How to Report a Lost or Stolen Check

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Keep your records in a safe place to avoid loss or theft.
Keep your records in a safe place to avoid loss or theft. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Losing or having a check stolen can be frustrating and even devastating. The good news, however, is that your bank or credit union has established a simple process for reporting and stopping payment on a lost or stolen check. To avoid loss of funds or an overdraft of your account, you must contact your bank as soon as possible.

Call or visit your local bank or credit union branch or call the number listed on the back of your ATM card. Some institutions also allow customers to complete this process through online banking.

Explain to the operator or teller that you need to stop payment on a check. Inform the operator if the check was stolen and fill out any paperwork required by the bank regarding fraudulent charges.

Present the account number, check number, amount and date issued.

Submit a written statement or fill out a stop payment form, if required.

Pay any fees associated with the stop payment process. You may or may not be required to pay a fee depending on your banking institution.

Watch your account and report any fraudulent charges that take place after you issued the stop payment.

Report any instances of known theft to your local law enforcement agency.

Tips & Warnings

  • Stopping payment on a check doesn't guarantee that the check will not be cashed, since it is only effective from the time of reporting.

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