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Thread: Stolen mail scheme opens USPS mailboxes -- for an entire zip-code -- to steal checks

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    Senior Member welch's Avatar
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    Default Stolen mail scheme opens USPS mailboxes -- for an entire zip-code -- to steal checks

    The stolen-mail scheme now targeting a wealthy D.C. suburb

    The theft of checks from USPS blue mailboxes has spiked across the country, and the D.C. region is a new hot spot

    By Alisa Tang and Razzan Nakhlawi
    Yesterday at 1:48 p.m. EDT

    During the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a massive spike in checks being stolen from the mail across the United States and used in financial fraud, authorities and researchers say. In March, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service alerted the Justice Department.

    The stolen checks trend is linked to a “significant increase” in armed robberies of USPS letter carriers to steal arrow keys, which can open most mailboxes across an entire Zip code, according to a U.S. Postal Inspection Service advisory to the Justice Department. In some cases, one Zip code can encompass an entire city. The primary motive behind these robberies, the March 7 advisory said, is financial theft: “Criminals are stealing mail … to obtain checks, financial instruments, and personal identifying information to commit bank fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud and identity theft.”

    <snip>

    “They have amazing technology,” said the researcher, who spoke on the condition of anonymity after receiving threats. “We see some of their labs, and they’re well equipped … most of the checks we see come from the blue boxes.”

    The group found that buyers use nail polish remover to erase the intended payee’s name and the amount of the check, replacing the details with their own payee and amount, usually much higher than the original amount. A buyer may also use a fake ID to cash the check at a location such as Walmart.

    “Organized crime groups, local gangs are figuring out there’s nobody to stop them from doing this,” the researcher said.
    No, this is not a reason to buy a "bulletproof" ink to stop "check-washing".

    (1) Pay electronically whenever you can. When I worked for SWIFT on a project called "Check-21", our marketing people, at HQ in Belgium, were amazed that Americans still wrote checks.

    (2) Go to a Post Office and drop the check into the big drop box inside.

    (3) Get some "safety-checks" from your bank. These turn funny colors if a crook tries to wash or remove or otherwise fa-doodle anything you have written on a check. This makes the check useless. However, it also send your check to oblivion when the crook sees that they cannot deposit or cash the check.


    https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md...stolen-checks/

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    AzJon (May 1st, 2022), BlkWhiteFilmPix (June 3rd, 2022), Chrissy (May 1st, 2022), damfino (May 10th, 2022), Yazeh (May 2nd, 2022)

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    FPG Donor ♕ Chrissy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stolen mail scheme opens USPS mailboxes -- for an entire zip-code -- to steal che

    Thanks. Your recommendations are very sound and should help to keep potential victims safe from check theft and fraud.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    welch (May 1st, 2022)

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    Default Re: Stolen mail scheme opens USPS mailboxes -- for an entire zip-code -- to steal che

    I remember reading long ago that ballpoint ink can be washed from "safety" checks without triggering the funny colours and fountain pen ink cannot.

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    Default Re: Stolen mail scheme opens USPS mailboxes -- for an entire zip-code -- to steal che

    Quote Originally Posted by welch View Post

    No, this is not a reason to buy a "bulletproof" ink to stop "check-washing".

    ]
    There honestly never was. Not really. A certain manufacturer loves creating solutions that go looking for problems.

    But yeah, that checks are used at all is rather astounding these days.

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    welch (May 2nd, 2022)

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    Senior Member welch's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stolen mail scheme opens USPS mailboxes -- for an entire zip-code -- to steal che

    Quote Originally Posted by AzJon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by welch View Post

    No, this is not a reason to buy a "bulletproof" ink to stop "check-washing".

    ]
    There honestly never was. Not really. A certain manufacturer loves creating solutions that go looking for problems.

    But yeah, that checks are used at all is rather astounding these days.
    I am a retired "software engineer". Our phrase, one I learned in 1981, sounds like yours: "a solution in search of a problem".

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    Senior Member welch's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stolen mail scheme opens USPS mailboxes -- for an entire zip-code -- to steal che

    Quote Originally Posted by Stands on Feet View Post
    I remember reading long ago that ballpoint ink can be washed from "safety" checks without triggering the funny colours and fountain pen ink cannot.
    Anything that tries to erase writing causes a safety check to turn funny colors. Doesn't matter whether the writing was by ballpoint of liquid (fountain pen) ink.

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    Senior Member calamus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stolen mail scheme opens USPS mailboxes -- for an entire zip-code -- to steal che

    Criminals will wash non-safety checks, and bombproof inks like DeAtramentis document inks can prevent that. Also from contracts, etc.
    Quid rides? Mutato nomine de te fabula narratur. — Horace
    (What are you laughing at? Just change the name and the joke’s on you.)

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    damfino (June 3rd, 2022)

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