As previously reported, several individuals wrote checks to a Meshulach and were victims of check-washing, a process of using common household chemicals to erase ink from a standard pen. The Tomchei Tzedakah tells TLS, the fraud – which is still being investigated – was far greater than initially believed.
“To date, we have reports of over $50,000 of fraudulent checks being cashed”, Tomchei Tzedakah tells TLS. “B’H everyone got their money back, though some people had to fight long and hard with their banks for it.” “We at Tomchei Tzedakah are quite sure we know who the Meshulach is (someone that had been denied an Ishur), but we do not yet have solid enough proof to do something about it.”
Tomchei Tzedakah offered the following suggestions to prevent further fraud:
1. When writing checks, always use a pen with ink that cannot be easily washed off the check. The makers of Pilot Pens wrote us “The G2 Retractable Gel Ink Rolling Ball pens in black ink, along with any of our black ball point or gel ink pens, are safe to use for writing checks and won’t enable the check-washing process that criminals use.” The Uniball 207 also claims to be safe against the check-washing process.
2. If you are mailing a check, do not use the mailbox in front of your house. Put the envelope into the blue mailboxes from the US Postal Service.
On another note, Tomchei Tzedakah receives up to 20 complaints every week about Meshulachim collecting with expired ishurim or during Krias Shema, Tomchei Tzedakah says. However, without the name of the Meshulach or the # on the certificate, they cannot act on these complaints.
“Only twice have we received the information we needed, and we are dealing with those Meshulachim. If you see a Meshulach doing something inappropriate and want to help, please make sure to get the information we need and send it to [email protected]“, they said. TLS.