Why You Should Destroy Checks After Making Mobile Deposits


It’s seriously never been easier to deposit a check, thanks to the rise of mobile banking apps.

Sign your check, snap a photo and watch as the money appears in your account within a few hours or days.

But there is at least one drawback to depositing money this way: fraud. Some customers are learning the hard way that it’s important to destroy your checks, lock them up or write “deposited” on them after a mobile deposit.

Arizona resident Jennifer Rogers used the Bank of America mobile banking app to deposit a $1,500 check, she told 12News. Two months later, she was surprised to see that Bank of America had removed $1,500 from the same account.

After some extensive digging, she learned that her check had been stolen. The thief had added another signature to the back of the check and successfully deposited it at an ATM, where he was caught on a surveillance camera.

Though she tried to get her money back, Rogers didn’t have any luck, she said. Bank of America told the news station that customers are responsible for the checks they deposit.

“To help prevent checks from being negotiated more than once, customers using mobile check deposit are directed to write ‘Deposited’ on the check and destroy the original check promptly after the deposit has been acknowledged,” a representative from the bank told 12News. “As long as the ‘live’ check is still in existence, there is a chance that it could be negotiated more times.”

The same thing happened to Katherine Kostreva, who told her story to the New York Times. Kostreva, a marketing and public relations consultant, said she had two paper checks stolen—one worth $1,200 and another worth $1,400—and redeposited after she’d already made mobile deposits.

In addition to locking up your checks and writing “deposited” on them, banking experts say it’s also a good idea to write “for mobile deposit only” on checks under your signature. That will add an extra layer of security in case someone tries to redeposit or cash the check.

[H/t: Consumerist]

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Sarah Kuta

Sarah Kuta is an award-winning writer and editor based in Colorado. She writes regularly about how to find deals, save money and find side gigs. Reach her at More.

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