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Did You Know Gel Pens Can Prevent Check Washing?

gel(VVNG) – Identity theft affects each and every one of us. One of the ways criminals are getting victim’s information is through mail theft. Thieves are stealing mail looking for checks, credit card statements etc. to commit identity theft.

One of the most common forms of identity theft from mail theft is check washing. Check washing is the process of erasing details from checks to allow them to be rewritten, usually for criminal purposes such as fraudulent withdrawal from the victim’s bank account.

The actual process of washing a check is simple and can be accomplished with basic solvents. For example both nail polish remover and rubbing alcohol are able to pull most common inks away from paper in minutes.

Various steps can be taken to reduce the possibility of falling victim to check washing and mail theft:

  • Use a gel pen to write your checks
  • Always deposit your mail in a mail slot INSIDE your local post office
  • Do not put outgoing mail hanging on your home mailbox
  • Use a locking mailbox at home
  • Pick up your mail promptly after delivery.
  • Tell your post office when you’ll be out of town, so they can hold your mail until you return.

For information on mail theft and other forms of identity theft go to the following website:

https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/

source: Torrance Police Department

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