98% of check writing scams are reported by young people
Black people wrote less than 30% of checks in the past 30 days
White people still love writing checks. At least, that’s how Andrew Van Dam of the Washington Post summed it up. In the past 30 days, more than half (51%) of checks were written by white people, followed by a quarter of Black people. Hispanic (31%) and Asian (37%) Americans are in the middle. Additionally, less than 30% of people in my age group (25 to 44) write checks — even though the Midwest is responsible for 50% of check writing.
This entire year, I’ve written one check total, and it was way back in January. My checkbook is so old that it has former President Barack Obama’s face on it. That’s right. My book of checks are 15 years old. That’s how useless checks are to me. I pay for absolutely everything online. And somehow I still ended up joining the 98% of young adults who are victims of fake check scams.
Never put a check in a local mailbox
I have to blame this on unapologetic impatience. I was getting fed up with a business website not working. After about 30 minutes, I thought the whole site was a nuisance, grabbed an envelope and a stamp, and wrote a check for the online payment amount. I could’ve logged into my Bill Pay section to pay via my bank, but I needed my mortgage to be paid as soon as possible. Why I didn’t wait until the next day is beyond me. I dropped it in the mailbox and went about my night.
Three days later, when I saw an alert saying I had “insufficient funds” in my account, I was confused. I knew I had the funds to pay my mortgage in there, so why was my bank blocking me? But when I saw the amount that was rejected, my jaw dropped. Someone had written a check for five times as much and had the audacity to tack on $0.30 to the total. Not only was the check written with my name, mailing address and an (outdated) phone number, but the check writer even had the audacity to put “Bills & Utilities” in the memo line. When I asked for the name of the person who wrote this fraudulent check, my first thought was, “And it’s a sista too? Cold world.”
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