Media City Credit Union Educates Members on Check Washing and Check Fraud


Media City Credit Union

Media City Credit Union in Burbank, a financial cooperative that returns its income to its member-owners, aims to provide comprehensive financial education to its current and potential members. In the spirit of “People Helping People” credit unions, Media City hopes to educate people about paper check fraud and “check washing” so they can protect themselves and their loved ones from financial loss.

One of the biggest challenges as the holiday season approaches is check fraud. Check fraud is one of the most common forms of financial crime, as it is easily executed in several different ways by malicious actors who obtain checks by stealing them through the mail or breaking into post office boxes. USPS.

Most often, today’s check cashing fraud comes in the form of “check washing”, where bad actors literally wash the ink off a check and rewrite on the check to alter beneficiary and dollar amount. Protect yourself, your family and friends by learning about ways to prevent check fraud:

  1. Alert your financial institution in case of suspicious activity: It is important to monitor your accounts for any unusual activity and try to track the cashing of issued checks. If you notice suspicious activity in your accounts or involving your checks, alert your financial institution as soon as possible.
  2. Write on the checks using a gel ink pen: A simple way to avoid check washing fraud is to change the pen you use to write checks. A gel pen is much more permanent on paper and difficult to wash off, while ballpoint pen ink can be washed off paper quite easily.
  3. Avoid sending checks by mail if you don’t have to: Many malicious actors take advantage of mail theft strategies to obtain checks that do not belong to them and commit financial crimes. Whenever possible, avoid sending checks by mail to avoid the risk of check theft. If you haven’t tried it yet, remote deposit capture is a great way to use technology to deposit checks right from home.
  4. Try using electronic tools to pay your bills: In today’s digital age, there are several ways to pay bills online that don’t require you to send payments through the mail. Discover different online tools that allow you to pay bills or send money digitally.
  5. Be aware of mailbox theft: Mailbox theft continues to be a problem across the country. Whether it’s stolen checks, packages, or other personal mail, bad actors participate in mail theft from postal blue boxes and USPS personal mailboxes. Watch out for mail theft and add a lock to your mailbox if possible.

Media City Credit Union has policies and procedures in place to mitigate losses and we are here to protect and support our members. However, everyone has a responsibility to prevent check fraud. Use the tips above to avoid check fraud and continue to be careful with your accounts. If you suspect fraudulent check washing, please contact us for assistance. Better to err on the side of caution, especially when it comes to your finances.

About Media City Credit Union

Media City Credit Union has been serving its members since 1936, when we were founded by employees of Helms Bakeries. A credit union is like a bank, only better. Media City offers checks, savings, credit cards, and loans, but the benefits flow back to members in the form of lower fees, higher savings rates, and lower loan rates. Media City CU is a financial cooperative that gives back to its member-owners.

The credit union offers free access to 75,000 ATMs worldwide and provides online account access. If you live, work, worship, or go to school anywhere in Burbank, or have a relative who is already a member, you can also become a member. As soon as you join, your family members also become eligible. Media City CU has partnered with the ChangeWorks Foundation and by donating a minimum of $25 to this wonderful cause (Media City matches the $25 donation) you also become eligible for membership. New members have immediate access to all services, including loans.

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