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FORGING CHECKS: Protect Your Finances

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While checks aren’t as common as they once were, the form of payment is not obsolete.

“People continue to write checks. Ten years from now will that be the case? I doubt it. The world is changing, the world of technology is really having a significant impact on financial institutions,” said Buck Olsen, wealth advisor with Foster Group, Inc. in West Des Moines.

Olsen explained that the new technology has caused some people to forget just how vulnerable a check book can be. He pointed out that on every check there’s a routing number and there’s a bank account number which means access to your money, and information.

But Olsen said that there are tools you can use that will keep your finances safe. “There are a lot of tools, online tools that we can utilize. Mint.com is something I personally use,” said Olsen, “Just check your online account to make sure the checks were actually cleared to the right organization.”

Some organizations like The Mansions on Hemingway Apartments in Johnston, recognize the dangers, and are taking steps to protect their clients and customers.

“We like to make sure that we tell our residents our different ways to be able to safely and securely pay their rent as it is a large portion of your monthly income,” said manager Shana Beaudoin, “we`re constantly changing with the times and with customer demands, but properties can have automatic withdrawal through the bank, or they can go through our website where they can do e-check online or they can use their credit card online.”

And Beaudoin said she has seen many of their residents take advantage of those tools.

“That puts the power back in the residents hand versus in the hands of a rent drop box or something along those lines,” said Beaudoin.