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How Mail Fraud and Check Washing Puts Florida Businesses at Risk


Florida has a severe problem with check-washing and mail fraud. Mail fraud, obviously, involves the mail services of the United States Postal Service (USPS), and check-washing alters checks to steal money. Businesses are at risk due to these fraudulent activities. We will be discussing mail fraud, check washing, the risks Florida businesses face, and how businesses can defend themselves against this kind of criminal misconduct. 

How Mail Fraud and Check Washing Puts Florida Businesses at Risk

How Mail Fraud Scams are Operated

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is a key component of mail fraud, making it a federal crime. Mail fraud can involve sending bogus invoices to businesses, proposing phony investment opportunities, or asking for donations for a fake charity through the mail. 

Many of the proposals the swindlers send through the USPS look quite legitimate. They hope to receive money or personal information and often do because of their mailouts’ validity. This type of mail fraud can be challenging to catch.

How Check-Washing Scams Work

Another form of fraud that Florida sees too much of is check washing. This type of deception usually begins with outgoing mail being stolen from mailboxes or when checks are stolen directly from businesses. Check washing is a process involving the following steps: 

  1. Checks are first stolen from a business or mailbox.
  2. Checks are “washed” of ink using chemical removal techniques.
  3. The checks’ information is usually altered to show a different amount of money or a new payee.
  4. Altered checks are then cashed or deposited into the fraudster’s bank account.
  5. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Check-washing fraud can be complicated to uncover because the altered checks look valid. 

Risks Faced by Florida Businesses

Check-washing and mail fraud are substantial dangers to the solvency of Florida businesses. Some of the risks they face are listed below: 

  • Financial losses are the most obvious. Businesses can lose enormous amounts of money with these types of fraudulent activities.
  • When defrauded, damaging a business’s reputation can make it hard to attract customers and investors since they fear that their money and personal information are not protected. 
  • Liabilities and other legal implications when the businesses are held accountable for the actions of those in their employment or their partners if those connected with the business were the ones conducting the fraudulent activities.

How Florida Businesses Can Protect Themselves

To avoid check washing and mail fraud scams, Florida businesses are taking measures to protect themselves. Listed below are things you might want to do to safeguard your business:

  • Deter thieves by using a locking mailbox.
  • Keep a close eye on your business’s bank accounts. Immediately report any unauthorized activity. 
  • Ask your bank about fraud detection software. This can alert you of potential fraud early on.
  • Make sure your employees understand mail fraud and check-washing scams. Educate them on recognizing them to offer another line of defense for your business.
  • Background check potential hires, existing employees, and your business partners to ensure you know potential risks.

Risky Business 

The risk is significant for mail fraud and check washing to affect Florida businesses. Understanding how these fraud schemes work and educating yourself and your employees about how to spot them before they become a problem is critical. Take proactive measures to protect your business’s finances and reputation. 

If you have been the victim of mail fraud or check-washing, contact a Florida check fraud attorney Sharmin & Sharmin, Attorneys at Law, for help unraveling the situation. 

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