Never let your bank give you that, police say in a new alert

When it comes to our hard-earned money, we typically trust our banks to keep it safe. And that’s a lot of money overall. According to the US Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF), the average bank account balance for US consumers is $5,300. Multiply that by the majority of Americans with bank accounts and you end up with a pretty hefty sum. Of course, there are thieves out there looking to take advantage of this, prompting police to issue a new alert to Americans on how to avoid having money stolen from their accounts. Read on to find out what authorities say you should never let your bank give you credit.

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Person withdrawing money from bank counter

From stealing your physical debit card to attacking you with bank fraud, there are many ways thieves can get hold of the money you have in your bank account. And many people are aware of that. While the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) reports that 97.3 percent of banked households say they are happy with their bank, 16.1 percent of unbanked households say they don’t have a bank account because they “the Don’t trust banks”.

You may have good reason to think so. According to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, more than 29 percent of American adults say they have experienced at least one of the top five problems related to the use of banking services. The most common problem? Fraudulent Transactions. About 16 percent of adults said they were affected by funds being deducted from their accounts by charges they did not make.

USPS mailboxes along the street in Florida City, Florida, USA. USPS or US Mail is responsible for providing postal service in the United States.

When you move any of your money through the US Postal Service (USPS) these days, you’re putting yourself at risk. Police in Chevy Chase, Maryland are now warning residents about ongoing mail theft, Patch reported Sept. 21. According to the Chevy Chase Village Police Department, thieves stole mailbox keys in suburban Maryland and used those keys to steal mail from blue USPS collective mailboxes in Bethesda and Chevy Chase.

Thieves are looking for one thing above all: your checks. Authorities said criminals find checks in the mail and forge their names, allowing them to sometimes steal thousands of dollars from people’s bank accounts.

“Criminals steal mail – that’s what happens” Frank Albergo, national president of the Postal Police Officers Association, to ABC affiliate WMAR in Baltimore. “They’re looking for checks to wash, they’re breaking into blue collection boxes, they’re robbing postmen, they’re breaking into mail trucks, it’s out of control. Postal crime is out of control.”

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Woman writes check. Payroll paycheck

With mail theft becoming more prevalent, the Chevy Chase Village Police Department is recommending that Americans “minimize the writing of checks” by making payments electronically rather than through the mail. But if you still need to send checks through the USPS, the authorities have another important piece of advice: “Ask your bank for ‘safe’ checks, which are more difficult to alter.”

Many people still use regular personal checks, which are just “paper slips issued by your bank showing your sort code and your account number” to create an account forbes. These make it easier for criminals to forge checks they steal from the mail Frank Abagnalea Washington, DC, secure documents consultant told Bankrate that thieves commit about $1.1 billion in check fraud annually.

Fortunately, banks also offer “government bank drafts” such as certified checks and cashier’s drafts. These usually require more from customers, such as B. Government-issued photo ID, proof that you have sufficient funds in your account to cover the check, and an additional fee per forbes. “Both bank drafts and certified checks are official checks guaranteed by a bank,” Investopedia continues. “Compared to personal checks, bank drafts and certified checks are generally considered more secure and less susceptible to fraud.”

Pensive handsome middle-aged businessman in shirt working on laptop in office. man working in office

Mail theft isn’t just a problem in Maryland. People from states across the US have been grappling with this ongoing crisis. For this reason, Albergo discourages Americans from putting valuables like bank checks in community mailboxes altogether. “You know as a postal worker it’s hard to say, I refuse to say but I wouldn’t put anything in the blue collection boxes, I would take my mail to a post office,” he told WMAR. “People are losing public confidence in the Post. The Postal Service is destroying its brand.”

The USPS branch of Postal Inspectors told the news agency that it continues to investigate postal-related crimes across the country, such as mail fraud, theft and crimes against postal workers. “Robbery of postal workers is a top priority for postal inspectors as part of our mission to protect our employees, customers and the Postal Service,” said the US Postal Inspectors’ Office of Public Affairs (USPIS). “Although the incidence of robberies is relatively low (considering the number of daily contacts postal workers have with the public), postal inspectors take each one very seriously.” Never let your bank give you that, police say in a new alert

Sarah Y. Kim

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