I received what I felt was a suspicious phone call from someone claiming to be a Postal Inspector. He said that my son’s Football Booster Club checking account had been compromised (I am the treasurer). I waited for him to ask me my account number (which he did not). I quickly logged on to the credit union online banking website to find that he was correct. Someone had gone shopping at Target, Meijer and Kohls on the Booster Club’s dime – a lot of dimes! The bogus checks came to almost $1000.
The inspector asked if I had written any checks which had not cleared. Yes! There was a check which was mailed from another Booster member’s unlocked mailbox. It was for a program ad which mysteriously never made it to its destination. The Booster member’s mail had been stolen out of her mailbox. The mail thief took our Booster Club routing and transit numbers and account numbers from the bottom of the check and created her own checks with safety stock paper she probably purchased at an office supply store. See blog posts: Where’s the Safety in Safety Paper? and New Meaning for Going Postal. I refer to the thief as “her” because the name she created on the checks was Jazmine Smith (see photo).
I was shocked this happened because I rarely write paper checks anymore since I started using the VerifyValid service (the service enables the sending of a check via the internet). This was a rare occasion, but a great reminder that mail and check fraud could happen to anyone. Fortunately for me, those checks were converted to electronic items and thanks to Regulation E, the Football Booster Club got it’s money back.