U.S. Postal Service Warns Against Sending Checks in the Mail

A new warning is out from the U.S. Postal Service suggesting its users should not send checks through the mail, as more of them are being stolen than ever.

Americans wrote 3.4 billion checks last year, according to the Federal Reserve.

The Postal Service reports that complaints of mail theft doubled in 2021, and banks report that check fraud jumped to 680,000 reports last year, up from 300,000 the year before.

It’s not clear exactly who is stealing checks from the mail. It could be postal workers at distribution centers, or possibly thieves stealing from public mailboxes.

Data on your bank checks can be used by sophisticated scam artists who can also change the name of the payee and even the amount on the check.

The USPS says if you must mail a check, avoid the mailbox and bring the envelope directly into the post office.

Even online payments are subject to fraud, with one study showing more than 2.5 million online transactions compromised in 2022.

A USPS spokesperson said, “Credit card method is always the safest method because you have the most legal recourse and the most amount of time should a transaction go awry.”