Since account numbers are re-useable for fraudulent transactions, anyone you write a check to has the opportunity to print their own check with your account number on it.
One way to help reduce the risk of you actually losing money is to only transfer in enough money to cover the checks you have written. (transferring between multiple accounts in my own bank is instant, no inter-banking system delays) You can do this on your smartphone or computer every time you write a check. However, it only makes the problem worse if the fraudulent check clears before your real checks clear, because then you are only blocking legit checks. If the fraud was to late or to large amount, you successfully limit the problem to the bank's overdraft fee.
Are there banks that offer a more effective pre-approval capability? (free or otherwise) This would mean you log into the account to approve a check for the specific amount (and perhaps other specifics), without needing to limit the available funds. Additional white-list features might could be placed for my monthly utility and telecom bills.
Forget for a moment whether this feature would be used or liked by the account holders. And I am aware that I add to the risk I will mistakenly bounce a check, which, if it was to my credit card company, could be very bad.
What is the closest thing, which is commonly available in bank accounts?
What kind of roadblocks might stop a bank from implementing this feature? For example, the cost of stopping other banks from withdrawing money.
I don't know how the banks work internally, but I know that banks have the ability to block transactions, because you can call them up and "stop a check", essentially a blacklist. (for a fee)
Is this a mute point, given the current safeguards? (I assume there are ways to report fraud after the fact, but I never had the problem, and don't know if you can get overdraft fees from fraud refunded, or if the fraud was successful, if you can recover the total fraud amount.)
This question is not limited to checking accounts, credit card accounts are also of interest.