We understand the increasing risk of check fraud, typically through altered checks. Criminals are targeting mailboxes and blue collection boxes designated for pickup by the United States Postal Service (USPS) to intercept checks. These fraudsters aim to modify the amount and/or payee on those checks before attempting to cash or deposit them, often utilizing mobile deposit services.
To safeguard yourself against altered check fraud, here are a few tips:
- Secure Mail Delivery: We strongly encourage you to deliver mail containing sensitive information directly to your trusted mail carrier or your local post office. Collect your mail daily to minimize the opportunity for thieves to steal your checks.
- Review Bank Statements: After writing a check, carefully examine your bank statements to ensure the amounts processed are correct. It is important to note that even if funds are available in your account, the check may not have cleared yet. Forgeries can take up to two weeks to be detected. When in doubt, inquire whether the check has cleared rather than solely checking the availability of funds in your account.
- Utilize USPS Informed Delivery: Consider signing up for USPS Informed Delivery, a convenient service that provides notifications about your mail. Through this service, you can receive greyscale images of the address side of letter-sized mailpieces and track packages, which allows you to keep a closer eye on your incoming mail and promptly detect any discrepancies or missing items.
Following these precautions can reduce your risk of falling victim to altered check fraud. We are committed to assisting you in protecting your financial well-being and helping maintain the security of your accounts.