It is official, according the AP check fraud experts are warning Americans to avoid mailing checks if you can. That includes us in Montana. There has been an increase in check fraud cases across the country. With direct deposit and online pay, the need for checks isn't as great and the use of paper checks has decreased. There are still times when using a check is needed, especially for small businesses.

I Was Old Fashioned with Using Checks

It took me some time to ease away from using checks. I am old-fashioned. I like to write out a check and know exactly where it is going. My family has made fun of me for still balancing my checkbook. I have recently changed my views on mailing checks after what happened to me.

I Was a Victim of Check Theft in Montana

I was a victim of check theft, a person stole a check out of our mailbox in the outgoing mail. I made the mistake of putting the check in the mailbox early in the morning on my way to work. My wife noticed, on her way to work, that the mailbox door was open, the flag was up and the mailbox was empty. After multiple calls, I found out that our mail hadn't been picked up. Someone stole that check.

Theft Causes Headaches

After a phone call to my bank, not only did I have to cancel my check, but the bank had to change my account. My bank called me a few days later letting me know that someone had tried to cash the check. They were arrested. I was shocked that it happened to me here in Montana. From that day on, I no longer put outgoing mail in my mailbox. It doesn't matter if it has a check in it or not. It happens to more and more people these days. I am not the only victim.

Consider Changing the Way You Bank Montana

Putting your outgoing mail in an official post office box, may not be enough these days. The recommendation is if you are going to mail a check, take it inside the post office to mail it. To protect yourself even more you may want to consider switching all your banking to online banking.

LOOK: Where people in Montana are moving to most

Stacker compiled a list of states where people from Montana are moving to the most using data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

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