The U.S. Postal Inspection Service as well as the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has issued advisories relating to recent surges in check fraud.
Fraudsters are stealing paper checks from the U.S. Mail by targeting blue U.S. Postal Service (USPS) collection boxes as well as personal (home) mailboxes. There has also been an uptick in thefts of checks by USPS employees who work at mail collection and processing facilities.
Fraudsters are utilizing check washing methods to alter the stolen checks. In this scheme, they change the payee, check number and often the dollar amount of the check. They then utilize fraudulent identities to deposit checks and steal money from your account. In some cases, stolen checks are also counterfeited using routing and account information from the original check.
Do’s and Don’ts on How to Protect Yourselves and your Business:
Contact the United States Postal Inspection Service if you’ve been scammed: uspis.gov/report