When you close a checking account, you may be tempted to simply toss the old checkbook in the trash. However, this can be a risky move. According to a study by Javelin Strategy & Research, 4.5 million Americans had their identities stolen in 2012, and checkbooks can be a goldmine for identity thieves. Therefore it’s important to dispose of them properly.
Or when you close a checking account, you may be wondering what to do with the old checkbook. You may be tempted to just throw them away, but that could be a mistake. So you must dispose of them correctly. For that, you may be wondering how to dispose of old checkbooks.
You can discard old checkbooks in a variety of ways, such as ripping them up and throwing them away, shredding them, and even recycling them. Read on to learn more about these options.
Why Is It So Important To Dispose Of Checkbooks?
Most people don’t realize how important it is to properly dispose of checkbooks. Here are some quick facts and answers to common questions:
1. Identity theft cases involve
First, over 50% of identity theft cases involve checks. This is because your personal information is printed on every check you write. If someone gets ahold of your checkbook, they can easily steal your identity and they could potentially access your bank account and wreak havoc on your finances.
2. Can be used to commit fraud
Another reason is that checkbooks can be used to commit fraud. If someone finds an old checkbook, they could forge your signature and use it to write bad checks.
3. Difficult to keep the track
Checkbooks can simply be a pain to keep track of. If you don’t properly dispose of them, they can clutter up your home and become a nuisance.
Moreover, checkbook disposal is regulated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. This means that there are specific laws in place to protect consumers from having their personal information mishandled.
Now that you know why it’s important to dispose of checkbooks, here are some ways you can do it:
How To Dispose of Old Checkbooks
When you close a checking account, or if you have an old checkbook that you don’t use anymore, you may be wondering how to dispose of it. Here are a few options:
This is probably the safest option, especially if your checkbook contains sensitive information like your bank account number or social security number.
Simply shredding the checkbook will make it impossible for anyone to access that information. You can use a cross-cut shredder or tear the check into small pieces. Once you have shredded the check, you should place it in the garbage or a secure waste bin.
This is the best way to dispose of checks because this will ensure that your personal information is completely destroyed and can’t be used by anyone.
2. Throw it away
You could also simply throw the checkbook away, but this is not the most secure option as someone could potentially dig it out of the trash and use it for nefarious purposes. This is probably the easiest option, but it’s not the most secure.
If you’re worried about someone finding your old checkbook and accessing your information, you may want to shred it first. But if you’re not concerned about security, simply throwing the checkbook away is fine.
3. Rip them up and Throw them away
The simplest way to dispose of old checkbooks is to take each one and rip it up into small pieces before throwing it away in the trash. This will make it difficult for anyone to piece the checkbook back together and use it for illegal purposes.
4. Recycle it
Many checkbooks are made from recycled paper, so recycling your old checkbook is a great way to be eco-friendly. Just be sure to remove any sensitive information from the checkbook before you recycle it.
5. Burn Them
Another option is to burn them. This will destroy the checkbook completely, but it is important to be very careful when doing this. Make sure that you do it in a safe place where there is no risk of starting a fire.
6. Flush Them In The Toilet
This is not a recommended way to dispose of checkbooks. Flushing them can cause clogs in your pipes and damage your home’s plumbing system. It can also contaminate the water supply, so it’s best to avoid this method.
But you can just cut them into small pieces and soak them in water. They will get soft then flush them in the toilet. This is an easy and safe way to dispose of checkbooks without damaging your plumbing system.
7. Composite it
This is another option for disposing of your checkbook. Simply cut up the checkbook into small pieces this will create a composite material that can be used to make other items, like paper mache sculptures.
Or you can pile up the cut book pieces in a bowl and bury them or mix them with leaves and bury them will also work.
This is an eco-friendly way to dispose of checkbooks, as well as a creative way to repurpose the materials.
Tips To Dispose Of Checkbook Properly
If you have an old checkbook that you no longer use, you may be wondering how to dispose of it. Here are some tips to help you make sure your old checkbook is properly disposed of:
1. Destroy the personal information on the checkbook. This includes your name, address, phone number, and account number. You can do this by shredding the checkbook or cutting it up into small pieces.
2. Make sure the checkbook is completely empty. This means there should be no checks or deposit slips left in the book.
3. Once the personal information is destroyed and the checkbook is empty, you can recycle the cover and pages.
If you have any questions about how to dispose of your old checkbook, please contact your bank or financial institution. They will be able to provide you with more specific instructions.
Can I use a 5-year-old cheque book?
Yes, you can use a 5-year-old cheque book. However, you should be aware of the risks involved with using an old cheque book. The bank may have changed their policies and procedures since the cheque book was issued, and this could mean that the cheque book may no longer be valid.
The bank may no longer be able to trace the cheque book if it is used fraudulently. It is important to check with your bank to ensure that the cheque book is still valid before using it.
Can you shred checks?
Yes, you can shred checks that you no longer need. It’s important to shred checks to protect your personal information and prevent theft or fraud. You should shred any check that contains your bank account number, signature, or other sensitive personal information.
As we learned, there are various ways to dispose of old checkbooks. Depending on the amount and type of personal information contained in the checkbook, you should choose a method that will secure your information from theft or fraud. The most secure options are burning, shredding, or recycling the checkbook.
These methods will ensure that all sensitive information is destroyed and cannot be retrieved. When disposing of checkbooks, it is important to make sure that you do so in a safe and secure manner. Be aware of the risks involved with improperly disposing of checkbooks, and always follow the instructions outlined by your bank or financial institution. Good luck!
Gemma Alexander has an M.S. in urban horticulture and a backyard filled with native plants. After working in a genetics laboratory and at a landfill, she now writes about the environment and recycling topics.