Suffolk County police warned residents Tuesday about a “checkwashing” fraud that has been going on in the Huntington area.
Commissioner Rodney K. Harrison said at a press conference in Yaphank that people have been stealing checks out of mailboxes, altering them and then cashing the checks at a bank branch or by using a banking app.
The thefts began in August and occurred about 40 times in Dix Hills, Melville and Huntington.
Anyone convicted of the federal crime of stealing mail faces a fine and/or up to five years in prison.
Experts warn residents not to leave checks in their home mailboxes but drop them into mailboxes inside US Post Offices.