If you haven't considered paying for services in a way that doesn't involve mailing letters, now might be the time to give it another thought. Missouri residents are being urgently warned by many experts to stop mailing checks immediately.

These alerts for Missouri residents to stop mailing checks are coming from multiple agencies and services. Let's start with the reason why. The United States Postal Inspection Service calls the process where multitudes of Missourians are being ripped off check washing. Here's how it works:

  • You drop a letter with check in the mailbox.
  • Thieves intercept the letter with check either out of your mailbox or a drop box.
  • The payee is "washed" off the check and another name is put in its place
  • The amount is often changed, too and then it's deposited into the thieves' account

The United States Postal Inspection Service estimates over a billion dollars is stolen from residents every single year.

The Better Business Bureau is also warning Missouri residents about check washing and what they can do to avoid being ripped off. Here is what they advise:

  • Don't mail checks if at all possible
  • Pay for services through secure online and trusted portals
  • If you have no option to pay online and must mail a check, do not put it in your mailbox with the flag up
  • Walk a letter with check into a postal service lobby and mail it directly through the deposit slot in the post office

How big a problem is check washing in Missouri?

According to KMOV, there was a check washing scam detected in Ferguson, Missouri recently. KSDK shared the story of a South St. Louis resident who was also victimized.

Yahoo News reported that Missourians lost $88 million dollars to check washing scams in one year alone. 

This is why everyone in Missouri really needs to stop sending checks in the mail immediately if at all possible or risk big monetary loss and sometimes vast identity theft, too.

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