*First National Community Bank’s blog does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, investment or other professional advice. Recipients should consult their professional advisors for advice.


According to recent data from the U.S. Treasury Department, check fraud has surged nationwide by an alarming 385% since the onset of the pandemic. As a community bank dedicated to serving and safeguarding the financial well-being of our customers, we are committed to staying ahead of emerging threats and protecting against fraud. With postal scams at an all-time high, including ‘check washing’ and ‘check theft’ scams, we would like to highlight what to look out for and this groundbreaking initiative aimed at combatting the alarming rise in check fraud, spearheaded by the American Bankers Association (ABA) and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service to help safeguard your finances.

According to a new consumer resource infographic, consumers can take several actions to protect their mail and their checks: 



  • Check Washing: Fraudsters target paper checks sent through the mail. Once they have a check that you mailed, they use chemicals to “wash” the check allowing them to change the amount or make themselves the payee. Then, they deposit or cash your check and steal your money
  • Check Theft: If you mailed a check that was paid, but the recipient never received it, criminals may have stolen it. The United States Postal Inspection Service recovers more than $1 BILLION in fraudulent checks & money orders each year.


  • Get your mail promptly after delivery. Don’t leave it in your mailbox overnight.
  • If you’re heading out of town, ask the post office to hold your mail until you return.
  • Sign up for informed delivery at USPS.com. It sends you daily email notifications of incoming mail and packages.
  • Contact the sender if you don’t receive mail that you’re expecting.
  • Consider buying security envelopes to conceal the contents of your mail.
  • Use the letter slots inside your Post Office to send mail


  • Use pens with indelible black ink so it is more difficult for a criminal to wash your checks.
  • Don’t leave blank spaces in the payee or amount lines.
  • Don’t write personal details, such as your Social Security number, credit card information, driver’s license number or phone number on checks
  • Use mobile or online banking to access copies of your checks and ensure they are not altered. While logged in, review your bank activity and statements for errors.
  • If your bank provides an image of a paid check, review the back of the check to ensure the indorsement information is correct and matches the intended payee, since criminals will sometimes deposit your check unaltered.
  • Consider using e-check, ACH automatic payments and other electronic and/or mobile payments.
  • Follow up with payees to make sure that they received your check.



  • Your bank and request copies of all fraudulent checks.
  • Your local police department.
  • The United States Postal Inspection Service at uspis.gov/report or call 1-877-876-2455.


The full infographic is available by visiting: https://www.aba.com/news-research/analysis-guides/check-washing-and-check-theft-scams

At First National Community Bank we are committed to upholding the highest standards of security and integrity in all our banking operations. By working together with you, industry partners and law enforcement agencies, we can effectively combat check fraud. Together, we can build a safer and more resilient banking environment for everyone.

As your locally owned community bank of choice, the success of your financial future is top of mind. We offer Personal Checking Accounts, Money Market Accounts, Personal Savings Accounts, CDs, IRAs, Mortgages, Personal Loans and Business Loans of all shapes and sizes, Personal Credit Cards, Business Credit Cards and much more! To learn more about First National Community Bank’s financial solutions, visit:  fncbank.com

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