Check Washing Scam Prevention

Couple holding keys to their new house.


Check washing is an increasingly common scam that involves changing the payee names and dollar amounts on checks and fraudulently depositing them. Usually, these checks are stolen from mailboxes and then “washed” in chemicals to remove the ink.

Learn how you can protect yourself from check washing scams:

  • Safeguard your mail by avoiding public USPS mailboxes. It’s best to mail your checks inside the Post Office or hand them directly to your mail carrier.
  • Use indelible black gel ink pens when writing your checks to make it harder for scammers to “wash.”
  • Use Online Banking to track and verify that your mailed check has been cashed for the correct amount indicated and is made out to the proper individual or company.
  • Use Online Bill Pay to securely pay your bills online and avoid mailing checks.
  • Set up account alerts with our Mobile App for activities on each account: set thresholds, balance, & insufficient alerts, large transactions, and alerts by transaction type.
  • Shred any checks you may need to discard or cancel so that they cannot be stolen from your trash or recycling.

If you think you've been the victim of a check washing scam, contact us at 617-471-0750.

Member FDIC logo     Equal Opportunity Logo