Thousands of dollars are lost each year due to hot checks, and in turn we all pay through higher prices. The first defense against hot checks and other crimes is for citizens to be alert and knowledgeable. If you are a business owner, it is important to establish a policy for employees to follow in regard to accepting personal checks. Here are some good practices you may want to include:
- Checks must be dated the same day they are given. Postdated checks cannot be prosecuted under Hot Check Statutes.
- Record some form of ID on the check. The clerk should record this information and not the check writer. This information should be printed on the front of the check and it should be legible.
- Written amounts and numbers correspond
- Confirm the identity of the check writer. If you are suspicious ask the check writer to hand you the license and while it is in your hand, ask his or her address or birth date. If it is not his/her license, he/she may be caught off guard and give the wrong information.
- Require a permanent street address – not a P.O. Box number. This facilitates collection and prosecution of the check if that becomes necessary.
- Do not accept checks previously signed. Make sure all checks are signed in your presence.
- Compared signatures with the signature on a valid Arkansas driver’s license.