I-Team: Federal investigation into local check washing scam

Federal investigation into local check washing scam
Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 11:19 AM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - A federal investigation is now under way into that check washing scam the I-Team has been telling you about all week.

People in our area are out tens of thousands of dollars. That coming as we’ve found at least 3 families victimized by this and the pattern is sounding too familiar.

The United States Postal Inspectors office telling the 13abc I-Team that they are actively working several investigations into this, as yet another family hopes to get its money back.

As he checked the family bank account, William Evans knew he didn’t write a $9800 check to someone named Andy Figueroa.

“We got ripped off. Easy. We got ripped off,” said William Evans.

The check they originally wrote to Dillard’s turned into that bogus check and they’re out nearly $10,000.

“Multiple federal laws were broken here, and we don’t seem to be getting anybody all that interested. We get the same nice tone of voice ‘yeah we can see why you would be upset but no one’s really done anything,” said Anne Evans.

They’ve not yet received their money back. Neither did a Rossford couple we told you about a few days ago. Luckily a Toledo woman did get her money back when someone did this to her.

Thieves get a hold of the check, erase the information and add new dollar amounts. The common theme in each story we’ve told you this week is that each check ended up in the US Postal Service system. Now Postal Inspectors have launched an investigation.

“The US Postal Inspection Service is aware of the recent trend in thefts in Northern Ohio (Toledo) and is actively working several investigations with the assistance from our local law enforcement partners. As these are active investigations, the Inspection Service cannot provide specifics regarding these matters (to include whether each instance is a part of an active investigation), as to not jeopardize the integrity of the cases.

The Inspection Service appreciates the great cooperation and partnership with our local law enforcement partners and ask if anyone has any information related to these, or any postal related crimes, to please contact the US Postal Inspection Service at 877-876-2455. Any information will be kept confidential.”

US Postal Inspection Service

They won’t give specifics on how many cases or where in the postal process they’re focusing. Our area’s mail ends up in metro Detroit before going to its final destination.

All of that still leaves families like the Adams stuck in the middle and out thousands of dollars after doing nothing wrong.

“If the banks don’t have sense, enough equipment, to look at checks and kick out things that have been whited out and lines are missing that should be there, then they’ve got no business putting checks through at all,” said Anne Evans.

While all these families are hopeful the person doing this is stopped and prosecuted the most immediate issue is that they get their money back.

13abc spoke with a Fifth Third representative Monday. She says the bank is aware of the situations happening here and that it’s working with the customers.

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