Town warns residents of schemers ‘phishing’ mailboxes for checks

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Town officials and police are urging residents to be careful when mailing checks. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)
Town officials and police are urging residents to be careful when mailing checks. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)

Town of North Hempstead officials say residents should think twice before mailing their checks now, following a wave of reported thefts at mailboxes.

In a news release, the Town Board and Tax Receiver Charles Berman urged residents to mail checks from inside their local post office or deliver property tax payment checks in person.

“Criminals are ‘phishing’ by using a sticky substance on the inside of the mailbox that ‘catches’ letters and checks that can be retrieved at a later date,” the town said in a news release. “The checks are then ‘washed’ and rewritten for larger amounts and cashed.”

Police are also urging people to report any glue, tape or sticky substances to the post office police and, if using a mailbox, to use mailboxes with slots rather than doors or a secure one at work.

They also advise using the bank’s bill pay features to send payment directly to recipients, use permanent or pigmented ink and vigilance on one’s bank account, specifically when it comes to withdrawals.

Efforts to reach the county police for comment were unavailing.

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