Check washing scam threatened Manhattan doggy day care | 7 On Your Side

Nina Pineda Image
Monday, March 25, 2024
Check washing scam threatened Manhattan doggy day care
Nina Pineda has the story on the Upper West SIde about checkwashing scams.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- There's a scam that just won't go away! We're talking about check washing.

That's when a scammer steals a check from your mailbox and literally, washes the ink right off it.

After that, they just cut themselves a check, potentially wiping out your bank account.

7 On Your Side has covered this extensively over the years. This time check washing not only affected a small business but could have hurt dozens of New York City pet owners.

Nina Pineda has the story on checkwashing and how to prevent it.

Molly and Randy DeGesero thought they were sending off a check to pay a typical electric bill. But check washing almost caused their Manhattan doggy day care business to go lights out.

The 7 On Your Side team called their bank, Chase, and within 24 hours they had good news.

"We are glad to resolve this for Mr. and Mrs. DeGesero. We're sorry that it took us so long," Chase said in a statement.

To prevent this from happening, a box of pens is your main line of defense: Always use gel pens with blue or black, non-erasable ink. It really soaks into the paper, so scammers won't be able to wash it off your checks.

Also, pay your bill online. There are no checks at all if you do that.

But if you really don't want to, then take your mail straight into the post office.

But don't use those blue drop boxes on the sidewalk. They're known for being broken into as well.

So who's committing these crimes?

According to multiple federal agencies, it's often gang-related.

According to a report by the Better Business Bureau, check washing alone can add up to $815 million a year in losses for businesses and individuals.

Apparently, gangs are looking for other ways to make money that don't involve drugs and check washing fits the bill.

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