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Friday, January 2, 2015

ALERT: NKY Thieves Targeting Your Mailbox

Officials are reporting cases of check fraud across all three Northern Kentucky counties, where thieves steal residents' mail in the hopes of finding checks they can forge.

According to a report filed Friday by the River City News, the Kenton County Commonwealth's Attorney's office has filed charges in thirty cases, and is still investigating more, involving thieves stealing mail from mailboxes in pursuit of checks they can doctor and re-make out to themselves for different amounts. Because the process involves the criminals using chemicals that remove pen ink but not the lettering printed on the check itself, personal checks are particularly at risk.

Some of those cases, the report says, are out of Boone and Campbell County. FTM is currently awaiting comment from Fort Thomas Police about mail theft cases here in town.

"Victims in the cases have been both individuals and businesses," Rob Sanders, Kenton County Commonwealth's Attorney, said. "They usually don't realize they are victims until either checks start bouncing because their accounts have been cleaned out or creditors start sending late notices for bills the victims thought were paid."

Officials also believe the suspects are employing the homeless or others desperate for money to cash the checks on their behalf in exchange for a cut. This makes identifying and catching the suspects even more difficult.

Officials recommend avoiding using home mailboxes for outgoing mail, in that public mailboxes, while not fool-proof, are more difficult to loot. It is also recommended that people mailing checks keep a close eye on bank balances.

FTM will update this story as more information becomes available about how this crime wave is impacting Campbell County and Fort Thomas.

- Staff report

h/t RCN

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