Crown Heights Resident The Victim of Mailbox Fishing, Warns Others in the Community To Remain Vigilant
You write a check, sign it seal it in an envelope and stick it in a mailbox. Is your check safe?
A Crown Heights resident reached out to CrownHeights.info after she was the victim of a common scam called mailbox fishing, where criminals place a substance inside the lid of a public mailbox to “catch” mail put inside. The criminals then retrieve the mail, open it, and see if there is something they can steal.
“I mailed a check and someone stole it from the mailbox,” the resident told CrownHeights.info. “They water washed my amount [on the check], forged my signature, and changed the dollar amount really high on the check and it was able to get into the bank.”
Incidents of mailbox fishing have been on the rise in Crown Heights for more than a year with the 71st Precinct consistently warning residents to avoid mailing checks or cash.
“There are recent reports of mailbox fishing in the area,” the NYPD 71st Precinct recently wrote on Twitter. “Protect yourself from theft and check fraud by mailing checks from inside the post office to ensure they don’t get stolen. Check your account balance frequently to verify that the proper amount is debited.”
The Crown Heights resident targeted in the mailbox fishing told CrownHeights.info that this was not the first time it has happened to her.
“I had it happen to me twice sadly,” she said. “I should have learned my lesson the hard way not to mail checks in the mail. Now I definitely did.”
Having learned a lesson the hard way, the victim wants others in the community to be aware of the risk associated with using the public mailboxes.
In this case, the Crown Heights resident used the public mailbox found in front of Crunch Gym, and when she returned there to investigate, she found residue of the substance used to “catch” her mail.