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Bank expert says USPS security gaps help check fraud run rampant

February 8, 2023
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A bank experts says security gaps in the USPS postal system coupled with a lack of prosecution in check fraud cases has allowed this crime to run rampant.

Noriega explains that check fraud exploded in 2021 after criminals – many of whom were first exposed to the mailed check process during the pandemic – recognized multiple weaknesses in the system.

“You have clear weak points with the U.S. Postal Service and mailboxes are being compromised. Mail is being fished out of them,” she said.

The Postal Service told CNBC it’s been actively educating the public about how to prevent check theft, which includes information about check washing on its website. The Postal Service advises customers to deposit mail in blue collection boxes before the last pickup time to avoid mail being left overnight. It also says customers should have their mail held at the post office if they are going to be out of town.

But in addition to mail safety issues, Benda says law enforcement is not prosecuting enough of these cases.

The rapid development of this criminal skill set on Telegram coupled with the lack of prosecution has left banks in a bind. Benda says that’s why financial institutions need government help.

“They can’t solve this problem,” he said. “We really need help from law enforcement to prosecute these cases. We need the Postal Service and stop these checks from being stolen.”

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