how to protect yourself from check washing

how to protect yourself from check washing

  • Regina Morrison Newman is the Shelby County Trustee.

This month’s Wallet Warning again came to our attention due to one of our county taxpayers experiencing it. The taxpayer put their property tax check in the U.S. Mail to our office.  But when the check cleared the taxpayer’s bank, the name of the payee had been changed.

The mail and the check were actually stolen out of the mail box. The payee’s name was changed using a chemical to erase the original name and insert the fraudulent name. Then the check was either cashed or deposited by the fraudulent payee for the original amount. This process is called “check washing.”

The rise of check washing scams appears to go hand in hand with the rash of stolen mail from the outdoor blue mail boxes maintained by the U.S. Postal Service. You may have noticed that many of those boxes have been removed or blocked from use. This is a main reason why.

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