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What Are Protections For Using Bank Checks?

paoli2   |     |   2,465 posts since 2011

Yesterday the assistant manager at my local bank said something that somehow I had never thought of.  She said if "anyone" had our bank's routing number and account number which is on all the checks we use that they can go on the internet and order whatever they want and have the payment taken out of our checking account.  They don't have to have our password or any proof they own the account using it like this.  If they try to withdraw money from it in the bank, they have to give proof it is their account but otherwise all they need is those numbers.

This is scary to think of how many places we pay with checks and how many strangers have access to those important numbers.  Is this the reason so many have gotten away from even using checks and going to debit or credit cards?  Somehow, it just never occurred to me how easy it is for dishonest people to steal from others when these checks go pass their desks.  The bank lady said there is no way to protect one's self from having this happen to them.  Now I am really concerned about using checks.  I wonder how many people get stung by thieves like this?  Just wondering.

ChasR   |     |   255 posts since 2013
This happened to me awhile back.  My checking account was used to purchase pornography online, and the bank readily accepted that it was an unauthorized transaction and credited me the money back.  The problem was that I had to open a new checking account with a new number, so all the mechanisms I had in place to receive interest payments, pay certain bills, etc. had to be redone.
paoli2   |     |   2,465 posts since 2011
Thanks for the input.  This is what concerns me because I have a lot of the same type payments, autopays etc. and it would be a pain to have to redo everything.  I will be watching my account carefully now that I know this can happen to anyone.