What is Check Washing?
Check washing deals with erasing check content in order to let them be re-written.
It was first introduced by Frank Abagnale back in the 1960’s.
Removal of inks is done by use of relative solvents.
For instance, if the ink that was used is a polar ink, then a polar solvent is used to clear the ink.
Non-polar ink on the other hand just needs a non-polar solvent.
The process is so simple that it can be done within a very short time.
Other chemicals for household chores are also used for check washing.
Among the chemicals that have been reportedly used, acetone is at the peak.
- fox IT
- carbon tetra-chloride
- chloromice T
- common household bleach
- clear correction fluids
Numerous local bank customers complain of check washing fraud.
Checks are stolen from mail simply using acetone.
Statistics show that check washing accounts for more than $15 million each year.
Recently, 73% of US banks got a loss of $893 million due to check washing.
A large percentage of the fraud has been reported in police stations.
Actually, it accounts up to 90% of the crime. Criminals are severely punished for this fraud.
A fine of $250,000 or more can be imposed or adjacently a five year imprisonment.
Therefore, inspection services recommend reporting any case for arresting or even prosecution.
Check Washing Remedies
What should one do in order to prevent check washing? Here are some remedies.
- Consider paying your bills online. In this kind of transaction, there won’t be a check to wash.
- Enforce the use of cash washing resistance pens. Good example is a gel pen which is highly resistant to solvents. Avoid inks that can easily be erased like blue ball-point pens and permanent markers. A roller-ball is also good to be used.
- Pay attention to bank statements as soon as you receive them. This will enable one to confirm whether his/her account figures have not been altered. Banks usually give a period of thirty days of correction. Thereafter, a bank is not liable for any loss.
- Have knowledge on how to identify a washed check. For instance, if the paper is grayish in color there is nothing to doubt. Check to see if the print is in a variety of texts. If the text differs, then be wary of check washing.
Most important is securing your mail.
Lock your mail box and make good use of a shredder.