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  • Geebo 9:00 am on January 25, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Connecticut,   

    Check washing scam hits Conn. town hard 

    Check washing scam hits Conn. town hard

    By Greg Collier

    Police in West Hartford, Connecticut, have been receiving an inordinate number of complaints from residents who had checks stolen from mailboxes. Thieves will steal mail from both residential and public mailboxes in hopes they’ll find a handwritten check. Once they find a check, the thieves will attempt to remove the ink in a process called check washing. The checks will be bathed in a chemical solution that removes the handwritten ink while leaving the rest of the check intact. This allows them to rewrite the check in any amount. As long as there are sufficient funds in the account, the check can be cashed.

    The West Hartford Police are saying that the thieves use a custom-made tool that allows them to steal mail from most mail collection boxes. They also say that the thieves have been taking outgoing mail from residential mailboxes as well. Banks will reimburse customers if their checks are stolen, but that won’t stop the inconvenience of a payment not reaching its intended recipient.

    The best way to protect yourself against check washing is switching to all electronic payments. However, in some cases, only a check can be used. In those cases, when mailing a check, make sure to drop it off inside the post office during business hours. Leaving it in a mail collection box overnight could leave you vulnerable to mail theft. There are also special pens you can buy that are resistant to check washing. Lastly, as a good rule of thumb, you should never leave outgoing mail containing a check in your home mailbox. More mail is stolen from home mailboxes than USPS mailboxes.

    While this most recent story of check washing comes from Connecticut, check washing is a problem that’s been affecting consumers nationwide.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on January 5, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Connecticut, , ,   

    Puppy scammers FaceTime victim 

    Puppy scammers FaceTime victim

    By Greg Collier

    Scams are like a virus. They’re always adapting and mutating into new variants where they look to get a new advantage over their victims. And also, like a virus, scammers do not care who they have to hurt to get what they want.

    For example, a woman from Connecticut wanted to get a puppy for her children for Christmas. She found someone claiming to be a local breeder. The victim did her due diligence as she paid a service to make sure the alleged breeder wasn’t using a fake identity, and everything seemed to check out. Several conversations took place between the victim and the breeder. The breeder even FaceTimed with the victim, showing the victim a litter of puppies. Convinced that the breeder was legitimate, the victim sent payment to the breeder.

    When it came time to pick up the puppy, the breeder is said to have started giving excuses. The breeder claimed that one of the puppies had a fever, and then that one of the breeder’s other dogs had to go see an emergency vet. Then the breeder claimed that they were in the hospital before telling the victim it wasn’t the right time to give the victim the puppy. Then all communication was cut off and the victim never got a puppy nor a refund.

    What’s particularly disturbing about this variant of the puppy scam is that the scammer used actual puppies in the scam. Usually in a puppy scam, the puppies don’t actually exist. It’s harrowing to think where the scammer may have obtained these puppies and what they intend to do with them after the scam runs its course.

    If you’re in the market for a puppy, try to deal only with local and licensed breeders. This breeder may have been what they call a ‘backyard breeder’ who are unlicensed breeders that often have no regard for the health conditions of their animals.

    But as always, we highly recommend adopting a puppy from your local animal shelter. This can often be done with minimal or no cost. Some shelters even have waiting lists you can sign up for if you’re looking for a certain breed. Also, don’t let the shelter stigma convince you that all shelter dogs are problems. Many of them are there through no fault of their own and would make a great addition to any household.

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