Electronic checks: how secure are they?

Monday, 3 November 2003, 9:56 AM EST

There's no doubt about it: Computer technology makes life easier for con artists and identity thieves. Last month, with great fanfare, the U.S. Federal Reserve rolled out its redesigned twenty-dollar bill, citing among other reasons for the new currency the fact that criminals can now scan and print counterfeit bills using low-cost computers and color laser printers.

While the government slowly tackles piracy of our currency, there's another form of monetary transaction that is equally vulnerable: the personal check. It, too, is about to change because of the capabilities of computers, though I wish the event had received as much publicity as the new twenty.

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