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'Check washing' is gaining popularity across SE Wisconsin as criminals break into mailboxes to steal banking information

CBS 58

KENOSHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Check washing is the latest, ruthless trend criminals are taking part in. It's happening across the country, and CBS 58 has heard from many businesses and individuals who've experienced it here in SE Wisconsin recently. 

Check washing is a form of fraud, where a thief will use chemicals to remove the name on the check and deposit it into a different account than it was intended for. Criminals are doing it by stealing checks from mailboxes.  

Elijah Walters is the owner of two Office Furniture Warehouse locations in the area, and he's one recent victim of check fraud.

"We'll set our checks in our outgoing mail. Put the little red flag up and hope that USPS takes it safely," said Walters. It's how he pays his furniture every month. But this $6,000 check never made it to his vendor. 


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