NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – It’s an old scam claiming new victims.
Check washing is when thieves steal checks that have already been filled out, and wash them of their ink so they can be rewritten.
Detectives with Metro police say washing checks is an issue that does not seem to have an end.
Alexander Grant spoke to News 2 who said not only was their check stolen, but it was cashed in for 20 times the amount.
“That little red flag is like just a giant sign for these people saying, ‘There is something important in here,’” Grant said.
A few months ago, he and his wife wrote a $60 check to pay off their water bill.
“And we put the check in the mailbox that morning, the bank called and asked about a suspicious check,” Grant said.
He said the check was cashed in at Chase Bank for over $1,400.
“I think we’ve all at one point or the other been in a place where $1,400 isn’t an amount of money you can afford to not have,” Grant said.
Meanwhile, a few miles up the road on Thompson Lane, another neighbor said her check was stolen from a collection box.
“My neighbor mailed a check at a different mailbox on the same street on Thompson Lane and on the same day it was stolen,” Dorothy Stewart said.
“We know there is a lot of fraud out there and we are seeing an increase in fraud unfortunately,” Nicole Dunigan added.
Dunigan is a financial advisor for Pinnacle and advises the public to not put checks in your mailbox.
“Clients are encouraged to use things like electronic payments, use online bill pays, pay your bills through your online banking,” Dunigan said.
As for Grant, he said he was paying through mail to avoid online fees, but says now it’s not worth it.
“Anytime you are expecting anything in the mail you’re checking the mailbox as often as you can just to hope nothing goes missing,” Grant said.