Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Wash Checks

By Greg Wright
Certified Fraud Examiner 
Certified Financial Planner
National Speaker

Mail thieves use a process called check washing to erase the ink on a check by using common household chemicals.  They then re-write the check sometimes in amounts far more than the original check was written.

The actual process of washing a check is relatively simple and can be accomplished with basic solvents you have around your home such as acetone or rubbing alcohol.

A few weeks ago, I asked a middle-age, middle-income Hamilton County audience to complete a “theft risk survey.”  Over half said that they mailed check payments from their home mailbox – 56% to be more precise.

Never, never post outgoing mail in the mailbox outside your home.  Never! When you put that red flag up, it is an invitation to a fraudster to steal your check, wash out the payee and substitute their name. 

Various steps can be taken by the writer of the check to reduce the possibility of falling victim to check washing. The most important is to mail check payments by placing them in secured big blue USPS mailboxes.  Also, you can use secure ink dispensed from a gel, rollerball, or fountain pen, filling in all lines on the check.   Always carefully scrutiny your bank statements.

If you need a speaker for your group, contact me.

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