Last Friday night, my wife writes checks for five bills. Saturday morning, she deposits them in the drive thru mail box at the USPS. Monday afternoon, I receive a call from my bank questioning one of the checks that my wife wrote. When she asked me to verify the pay to and the amount, seems there is a BIG difference. Different pay to, much larger amount. To our good fortune, the bank teller who took the check was suspicious. Turns out that the check was stolen from the mail, beached out the pay to and amount, and new entries were written in. The hand writing was a very close match to my wife's signature. The person who brought the check in to be cashed made like a rabbit while the teller was verifying the check. So, we had to open a new checking account, contact the creditors and arrange different payment methods, and redo our direct deposits from employers and pensions. of course, the bank cannot share any information concerning their 'investigation' into this matter. I asked if law enforcement was called - not yet. Since theft from a USPS is a federal offense, has the USPS been notified - No. Once the bank's fraud investigator is finished, authorities may be notified.
Now. it looks like I finally will have to consider online banking, once I get a secure VPN. And the folks who stole, bleached, and forged the check probably are staking out another mail drop box. All things considered, I was very lucky, but I am still PISSED!
Posts: 316 | Location: suwanee, ga | Registered: January 01, 2007
Haven't seen check washing in a while. I would research some of the steps you are taking a little further. VPNs are latency increasing snake oil to most people. Very few financial sites are not already encrypted and the big leak point, other than the user giving information to the wrong people, are breaches on the bank end, which no amount of encryption from you will fix.
Posts: 3417 | Location: Iowa | Registered: February 24, 2011
About 3 (?) years ago we had the collection box right in front of the office broken into over and over again several times. They replaced it the first time fairly quickly but after the second it took months. They were using a car jack to pry it open.
"Ninja kick the damn rabbit"
Posts: 4245 | Location: Oklahoma | Registered: October 11, 2008
I had at least 5,000 checks that I printed from quicken. But sometime ago, I switched to free billpay offered by all the banks now. For those that don't take electronic payments, they send out a check.
I used to play regarding when I can mail the check in to get the extra days interest, now I don't have to. And I don't have to go to the mailbox to drop off my checks and have them stolen.
"It did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life – daily and hourly. Our answer must consist not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual." Viktor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning, 1946.
Posts: 15756 | Location: Bay Area, CA | Registered: March 24, 2011
Wow! Breaking into a drop box in front of the Post Office is brazen!
Thanks for posting this. It's a good argument for getting my narrow ass out of the car and dropping the envelope through the slot inside the Post Office lobby instead of using the drive-up drop box.
The drive-up box should be safe enough if it is used during business hours, doubtful if the bastages would break into it during daylight and the mail is collected around 5:00 pm. Overnight and weekends are the likely times that there is exposure to theft.
A mind is a terrible thing.
Posts: 23133 | Location: Central Florida (near Orlando) | Registered: January 03, 2010
Been using banks online bill pay for years without any problems and saves a lot of time, stamps and trips to the mail. If the offender is found, you may want to insist that they are also charged with "uttering". That's a felony offense and carrys the same weight as if they actually cashed the check and received the funds. Introducing yourself and making your interest be known to the prosecutor often helps make things happen.