Fraud Alert: Mailbox Fishing Scam Leads to Stolen and Forged Checks

Recently, there has been a significant increase of fraudsters stealing checks out of mailboxes – even U.S. Postal Services boxes. When fraudsters come across a check, they use techniques to erase all of the details in order to rewrite a fraudulent check to themselves for a large sum of money.

How do you avoid this?

Use these best practices to avoid mailbox fishing:

  1. Use secure online banking services to pay your bills instead of mailing checks
    Instead of writing and mailing checks, consider using online or mobile bill payment. Also, businesses are increasingly using our automated cash management services, which can be customized to help deter fraud.
  2. Drop your check off inside the post office or give it directly to your mail carrier
    To be sure your check does not end up in the hands of a fraudster, give your outgoing envelope directly to a USPS employee.
  3. Deposit your mail closer to the collection time
    If you need to drop your check in a mailbox, try to do it as close to a collection time as possible. USPS lists the collection times on their mailboxes. Additionally, be sure to deposit your mail before the last pick-up time of the day, so your outgoing mail doesn’t sit in the mailbox overnight.
  4. Write the check in permanent ink
    To stop a fraudster from rewriting your check, use pigmented ink that can’t be erased.
  5. Consider another form of payment
    There are many different ways to send money online, such as Zelle, Venmo, Google Pay and PayPal. Needham Bank customers with personal checking, savings or money market accounts now have access to Zelle, which is a convenient and safe way to send money directly into the recipient’s account. Learn more about Zelle and how to enroll.

For more information, visit the USPS website.

As always, make sure that you regularly check your account(s) for suspicious transactions. With our NB Online and Mobile Banking, you can monitor your activity in real-time and set up customized account and transaction alerts. If you suspect you’ve become a victim of fraud, call 1-781-444-2100 or your local branch as soon as possible. We appreciate the opportunity to serve your banking needs and working together to safeguard your accounts.