MAYS LANDING – The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office is urging residents to be careful of “MAILBOX FISHING” AND “CHECK WASHING” SCAMS – just a few of the latest scams to STEAL YOUR MONEY!
Be warned, thieves are in search of cash, gift cards, credit card numbers or envelopes containing checks destined for utility or credit-card companies for account payments.
Check washing is done by washing ink off checks which requires little scientific know-how. Experts say, this can be done with common household cleaning products. Crooks will then write a new name in the payee line on the check and can change the value to whatever they want. Some scammers can also make digital copies of checks.
A simple tip the Post Office suggests is putting mail in a box just before it’s set to be picked up and or bringing your mail into the Post Office.
If you have been victimized please take the following steps:
- If you know that a check was compromised after placing it in your local mailbox for delivery, please report this immediately to your financial institution.
- If you believe you’ve been targeted by a scam involving the U.S. Mail, you can get help by contacting your nearest Postal Inspection Service office, by calling 1-877-876-2455 or visit www.uspis.gov to report suspected fraud online.
- Please make a report to your local police department, especially if you believe your identity has been compromised.
- File a report with the Federal Trade Commission at IdentityTheft.gov or call the Identity Theft Hotline at 1-866-438-4338.
- Contact the national credit bureaus to request fraud alerts, credit freezes/security freezes, and opt outs from pre-screened credit offers. See also annualcreditreport.com or www.myfico.com and the three agencies below: