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State warns New Yorkers about check washing scams as Tax Day approaches

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  • Staff Report 

The New York State Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection issued a warning about the rise of check washing scams as Tax Day nears. The Department advised New Yorkers to deposit tax checks directly at post office lobbies to ensure maximum security. Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez emphasized the vulnerability of checks left in outside mailboxes and urged the public to adopt preventative measures to protect their finances.


Check washing involves erasing details from stolen checks to redirect funds, posing a significant threat during tax season. The U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network noted a sharp increase in check fraud incidents, with reports nearly doubling from 2021 to 2022.

To combat potential fraud, authorities recommend depositing mail directly at post offices, using gel pens for writing checks, and signing up for the USPS Informed Delivery service. These steps help safeguard against the manipulation of checks left in collection boxes. New Yorkers experiencing check washing are urged to contact their banks and report the incident to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service immediately.



Categories: New York StateNews