Don’t Use the Red Flag – Take Mail to Post Office – Check Fraud Alert

“Don’t Use the Red Flag – Take Mail to Post Office – Check Fraud Alert” by Joan Y. Edwards
Someone stole a check from our mailbox on Monday, January 27, 2014. They used it to get the routing number and bank account number. They used it at the Walmart to cash two checks for $96.40.
Last year, Wal-Mart saved me from credit card fraud. They saved a friend from being scammed from a large amount of money (Read about it here: Beware: Scam of Grandparents). These fraudulent thieves were slick. Even Wal-Mart didn’t catch them.
According to what I’ve read. (You knew I’d research it, didn’t you?) Perhaps the thieves “washed” my amount off and then wrote a new amount.  Then they made a copy of that check. So they have two checks for the same amount. I was lucky. Wal-Mart refunded my money. Thank you, Wal-Mart. A that particular store they did the electronic check cashing; therefore, they didn’t send a physical copy of the check to me at my bank, just the amounts and the check numbers. These guys used two different check numbers, not the real check number on the check. I still had the actual checks with those numbers still in my checkbook. I showed them to my banker.
Thank you, Pixabay.

The thief may have a chemical to erase the amount you put and write in his own amount without being detected…especially if you use a ball point pen (which I did). Check says that there are special checks with new security measures. My favorite is one that when someone tries to “wash” the amount with a chemical, the word VOID streaks across the check. Yes. That’s when the Good Guys win.

I don’t usually leave mail in my mailbox to be picked up. However, I really wanted that particular check to be mailed that day so it would get to its destination on time. The irony: It never got there because someone stole it.
I had to get a new checking account, change my automatic drafts, change my bill pays, change my automatic deposits. It was definitely a headache. As my younger daughter and my cousin said, “It was a kick in the __.”

Take action. Protect yourself from check fraud.

  1. Write your checks using the Uniball 207(Gel). It’s hard to erase with chemicals.
  2. Use automatic bank drafts and bill pay services.
  3. Ask your bank about special checks that help prevent the possibility of “washing” (erasing) your check.
  4. Read this article from beginning to end: Check “Check Washing:”
  5. Take outgoing mail to a Post Office. If possible, put it inside the post office itself or in one of the mailboxes designated for pickup. Check it first to make sure it’s not so filled up your letter won’t drop below.
  6. Don’t put outgoing mail in your mailbox. If you must do that, don’t put the red flag up on your mailbox – it alerts the thieves to get your mail.
  7. For incoming mail: Get a lock mailbox that has a slit big enough for your letters to get through, but not a hand. Here’s a large metal black lockable mailbox I found many with large price tags.

What we need is a video camera set up inside the mailbox that will take a picture of the person getting the mail out of the mailbox!

Current 2022 Top 10 List of Scams and Frauds (

Thank you for reading my blog. I appreciate you very much. I pray that you and your mail stays safe.

Celebrate you every day.
Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards

Copyright © 2014-2019 Joan Y. Edwards

18 thoughts on “Don’t Use the Red Flag – Take Mail to Post Office – Check Fraud Alert”

    1. Dear Jacquie,
      Thanks for writing. Yes, it was indeed frustrating. However, the bank helped me get everything back in order on that end. I believe I’ve recovered with new account and changing numbers for automatic drafts I had. What goes around comes around. Some day, those who do these “bad” things will get paid back. Thanks for reblogging this on your blog. I want to help as many people as I can. You’re helping me. You make me smile.

      Celebrate you and your compassion
      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

  1. Oh, Joan – so sorry you went through all this anguish. So like you to research it, find solutions to not only solve your problems, but to alert all your fans to hopefully keep them from going through the same thing.
    Love you woman!! Happy Valentine’s Day (okay, so I’m a few minutes late)! xoxo

    1. Dear Claire,
      Thanks for writing! I appreciate your sympathy. I wanted to make sure this didn’t happen again to me if I could. Then I wanted to help prevent it from happening to others. Sharing with you on my blog was a way for me to release this and let it go.

      Thanks for loving me.
      I love you very much.
      Celebrate you. You are a gift.
      Never Give Up

    1. Dear Carol,
      Thanks for writing. Oh my goodness. I’m sorry that check fraud happened to you, too. You are right. It is sad that we can’t trust to mail from our own mailboxes. Most people are trustworthy. It’s a few people that make it bad for others.

      Celebrate you
      Never Give Up

    1. Dear Gretchen,
      Thanks for writing. Some lessons hurt more than others. This one hurt a bunch. The bank helped me get a new account and stop payments on the old account and set up a new account. I changed automatic bank drafts to new number. I shared my experience hoping it would help prevent you and others from having this kind of experience.

      Lessons Learned…funny you could write another whole series of books with that same title as your first one.
      Good luck with your writing.

      Celebrate you
      Never Give Up

  2. You’re the best. I always put my flag up and now I will not!! Thanks for doing the research. I am buying one of those pens!! I’m so sorry this happened to you.

    1. Dear Karen,
      Thanks for writing. I’m glad that reading this check fraud post may have saved you a lot of heartache. When the snow thaws, I plan to buy one of the pens, too.

      You’re the best.

      Celebrate you
      Never Give Up

    1. Dear Dr. Bob,
      Thanks for writing. Thanks for caring. I do try to put a silver lining around the clouds. I’m glad you think I did well. I try to warn others so this doesn’t happen to them. They say it’s happening all over the world where they use mail boxes like us.

      Celebrate you.
      Never Give Up

    1. Dear Linda,
      Thanks for writing. Thanks for caring about me. It’s helped me let go by knowing that I may have prevented at leas one person from having their mail stolen.

      Celebrate you
      Never Give up

  3. Tough way to learn about this. I had a whole box of new checks stolen from my mailbox a few years ago and it was a nightmare to get sorted out. I didn’t realize they hadn’t come yet and by the time I did, someone had actually gotten an ID with my husband’s name and cashed about $800 worth of checks at a Home Depot. It took time to get my money back and get things straightened out, but I am very careful about ordering checks by mail unless they come to a secure mailbox. Good for you for sharing all this good information. My daughter just told me about the gel pen trick.

    1. Dear Rosi,
      Thanks for writing. Thanks for caring. Wow! What a headache that someone swiped your new checks out of your mailbox. Bummer and a half. It makes us all consider having a Post Office Box, doesn’t it? Glad your daughter told you about the gel pen trick.

      Celebrate you
      Never Give Up

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