Avoid Becoming a Check Washing Victim

Check Washing Is Yet another Scam You Need To Be Wary Of

If you haven’t heard of check washing, chances are you aren’t protecting yourself from the crime and if you’re not protecting yourself, you make the perfect target. Check washing is an increasingly common crime and the measures used during check washing crimes can even lead to identity theft.

It All Starts with Mail Theft

Check washing almost always starts with mail theft. If you think mail theft isn’t common, guess again. It’s more common than you may think. One common way thieves steal mail is to make photocopies of a legitimate looking flyer. They then walk from mailbox to mailbox placing the flyer in the mailbox, but they’re also removing the mail that’s in there. If you’ve placed a check in there for the mailperson to pick up, you may become an involuntary victim of a check washing scheme.

What is Check Washing?

Check washing is advancing as far as technology is concerned. All a thief needs is one of your checks and then he or she can make multiple counterfeit checks to draw funds out of your account. By using a scanner, a computer and common check software, the thief can make an unlimited number of checks that will draw funds from your account.

How to Protect Yourself

If you have a curbside mailbox with a bright red flag, do not put any checks for payments you are sending out in the mailbox. Instead, mail the payment from a postal office or a postal mail box. This will prevent check washing thieves from getting your check out of your mailbox and getting access to your checking information.

If you’re ordering new checks, ask if you can pick them up from your bank or ask the bank to have a delivery service deliver for them. It’s important that new, blank checks not be left in your mailbox unattended.

If you dispose of cancelled checks, make sure that you shred them. Throwing them away without shredding them will allow dumpster diving check washers to gain access to your account information, which is the last thing you want.

Check your bank statements as soon as you receive them. You only have 30 days to report a fraudulent check. If you don’t report the check within 30 days, your bank does not have to reimburse you.

Remember, check washing is indeed a real crime and it isn’t uncommon. Take the proper measures and you’ll be able to protect yourself from both check washing and identity theft.

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