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Sebastian Police Warn Residents of Check Washing Scam, Caution Against Placing Checks in Your Mailbox

Sebastian Police Scam Alert.jpg
Sebastian Police Department
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Check washing is when criminals use chemicals to erase the ink from a check. The checks are then generally rewritten and cashed for large sums.

Sebastian - Monday August 1, 2022: The Sebastian Police Department has issued a "scam alert" warning residents about placing checks in their mail box.

Department detectives are investigating a rash recent of "check washing" cases in the town. Check washing is when criminals use chemicals to erase the ink from a check. The checks are then generally rewritten and cashed for large sums.

"We are warning our residents to be extra cautious when placing any type of check in your residential or commercial mailboxes to be sent out by the U.S. Postal Service," states a post on the Sebastian Police Department Facebook page.

Sebastian Police detectives are asking anyone has become a victim of this type of fraud, to contact them and file a police report by calling 772-589-5233.

Recently, the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Department arrested two people on similar mail theft allegations. The couple were accused of stealing checks from the mail boxes of residents of the Spanish Lakes Country Club Village in Fort Pierce. The SLC Sheriff's office issued a similar warning advising residents not to place checks in their mailboxes for pickup by a mail carrier.

Mail theft is not a federal crime if the mail is stolen from your mail box. It only becomes a federal crime if your mail is stolen after its picked up by the U.S. Postal Service and the theft occurs while the mail is in the possession of the USPS.