Scams: Sending Checks For The Holidays? You May Want To Reconsider

'Check washing' scams are becoming more common, the Postal Inspection Service says. Here's what to know.

A pen about to fill in the dollar portion of a check
(Image credit: ATU Images, via Getty Images)

Checks are typically considered to be a more secure way to send money through the mail than cash. But according to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), there are reasons to forego mailing either one.

Check washing scams, in which a check’s payee name along with the dollar amount are changed and the check is fraudulently deposited, are more common than you might think. The USPIS said it recovers $1 billion in counterfeit checks and money orders each year. 

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Jamie Feldman

Jamie Feldman is a journalist, essayist and content creator. After building a byline as a lifestyle editor for HuffPost, her articles and editorials have since appeared in Cosmopolitan, Betches, Nylon, Bustle, Parade, and Well+Good. Her journey out of credit card debt, which she chronicles on TikTok, has amassed a loyal social media following. Her story has been featured in Fortune, Business Insider and on The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, CBS News, and NPR. She is currently producing a podcast on the same topic and living in Brooklyn, New York.