Check Security: Stronger Than Ever

2291896028_e54336ab04_bToday’s checks have a host of security features that make it difficult if not impossible for them to be forged or counterfeited.¬†Security features on checks these range from special ink to special paper to holographic images.

Modern checks are printed on chemically sensitive paper, which causes stains or discoloration when someone tries to alter the check.

Most checks also have coatings on the paper that cause the toner to adhere. If someone attempts to lift the toner with a piece of sticky tape, it will rip the paper, rendering the check unusable.

Checks these days also come with a range of features that are meant to thwart copying and counterfeiting. These include:

Watermarks, which is a distinctive symbol that is visible on the original checks but won’t reproduce on a copy;

Visible fibers, often of varying colors, that are present throughout the check paper and make copying nearly impossible;

Security screen backer, which contains words that will fade or disappear completely on a photocopy or scanned image of the check;

Multi-colored backgrounds, which make the check difficult to copy or reproduce;

Microprinting — microscopic words, viewable only under a magnifying glass, that become pixelated and unreadable on a copy of the check;

Void indication, which is an area on the check backer with the word “void” in it that only appears in a reproduction.

You might think that check makers would want to hide these security features from those who might want to circumvent them, but today’s high-security checks do the exact opposite, using several methods to advertise their security features. These include:

A warning band on the face of the check that announces the security features;

A warning box on the back of the check that lists the security features;

A padlock icon that shows the checks meet industry standards for security features.

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