How To Prevent A Stolen Or Lost Check From Cashing

How To Prevent A Lost Or Stolen Check From Cashing

With an increment in finance and banking, the ways of payments have also evolved. With the payments through checks, the cash handling is reduced by far. But when a check with a reasonable payment is stolen or lost, there is a risk of some fraudster cashing it. That’s the same question many HRs and company representatives ask about how to prevent a stolen or lost check from cashing.

The answer to this question comes in handy. You have to contact your bank authorities in this regard and much more. This article will give you a complete guide for your question about how to prevent a stolen or lost check from cashing, so keep on reading.

What to Do if a Check Is Lost or Stolen

If your check is stolen or missing, contact the bank and put a stop payment request for the lost or stolen check and follow the instructions below.

How to Prevent cash or deposit by bank | Contact your bank

The main way to stop a stolen check from cashing is by contacting bank authorities. You can do it two ways: pay a visit or call the bank’s customer service. But before calling the bank authorities or approaching the bank, there are a few things you need to take care of first. These are:

  • You must have the check number of the stolen or lost check.
  • Secondly, you must have you have bank account details as they may ask from you/
  • You should have a record of whom you wrote a check.
  • The check amount and the date your check was lost or stolen.

Once you have this information, you can call your bank authorities and request a stop payment order. Or visit the bank to stop the payments from your account. If you are the payee, ask the check writer to do so.

Cancel lost or stolen check by calling the bank customer support

With the above information about your lost/stolen check, you can call bank authorities to prevent it from cashing. Once you have called the bank authorities, they will cancel all your pending checks from your checkbook to be cashed. In this way, you are saved from fraud or theft.

Some banks charge for stopping the checks from being cashed. It varies from bank to bank. After the bank stops the check authorization, it is marked as flagged and can’t be cashed unless it’s already cashed.

How to Stop the lost check from cashing by fraudulent People

You can also prevent your stolen/lost check online by canceling it online. You can do this in two ways. One is by using your banking website. The other is by using a mobile banking app. We will look into each briefly.

Online By Banking Website

Log in to the banking console using your web browser. After accessing the bank account online, you can open services management options from their open check management. You will see two specific options: cancel checks or the entire checkbook. You have to select according to the circumstances.

The canceled checks don’t require you to cancel the whole checkbook. You can cancel the checks you want by number. You have to input the number range of those checks that you want to cancel in this way.

By Banking App

One easy way is to cancel the checks by using mobile banking applications. Open your mobile banking applications. Select customer services from their open checkbook management, tap on the check or checkbook cancellation and provide all the information they ask for. After the cancellation, you will receive a confirmation notification. In this way, you can save yourself from fraud and theft.

By Visiting the Bank

Once you have all the necessary information about your check, you can visit your bank to cancel the check. You have to approach the bank check management section and describe your problem. Some banks have a sudden response to it.

Others may ask you to fill out an aborted form to cancel the check. After that, the bank will cancel that check, and it will be of no use to whoever tries to cash it. They can do this in two ways:

  • They may cancel your specific check or the whole checkbook.
  • Another way is by freezing your bank account until a new checkbook is issued and the previous one is canceled.

Can we cancel the check cashing by freezing the bank account?

It’s the preferable way when you have lost your entire checkbook. It is preferably for business customers because they have their checks digitally signed. So contact your bank to freeze your bank assets. Many banks will only freeze your bank account in case of theft for 14 days over the phone. So it is necessary to pay a visit to tackle the situation.

How to cancel several checks lost in the mail

One of the major issues with posting paper checks is that sometimes the check is lost by the postal service. But make sure if the post office has mailed the check or not. If it’s been dispatched and has not reached the receiver, it is a good idea to report it to your bank and act quickly to protect your account. They may freeze or hold your account.

Are there any stop-payment fees to prevent a check from cashing?

There are no fees for stopping a check from cashing. Suppose you receive your check normally in terms of a checking account. In that case, there may be some annual charges depending on the credit report. If the check is drawn from another person or business, they will waive customer fees if they have premium accounts.

Is there a chance to recover the cashed stolen/lost check payment

There is very little chance of recovering the check amount cashed from a check if it’s lost or stolen. Some banks, to some extent, can reverse the payments if they are directly deposited into bank accounts.

But if they are cashed, there is no chance of recovering the amount. But if the imposter has cashed the check using his physical ID, then the ID can be used to trace the person and charge him for theft and fraud. Many banks have video surveillance which can be used to trace the person who has cashed the check.

How to cancel a check that is written by mistake

You can also cancel the check from being cashed if it’s written by mistake. You must follow the above instructions the same way and can opt-out anytime. But if you once wrote a check and want to cancel it other than theft or loss, you may have to give a solid reason. If not, some banks may charge you a fee for it.

How to know if the lost/stolen check is cashed or not

Remember to check your account transaction when you have lost a check. Because sometimes you won’t be able to freeze your account or cancel the check on time. This way, you can track whether the check has been cashed yet.

How do I get my money back if the check has already been cashed?

When your check gets stolen, it’s better to report it to your banking authorities in time. If the check is cashed before the report, there is no claim to the check by the bank as per rule except to trace the person cashing your stolen check. But if the check is cashed after your report bank is responsible for the loss. They may initiate an inquiry and refund your funds within 45 days.

Suppose someone has cashed the check with some ID through any cashing service. You can trace him by his personal information and social security number or license number used while cashing the check and take legal action against him.

What to do after you have put a stop payment to the checkbook

Once you have canceled the check, you must take some precautionary measures to ensure maximum uphold in case of fraud. You should follow these steps for your safekeeping.

Reporting a police complaint:

You must report a police complaint to your nearest police station for your lost check to save yourself from any inconvenience.

Reporting an identity theft complaint:

Suppose you think that you may encounter an identity theft problem. You can file a complaint at the Federal trade commission.

Keeping an eye on your other accounts:

After the preventive measure, you must keep on other accounts or debit transactions to monitor your account and save them from fraud.

How to prevent a check from being stolen/lost

There are some preventive measures that you can use to save yourself from such scenarios in the future. Some of these are:

Guarding checkbook

You must know your checkbook and checks. You should know where your checkbook is and always treat your checkbook like cash. Keep the checkbook in a safe place.

Mailing check with care

When you’re mailing a check to someone, you must acknowledge that the mailing service is legitimate and claims insurance over the loss and that your check reaches the person you want to.

Using check when it’s necessary

When using checks, keep in mind that you must use checks when there is a need. Because when you write a lot of checks, there is more chance of inconvenience. Make small payments with cash only. There is no need to write checks for them. Safeguard your checks by keeping track of your bank statements and withdrawal.


So, checks are a great way of dealing with payments, but when they are lost, they can also become a headache. So use the ways mentioned above to tackle the situation. Moreover, always follow safety measures to save yourself from such problems. If you have any questions, please let us know in the comments.


Q: How to know if someone has cashed the stolen check?

A: You can keep an account of your account transaction to know whether someone has cashed a stolen check.

Q: I have lost my personal check. Can someone cash it?

A: The answer to this question is somehow possible. If the cashing authorities don’t require ID while cashing it.

Q: What is the penalty for cashing a stolen check?

A: The penalty for caching the stolen/lost check is imprisonment upto 5years upto federal law.

Q: I found a check. Can I cash it?

A: Being a responsible citizen, you better mail it back to the person belonging to the bank. Because cashing a lost check without someone’s permission is a federal crime, and you can serve upto five years in prison.

Q: How long does it take for a bank to refund stolen money?

A: It can take upto two weeks to be refunded by your account, depending upon the bank balance. 

Q: Do banks verify signatures before cashing checks?

A: Yes, banks verify the signature on checks before cashing them.

Q: Who is responsible if my stolen blank check is forged and cashed?

A: The responsibility will be on banks because they have to check for the endorsement and signature of the writer for fraud detection. If failed to do so, the bank shall be completely responsible for your loss.

Q: Do I have to report missing checks lost in the mail?

A: If you believe the check was stolen or lost in the mailbox, you have to act quickly and contact your financial institutions and completely freeze your account to protect your finances from fraudulent people.

Q: I want to report a loss of check through outgoing mail, but my request is not completed online through the banking app.

A: It’s better to contact the bank through the helpline if the banking app is not responsive.

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