Before we had credit cards that can bury us in debt in seconds, we had checks. The little slips of paper signed with your name and a dollar amount were the primary way of exchanging funds for a decent part of the 20th century.

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While their influence has dwindled since the later decades of the 20th century, they are still very much in use, and criminals are happy about that.

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Check Washing

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Check Washing is a form of theft that has grown in popularity recently. The concept is simple, criminals look for letters containing checks, steal them, and then change the name and dollar amount to essentially create a blank check.

Melted Ink

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Criminals have also begun to adopt a method called "melted ink". This is a little more complex, expecting criminals to take checks, and use the same technology that was used to print them to change the names and dollar amounts.

The Impact

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Last year, more than 680,000 cases of check fraud/theft has been reported across the United States. This number is double what it was two years ago, and millions of dollars are uncounted for because of it.

While many cases were resolved and the money found its way back to its owners, thousands of these cases were left open, and the money was left to the criminals.

Money, handcuffs, and a laptop on top of paperwork
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You may think "no one uses checks anymore, they're asking for it". You couldn't be more wrong. 2022 saw 3.4 BILLION checks written, and while that number may be decreasing year by year, it's still nothing to scoff at.

Sometimes mailing a check is necessary, but in order to keep yourself safe, refrain from it at all costs until this issue gets resolved.

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