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Glastonbury police warn residents of ‘check washing’ scam

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Glastonbury police warn residents of ‘check washing’ scam


GLASTONBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — Another town is warning residents about a check washing scam. Thieves are stealing checks out of mailboxes, altering them, and stealing money right from people’s bank accounts.

Glastonbury is the latest town to have thieves hitting mailboxes, and in three different locations.

“We’ve received complaints of at least 70 checks that have been altered from these three mailboxes to the tune of $235,000 since Dec. 1,” Lt. Corey Davis, the public information officer of the Glastonbury Police Department, said.

Seventy times someone wrote a check to their phone or gas company only to find a different name on their bank records.

“They’re popping up elsewhere in the country, being cashed by people who are able to change the name on the check and the amount on the check,” Davis explained.

It’s an old counterfeiting scam, according to Robert McDonald, a former secret service agent who is now lecturing at the University of New Haven.

“You know, this is very similar to what is called note bleaching in the federal government with counterfeit money,” McDonald said. “People will take a $1 bill and chemically take off the ink and then print a larger bill onto that previous $1 bill.”

What the U.S. Postal Service has done to try to combat this trend is move away from the older mailboxes with the large chute for the mail. Instead, they are using a…

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