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Amarillo Police Department
Wednesday March 23rd, 2022 :: 03:30 p.m. CDT


APD Crime Prevention Thought of The Day

 Over the years we have seen many scams and methods that criminals use to victimize society. One that has been around for many years, but we hear about less these days, is check washing. We know, many of you are sitting there thinking, “What the heck is a check?!?”, but contrary to popular belief, they are still out there and being used daily. Check washing scam involve changing the payee names and often the dollar amounts on checks and fraudulently depositing them. These checks are often stolen from mailboxes and washed in chemicals to remove the ink.
Here are a few things that can help when it comes to writing and sending checks.

  1. Always use a gel ink pen when it comes to filling out a check. The gel ink contains tiny particles of color that are trapped into the paper, making check washing a lot more difficult.
  1. If you are sending a check through the mail, it is best to deposit your outgoing mail in the blue collection boxes right before the last pickup time for the day or take it to your local post office.  
  1. Never leave mail in your mailbox overnight. This is a good practice that will keep any mail from being stolen.
  1. If you are going to be out of town, it is best to have your mail held at the post office if you do not have someone that you trust to pick it up daily.
As with all crime prevention information, there is no 100% effective way to make sure that you will never become the victim or a scam or crime, but there are things we can all do to lessen our chances. Please pass this information along to all of your check writing friends and family members.

Amarillo Police Department
200 SE 3rd Ave
Amarillo, TX 79101

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 806-378-4257

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