Crossville, TN- “Check washing” is a term used when mail snatchers erase the ink on a check with chemicals found in common household cleaning products and then “reuse” the checks by rewriting them for themselves or selling them to others. Criminals also try to write over the ink or change the amount of the check.
A local businessman is out over $6,500 after this happened to him.
The victim wrote a check to purchase business supplies from a company in Delaware. He stated he wrote the check and dropped it off at the Crossville Post Office and sent it to another P.O. Box. However, when he checked over his account, he noticed the check was cashed by a woman named Shayla Fowler. The victim said that she somehow forged her name on the check and cashed it.
There are no charges filed at the time, as officials will have to investigate when the check was intercepted.
Some helpful hints to avoid “check washing” fraud are:
- Use electronic bill pay and transfers
- Use a black gel pen. ( If you are writing a check, gel pens might have ink that’s harder for criminals to wash off.)
- Drop checks off at the post office
- Retrieve mail from your mailbox daily
- Frequently review your checking account