Police Warn Of ‘Check Washing’ Scam After Suspects Steal Edmond Woman’s Checks From USPS Mailbox

Friday, July 30th 2021, 10:49 pm
By: Clayton Cummins

EDMOND, Oklahoma -

An Edmond woman was shocked to learn someone stole her checks from a USPS collection box, washed the ink off and tried cashing it.

The scam is called ‘check washing.’

Sally Ruhl said Saturday night she put three checks in a USPS collection box located in the Crest Foods parking lot near the intersection of 15th Street and Santa Fe Avenue.

“I heard that people in secluded areas might break into mailboxes, but I didn’t think it would be a location that it would happen because it is so busy,” said Ruhl.

Turns out Ruhl was wrong.

By Monday, Ruhl learned someone at Walmart in Del City tried cashing the now blank checks.

According to Del City police, the suspect was unsuccessful after failing to produce proper ID.

“They had written in their own information,” said Ruhl. “One check for $900, one check for over $400 and one check was still blank.”

According to law enforcement, thieves can wash ink off checks with common household cleaning products.

Del City police are familiar with the scam.

“We do run into fraudulent checks and things like that, not normally this level of fraud if you will,” said Major Michael Arterbury from the Del City Police Department.

Police encourage online transactions if possible. Something Ruhl said she will now be doing more regularly.

“It’s time for me to get up with the times and do things more electronically and not depend so much on the checks,” said Ruhl.

Del City police are working to identify a suspect.

Federal charges are possible as a mailbox was broken into.