RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Before a mail carrier could get to a Raleigh mailbox, Mary Allen says thieves did. They were not only stealing her mail but also stealing her money.

Allen said she panicked when she went over her bank statement and noticed something wrong.

“I noticed a check on there for a tremendous amount that I knew I did not write,” Allen said.

So she went to her bank. She said employees told her someone washed the check. Allen said the date, recipient, and amount were all changed.

“The only thing that was left on the original check was my signature, of course,” Allen said.

She didn’t want to tell us how much the check washing cost her, but said it was more than $1,000. Even though she pays most of her bills by mail, she said she’s now scared to ever send another check through the mail.

Better Business Bureau of Eastern Carolinas spokeswoman Nicole Cordero has advice on best practices for sending money.


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“Even though check use is on the decline, scammers are still going to target you if you’re using a check,” said Cordero. “So electronic means are always the best, and take precautions, you know, drop it off directly to your post office, you know, use that blue box, but the post office is the best bet.”

It’s advice Allen said she plans to follow.

Allen filed a police report on Monday. A spokesperson for the Raleigh Police Department tells CBS 17 it is an open investigation and there are no suspects right now.

Allen said she is supposed to get the money back, but the bank tells her it’ll likely take some time.

“It’s just one of those unfortunate incidents that happened to be me,” Allen said.

CBS 17 asked Raleigh Police if they’ve noticed any recent trends or an increase in mail thefts recently, but a spokesperson said they have not.

Cordero said if your mail is stolen or if you’re a victim of check fraud to report it to police and the United States Postal Service.