Customer Solutions Center

November Security Tip

Check Washing - What is it and how can I protect myself?

From The USPS Inspection Service

Have you ever sent a check that was cashed, but the recipient said it never arrived? You may be the victim of check washing.

What is Check Washing?

Check washing scams involve changing the payee names and often the dollar amounts on checks and fraudulently depositing them. Occasionally, these checks are stolen from mailboxes and washed in chemicals to remove the ink. Some scammers will even use copiers or scanners to print fake copies of a check. In fact, Postal Inspectors recover more than $1 billion in counterfeit checks and money orders every year, but you can take steps to protect yourself.

Protect Yourself from Check Washing

  • Deposit mail before last pickup - Deposit your outgoing mail in blue collection boxes before the last pickup or at your local Post Office.
  • Drop mailed checks at the Post Office - Deliver your mail that includes a check directly to the Post Office
  • Retrieve mail frequently - Never leave your mail in your mailbox overnight.
  • Hold mail at Post Office - If you’re going on vacation, have your mail held at the Post Office or have it picked up by a friend or neighbor.
  • Review check images on bank statements - Review your bank statements each month to ensure your checks are properly cashed.

For more information, please visit the USPIS website here:

If you have any concerns about your checks, contact our Customer Solutions Center at 800-475-2265 or .

Check back next month for more tips on how to protect your personal financial information. Visit our blog for other tips throughout the month.


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