Downtown Post Office Check Fraud Victim

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By an edhat reader

We recently noticed some unusual activity on our checking account and after some discussion with the bank we determined that 2 checks we mailed towards bills had been intercepted at some point after they were dropped in the large drop box on the curb outside the downtown post office. 

There were two separate envelopes as the checks were for different bills. The suspect(s) appear to have "washed" the checks and re-written them for higher amounts and changed the Pay To names. The checks were cashed on different days according to the bank.

We have been discussing this with the bank and the USPS Office of Investigations however we wanted to make sure others around town are aware of there potentially being a higher risk. When we visited the bank the employee commented how another irate man had come in at some point before us and reported the same issue. 

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splash Mar 01, 2020 05:29 PM
Downtown Post Office Check Fraud Victim

This happened to me a few years ago when I mailed a check to someone after the last collection from the Patterson drive by mail box. My bank said that they would reimburse me for the loss, but I had to file a report with the sheriff's office, and the bank gave me a new bank account. The Sheriff's office said that gel ink was more difficult to "wash" than ball point ink. I never heard back from the Sheriff's office, but I noticed a report on Edhat that two women were caught later who had stolen credit cards and checks, so I think that mine were caught (the washed check was made out to a woman). Not long after that many mail boxes got narrow slots instead of doors. Since then I don't mail checks after the last pick up and usually only if the box is in a very public place. I always use the long slot box, and gel ink.

gilrun1 Mar 01, 2020 09:19 AM
Downtown Post Office Check Fraud Victim

I have had the same problem. On Feb. 15, I mailed an envelope to the SB Symphony with a donation inside with all the details to charge it to my credit card account. It never arrived, and even though it didn't arrive to them, nor be returned to me, and fortunately it has not been charged to my credit card account (as of today), your info led me to cancel that charge. I will send this site to the Police Dept.

shorebird Feb 29, 2020 06:43 PM
Downtown Post Office Check Fraud Victim

Probably would be a good idea to not deposit any mail in the outside drop box after the last pick up of the day.

winter Feb 29, 2020 05:54 PM
Downtown Post Office Check Fraud Victim

Thanks for posting... I remember, a few years ago, the DA's office, had an alert about this...think at the time was San Roque, Post Office They seem to get a long stick, with a gummy substance, to fish out mail...the banks were on alert about the check washing....

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