accepted in the Bad Check Diversion Restitution Program and cannot typically be criminally prosecuted. This restricts any recourse you may have against the check writer if your own collection attempts fail.
Out-of-state checks take long to clear and are much more likely to be stolen or closed accounts.
If you feel uncomfortable or suspicious, trust your intuition!
Ask for another form of payment.