According to Officer Jose Severino of the 102nd Precinct, when residents drop their check in the mailbox, enterprising criminals fish it out using a bottle covered in glue.
“These perpetrators are using normal household liquids and acids to erase the amount on the check and put a different amount and cash it to themselves or somebody else,” Severino said.
Residents don’t realize they were a victim until they get a late notice or their next bank statement.
Severino handed out gel pens at Saturday's Woodhaven Residents' Block Association meeting on and recommended residents use them to make out their checks.
“It’s harder for the individual to wash off and create a different amount,” he said.
He also recommended that residents sign up for alerts so they know when their payments are received, as well as take their mail directly to the post office.