I will pay bill by mailing old fashioned cheques in envelop. I heard that if the letter is lost and someone steals the cheque and forges endorsement to pay to himself rather the payee written on the front, and he/she could cashes it at money mart or cashing service shops. How can I prevent this, I just want to make the cheque non-transferable/non endorsable to anyone other than the named payee.

I heard that I can write For deposit only to account of named payee, I'm the writer of the cheque, should I write this on the front of the cheque, or the back of the cheque (endorsement area)? The back of the cheque is reserved for the payee only? Could the payor write restrictive endorsement on the back? Any advice is appreciated.

  • Thanks, I live in Canada. I know that in the UK, we can cross the cheques or have crossed cheques preprinted, but actually asked the tellers in my bank they seems to be clueless about crossed cheques and one even said that will void the cheque...
    – voetball
    Mar 1, 2020 at 21:21
  • 1
    I think the 'two diagonal lines' are an urban legend. Lots of people think so, and the internet recommends it, but all bank web sites and personnel I asked said it has no official meaning.
    – Aganju
    Mar 1, 2020 at 23:55
  • @Aganju No, crowed cheques are not urban legends; they are still a fact of life in countries where lots of people don’t have a bank account into which they can deposit a check/cheque Mar 2, 2020 at 0:22
  • I have always heard that anything written above the signature is non-binding "advice". Given the general insecurity of checks, I don't think there is really much you can do nor can you compel check cashiers to have proper security measures (such as checking id) in place.
    – user12515
    Mar 2, 2020 at 4:43
  • @DilipSarwate what is a "crowed check"?
    – Kevin
    Mar 2, 2020 at 16:47

1 Answer 1


Not only do tellers sometimes not even look at the instructions on the endorsement section, they don't necessarily try to match the name of the payee to the signature.

I was a bank auditor in the US for about 10 years. On one of my audits, we caught a manager who was making out checks to himself. He would use one of the existing corporate payees as the check payee but he would then endorse the check to his personal account (one of his aliases).

The receiving bank never figured this out.

On the other hand, many businesses have a stamp that says "For Deposit Only" that they stamp in the endorsement area. It might not work 100% of the time, but it used often enough that it might be considered a best practice.

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