Friday, March 5, 2010

Why you should write checks with a Sharpie Pen

Because apparently acetone won't remove the Sharpie ink.

Saturday, for the first time ever, we mailed our bills from our home mailbox and put the little flag up to indicate outgoing mail. Saturday, while we puttered around in the house, someone drove by and stole our mail. They took our mortgage payment and a credit card payment and "washed" them.

Washing involves using acetone to remove the ink in the "To" line and the "Amount" line, and rewriting the check out to another individual, usually at a higher amount. Like say, several thousand dollars.

One of the great things about using a small bank is that the tellers recognize me, and recognize my face. So when this person went to the bank and actually had the brass balls to walk in to the bank and sit down in front of the camera to cash my check, the teller sensed something was wrong and tried to call me. IF I had up to date information on file with them, the worm would have been caught then and there. But we had cancelled our home phone last year and moved to using our cell phones for all calls, and neglected to let the bank know that fact. Oopsie. So when she wasn't able to reach us, and could find nothing physically wrong with it, the teller cashed the check.

Then, because this worm, this slime on the bottom rung of humanity, is apparently fairly intelligent, they took the next check to a different branch and wrote a contact phone number on the check for the teller, who this time did not recognize or know me, to call and verify the check.

So, several thousand dollars later I have learned a couple of new lessons. Never, never, never, no matter how busy you are and how convenient it may seem, never mail bills from an unlocked box. Make sure your credit card and bank have your up to date contact information. And also, use Sharpie pens to write your checks because the ink cannot be washed. Sharpie makes a very nice pen which I love using anyway - it will now become the only pen in our desks.

Oh, and a note to the slime herself: Not only is your face on camera at the bank, honey, but you left a nice fat fingerprint on one of the checks! And taking mail out of a mailbox is mail fraud, which is a federal offense.

Note to the universe: I think I've learned enough lessons this year! Couldn't I have some time off for good behavior?


13 folks speakin' their mind:

KathyA said...

SON OF A BITCH! I hope she rots in jail.
I'm so sorry you're going through this!!
Also, Uniball pens don't wash either.
And this year has been horrid for us as well.

Sis said...

Oh, Fiwa, :( I'm so sorry about this! Let us know when they catch her. Grrrr.

And yes, it's time for you to have a break.

Hugs and lovin on you,

Golden To Silver Val said...

I am soooo sorry this happened to you. Right in front of your own home!!! OMG its going to get worse and worse too. I pay almost every bill online except for one who has no set up like that. However, I'm taking your advice and investing in some Sharpie pens. Curse that wicked bitch....if enough of us say it...maybe she will have some REALLY bad luck. (like getting arrested...Federal prisons are not nice.)
wv = brats

The Birdwatcher said...

Take care X

Jay said...

Oh man. This sucks so bad!

Will the bank replace the money? They should.

I pay everything online. No risking payments getting lost or stolen.

Jamie said...

HOLY CRAP! Surely, YOU are not liable for the money?


Awwww honey, big hugs.

fiwa said...

Nope - I am not liable for the money and I will get it back. It takes about a week. This has happened to us 4 times in 5 years - I'm sort of an expert now. You go down, tell the bank, they put your current account on a hold status and you tell them what outstanding checks need to clear. They open a new account and funnel any money you might have left into that and then they monitor check by check anything that comes in until all things you have told them are outstanding clear - then they close the old account completely. In about a week we'll have the money credited back to our new account. Of course you also have to fill out a police report, change any direct deposit or automatic draft payments.

ain't for city gals said...

So glad they caught them...and you are right...never put mail in the mail box with the flag up!! Just an ivitation for bad guys...also they make a mailbox that your incoming mail drops below and you use a key to take it out...runs about $75 but worth it..they can gets lots of info that way too.

nikkipolani said...

I'm so sorry about all the hassle, Fiwa. It's sad that you should know the drill so well. Thank you for your word of warning.

Cheryl said...

I learned something new. Sharpies only. I remember the last time you wrote about being stolen from. So awful that it's happened so many times! We have a cluster-type mailbox and can't leave mail there and fortunately, I work by a post office. My parents always leave their mail out. I'll pass your info along. I'm so glad your thief is going to be caught!

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Sorry to be so late to this. And I am really sorry that you are going through such a hassle. I cannot believe people can be this brazen and dishonest.

Unknown said...

Great thoughts you got there, believe I may possibly try just some of it throughout my daily life.

Sharpie Marker

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