Target 2: Check Thieves Target the Mail - WBAY

Target 2: Check Thieves Target the Mail

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Banking online and paying bills online is the trend right now, but millions of people still pay their bills with a check in the mail. That's an opportunity for thieves.

"We've got to put a stop to it," Donna Sundberg said.

Sundberg is understandably frustrated. She says she felt violated after learning one of her company's checks for $40,000 was stolen.

"The check was in the mailbox at the vendor's location and the mail was stolen, perhaps on a Saturday, nobody around."

Today's thieves are scanning and duplicating the stolen checks.

"The people behind this were not stupid," Sundberg said.

Postal inspectors say the elaborate and often intricate process is doing a lot of damage. One suspect in a recent case had more than $800,000 worth of checks, impacting 177 victims.

"Found in our suspect's home were many numerous computers, high-quality color printers and scanners, as well as magnetic bar code readers and scanners. These were made to make phony ID's and phony checks," US Postal Inspector Michael Van de Putte said.

Sundberg says her company is taking steps to see this doesn't happen again.

"We have put into place with our bank goals and fraud protection. Whenever I issue a check, I send it to our bank, and if it's not on the list I send, they call, 'Is this an issue?'"

For individuals, it's important to always check your credit. You can request credit reports from three different credit agencies for free once a year at www.annualcreditreport.com.

Always shred documents and mail with personal information, including credit card offers as well as bills and statements, before you throw them out.

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