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Check Washing

Have you ever sent a check that was cashed, but the recipient said it never arrived? You may be the victim of check washing. Check washing scams involve changing the payee names and often the dollar amounts on checks and fraudulently depositing them. Occasionally, these checks are stolen from mailboxes and washed in chemicals to remove the ink. Some scammers will even use copiers or scanners to print fake copies of a check. In fact, Postal Inspectors recover more than $1 billion in counterfeit checks and money orders every year, but you can take steps to protect yourself.

Check Washing

Postal Inspectors recover over $1 BILLION in counterfeit checks & money orders each year. Learn how you can protect yourself from being a victim of check washing.

Check Washing (Identity Theft)

A gang of scammers started an illegal check washing scam to bankroll their drug habit. Watch to learn more about check washing.

Protect Yourself From Check Washing

  • Deposit mail before last pickup

    Deposit your outgoing mail in blue collection boxes before the last pickup or at your local Post Office™.

  • Retrieve mail frequently

    Never leave your mail in your mailbox overnight.

  • Hold mail at Post Office

    If you’re going on vacation, have your mail held at the Post Office or have it picked up by a friend or neighbor.

Have You Witnessed This Scam?

If you’ve witnessed or been affected by a check washing scam, we want to help. File a report with the Postal Inspection Service, your local police department, and your credit reporting bureau.

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