Area banks are notifying their customers about check-fraud schemes that involve the thefts of checks sent via the U.S. mail service.
Criminals steal checks from the mail and then alter or “wash” the checks, replacing the payee and changing the amount. In some cases, victims’ checks are also counterfeited, using routing and account information from the original stolen check.
The alert was announced by FinCen, the Financial Crimes Investigation Network. Those incidents of stolen, altered checks have been increasing, FinCen noted.
Customers should be diligent in reviewing their bank checking accounts, preferably checking the checks posted to their accounts daily, online or in person. And then, the customers should report any unauthorized checks or debits on their accounts as soon as possible to the bank.