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This may be tangential and specific to United States, but is there a way to prevent someone from withdrawing money from your account if they know the account and routing number? Both of those numbers are on checks.

There isn't a good way to do that. Electronic funds transfers are generally reversible, though. After informing your bank of an unauthorized electronic funds transfer, they are required to investigate and provide you at least a provisional credit for the amount within ten business days.

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