Alert
Close

Watch the NASCAR race on Sunday at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. Join the Drive to End Hunger!

Highlights

Open

Think You Know AARP Caribbean Cruise Sweepstakes

Money & Work

Contests and
Sweeps

Safe Driving in 2014 Sweepstakes

Learn how AARP Driver Safety can help you stay safe—and enter for a chance to win $1,000. See official rules. 

Driver Safety

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

AARP Books

Visit the Money Section

Enjoy titles on retirement, Social Security, and becoming debt-free.

Jobs You Might Like

most popular
articles

Viewed

Scam Alert

Fake Checks

How to spot them in your mailbox

6. Paper: Fake checks are often lighter than the paper stock used for authentic checks. They also may feel slippery.

7. Signature: Stains or gaps around signatures, a digitized appearance, or many up and down pen strokes indicate the payer's John Hancock was printed from a scanned original or was forged.

8. MICR line: The bottom of every real check has a series of digits in an unusual font, representing the bank routing number, the account number and the check number, generally in that order. That special font is known as MICR, which stands for magnetic ink character recognition. These numbers can be read by specialized check-sorting machines. Real magnetic ink looks and feels dull to the touch. Fake MICR numbers are often shiny.

9. Routing number: Typically, the first nine digits of the MICR line make up the routing number, which identifies which bank issued the check. A check with no routing number or with fewer — or more — than nine digits is clearly a fake. You can verify routing numbers by going to the Federal Reserve Financial Services website.

Sid Kirchheimer is the author of Scam-Proof Your Life, published by AARP Books/Sterling.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

The Cheap Life

Jeff Yeager Cheap Life Ultimate Cheapskate AARP YouTube web series save money

Catch the latest episode of The Cheap Life starring Jeff Yeager, AARP's Ultimate Cheapskate. Watch

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Life insurance: you are covered rain or shine

Exclusive annuities for members from AARP Lifetime Income Program from New York Life.

AARP Credit card from Chase

Members can get cash back rewards on purchases with the AARP® Credit Card from Chase.

Homeowners Insurance
Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.