Alert
Close

Think you know AARP? What you don't know about us may surprise you. Discover all the 'Real Possibilities'

Highlights

Open

Contests and
Sweeps

Dream Vacation Sweepstakes

10 weeks. 10 amazing trips. Seize your chance to win!
See official rules. 

Driver Safety

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

PROGRAMS

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide

You can get free, face-to-face tax assistance nationwide.

Money Matters Tip Sheets

Download and print out these PDFs to help with your financial matters.

AARP Books

Visit the Money Section

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

webinars

Learn From the Experts

Sign up now for an upcoming Money webinar or find materials from a past session. 

Jobs You Might Like

most popular
articles

Viewed

Commented

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.

SCAM ALERTS

Discounts & Benefits