Most financial transactions are digital now but if you need to send someone money, there's one way you definitely don't need to do it anymore.

You may want to send one of your friends or family members some moolah this holiday season as a nice gift from Santa. You might think the safest way to do that isn't Venmo or a bank transfer, but by sending a check in the mail. After all, that's physical and can't get hacked, right?


Experts say there's a big problem right now with sending checks in the mail because of check fraud within organized crime circles. These aren't some fly-by-night groups, they are "sophisticated criminal operations", who train "Walkers" how to seem legit when depositing checks at the bank and they even create fake "businesses" as recipients of the stolen checks.

But How Can They Steal The Checks?


"Check washing" is the most common method of check fraud. It's when a criminal steals a check and changes both the payee's name on the check and the amount of money.

Melting ink is another method that investigators have seen. Perpetrators in one case allegedly used technology that melted the ink in the 'to' section of a check so they could write in fake names.

But I Want To Mail A Check?

Again, it's not advised, as banks issued about 680,000 reports of check fraud to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network ( FinCEN) in 2022. That’s up from 350,000 reports in 2021.

But if you absolutely want to send a check to someone, experts say to not put it in your residential mailbox and instead drop it off inside a post office.

It wouldn't be a bad idea either to fold the check inside paper, doing whatever you can to make sure it does not clearly look like a check.

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