Sunday, September 25, 2005

Meditations from church: when clean is dirty

Sitting in church earlier today, I was super frustrated with the pen I brought with me to write the check for our church offering. The pen did not work very well, but after a sermon's worth of wrestling with the darned thing I was finally able to write the check and get it in the offering plate.

After catching my breath, I started thinking (half-thinking that is--I was in church and carefully listening to the service, mind you) about a presentation I heard earlier in the year at the MBA (Mortgage Bankers Association) conference.

The presentation was the keynote done by Frank W. Abagnale, author and subject of the movie “Catch Me If You Can." Mr. Abagnale has been "associated" with the FBI for over 25 years. He lectures extensively at the FBI Academy and for the field offices for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Mr. Abegnale discussed many interesting topics and one of them was “Check washing."

Check washing is when mail snatchers erase the ink on a check with chemicals found in common household cleaning products and then rewrite the checks to themselves, increasing the amount payable by hundreds and even thousands of dollars. Check washing takes place to the tune of $815 million every year in the U.S. and it is increasing at an fast pace.

There are some things we can do to protect ourselves; watermarks, copy void pantographs, chemical voids, high-resolution micro printing and so on. These are all expensive solutions, but there is one solution the will only cost you $1.83--and that is the purchase of a Uniball 207. Based on ink security studies, it highly recommend that security conscious churchgoers and other checkwriters use a gel pen. Devices like the Uniball 207 use gel ink that contains tiny particles of color that are trapped into the paper, making check washing a lot more difficult.

Protect yourself from check washing by investing a couple of bucks in a Uniball 207!

As they say in church, it's a dirty world out there. Don't let bad people wash you out.


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