In 2017, 13.87 percent of consumer complaints to credit bureaus were identity theft related.

This last thing any hardworking person wants. Unfortunately, this thought crosses our minds when checks are lost or stolen.

If a check is lost in the mail or stolen from you, it’s important you learn what to do in this scenario.

Read on to learn what to do in the event of a stolen or lost check. 

Notify Your Bank

In the event a check is lost or stolen, the first thing you need to do is get on the phone with your bank.

Your bank will be able to issue a stop payment and cancel the check.

In order for your bank to cancel the check, you will need to provide some important information so they can track and cancel the check.

The bank will ask you to provide the check number, the exact amount, and the name of the person you made the check out to.

Without this information, the bank might not be able to put a stop on the check.

Some banks ask that their clients stop by and sign some paperwork within a specified period of time.

Ask Your Bank About Fees

Although you’re able to put a stop payment to a check, it’s not always cheap. Most banks charge high fees to put a stop to a check because they’re the ones that assume responsibility for the checks.

Depending on the bank, you can expect fees between $15 and $35, but these vary from bank to bank.

If the amount of the check is lower than the fee you need to pay, it might not be worth it to put a stop payment.

Make Sure Your Identity is Not Compromised

If a check is lost or stolen, they might have access to your personal information. You run the risk of having your identity stolen if this is the case.

It’s important you keep a close eye on your credit reports for a few months after you report the check. You might also want to flag this to the credit bureaus so they’re aware of any suspicious activity.

Once you notify the credit bureaus, they might be able to freeze your credit score. When you freeze your credit score, you might not be able to request any new lines of credit during this period of time.

Although it will be quite inconvenient, you won’t have to worry about dealing with the clean up later on if someone steals your identity.

Learn Ways to Prevent it From Happening

After you take care of the lost check, it’s important to figure out ways to prevent it from happening in the future.

Learn of other ways you can send money electronically without having to issue checks. For example, you can check out a program such as

Consider Closing Your Account

If the check simply got lost or stolen in the mail, putting a stop payment will do the trick. However, if your checkbook gets stolen or more of your personal information is lost, you might need to close your account.

If you’re not sure if you want to close your account right away, it’s important you monitor your account.

Dealing With a Stolen or Lost Check: The Bottom Line

Now that you know how to deal with a stolen or lost check, you will be able to deal with the situation. Remember to call your bank right away, notify the credit reports, and closely monitor your account.