White Co. sheriff: Uptick in mail theft, check forgery

The sheriff in White County is reporting an increase in the number of thefts of mail and a corresponding increase in check forgery.

Sheriff Rick Kelly says the thieves are taking mail from mailboxes and then using a technique called “check washing” to remove the names and dollar amounts from personal checks which results in blank checks. Kelly said the thieves then re-write the checks with new payee names and dollar amounts. These bogus checks are then deposited into a bank account.  

Kelly says there are some things you can do reduce the likelihood of this happening:

*Use online banking to pay bills, whenever possible.

*If you do plan to mail a check, use a pen with Black Gel Ink which will give you a check that can’t altered. And review your bank account records often – looking for any irregular, suspicious or unauthorized activity.

If do find yourself a victim of such a scheme, contact your bank and a law enforcement agency. Also, Sheriff Kelly says contact the United States Postal Inspector’s Office at 1-888-877-7644.