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Account Information on Personal Checks
Does this concern anyone else?

Just an observation: I've never been a paper-check person. I tend to use a credit card when possible (many of them have standard fraud protection policies), or a debit card or cash otherwise. Some time ago I was setting up my credit card account for instant payments from my checkings account (standard American Express online card management option). It's easy - enter your bank routing number and your bank account number, both of which can be found on the bottom of your personal checks, and that's it.

I was always under the impression that you were supposed to keep your bank account number secret. So why is it, along with your bank routing number, at the bottom of all your personal checks? I've become somewhat wary of using checks, especially through the mail when there seems to be an increased risk of the check getting into the hands of someone who shouldn't have it.

A few years ago I remember a television special about people who would steal checks from the mail, use ink-removed chemicals, and then basically write it out to themselves or someone else so they could steal your money. Now that things are even more automatized and with so much done over the internet through direct transfers and the like, check theft seems even more dangerous because the thief would have your bank routing number and account number.

Maybe that hasn't become a problem (or hasn't become one yet) for some reason, or maybe there are some protective measures I'm unaware of. Maybe (hopefully) if there are, someone who knows more about it than me can explain it.


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