Atlantic County Prosecutor Will Reynolds is asking for all citizens to be on guard as "Mailbox Fishing" & "Check Washing" scams are on the rise.

Reynolds warns that thieves are in search of:

  • Cash
  • Gift cards
  • Credit card numbers
  • Envelopes that contain checks

It doesn’t matter who the checks are made out to, as Reynolds explains that the bad guys can remove ink with basic cleaning ingredients.

This enables them to change the amounts and payees to whatever and whomever they want. This is what’s known as “check washing.”

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The thieves are becoming more sophisticated and can forge and print digital copies to negotiate.

If you have already become a victim of these scams, Reynolds recommends that you do these 5 things:

1. If you find out that you have been scammed after you have mailed your item, call your bank as soon as possible.

2. If you believe that your case directly involves thieves taking your items that have gone through the United States Post Office, Reynolds advises you to contact your local PostalInspection Service office at 1-877-876-2455 or go to www.uspis.gov to report suspected fraud.

3. File a report with your local police department. This type of scam can lead to identity theft.

4. Also file a report with the Federal Trade Commission at Identity Theft.gov

You can also call the Identity Theft Hotline at 1-866-438-4338.

5. It’s also very important to contact all three national credit bureau reporting agencies to protect your credit rating.

Here is the contact information for all three agencies:

Equifax
Equifax.com
800-685-1111

Experian
Experian.com
888-EXPERIAN 888-397-3742

Transunion
TransUnion.com
888-909-8872

SOURCE: Atlantic County Prosecutor.

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