Tomchei Tzedakah: Reports Of Over $50,000 Of Fraudulent Checks Being Cashed

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.

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  1. Is it made very clear to the collectors that they may not use the Ishur past its date, no matter what. I always feel like the bad guy when I say that the Ishur is expired. “But I hardly had enough time…Geveret, do a big mitzva.” I am always afraid of their ill will (part superstition…) and I give a check despite my misgivings.

  2. Who knows what is more choshev to H-shem your davening or giving to a person that is downtroden & in dewspair?! (seen in a sefer in the name of the Villna Gaon Zt”l)

    Finally always remember before you decide to report on any Tsubrachene Yid H-shem is very close to them & if your motives or way of dealing with it are not 100% right you are PLAYING WITH FIRE! As the divrei Chaim Zt”l said Im not scared of anything in the world(even a Malach) as much as IM SCARED OF THE KRECHTZ OF A TZUBRUCHENE YID-FOR HIS KRECHTZ KEN SHATTEN FAR DOIROS!!! Scarry to say the least!

  3. I am not sure what its called but recently a organisation here in lakwood made vouchers that u can buy from them and u give the to the mishullich and he has to redeem it at some tzedoka office

  4. It is the old minhag from sdom to have an expiration date on the ishur to begin with! Chasing away nitzrachim will not bring us the zechusim we need, and we need many!

  5. The 1st thing I look at is the date and if it’s expired- they don’t get $$- plain and simple. This is what this org. is there for. If WE don’t care about the letter, then why should THEY (meshulachim)? If everyone would do their part, then the fraud might stop!

  6. Wow so many people missing the point all at once! The Ishur service is here to protect us from fraudulent individuals etc. No one is saying you have to be rude to these tzibruchene yidden you can offer a drink, a bite to eat, but there have to be rules in place to protect the klal as well.

  7. The expiration date is there for a security purposes and not to chase away anyone. If the meshulach says that he’s only going to be in town for 2 weeks so his issur will have that date on it, if he says he going to be here for a month…he will get a month. Otherwise they just pass on their issur to the next guy that might not be legit …As matter of fact it became very common that the meshulochim sell off their issur and no one really looks at the picture anyways. Kapish ? And stop with your naarish stuff, no one is here to chase anyone away.

  8. A true Onni is machniya himself and askes for money but when someone comes with an attitude that “you owe me money” is usually fake (saw in sefer and as the famous maasah with Brisker Rov). And yes, his inappropriate behavior should be reported so he does’t harass other people.

  9. To #4

    I’m glad you know better than all the big Rabbonim in Lakewood, R’ Scheinberg, R’ Aaron Leib Shteinman and more-all who fully endorsed Tomchei Tzedokah. They must’ve forgotten about Sedom?

  10. I’ve asked this before, but I didn’t really get an answer. Is there a limit to how many times an individual can collect from you? I want Hashem to answer me every time I ask for my needs so I figure I should give every time someone asks. But is this unfair to others who are collecting, that I might have less for the next guy who didn’t collect yet?

    Also, what is the latest hour that a meshulach should come to my house? I do get the occasional late comer 10 or a little later. Again, I want Hashem to answer me any time I need help, but what’s right?

  11. How about the meshulachim that give you back the money claiming it’s too little so they won’t accept it (I’m not talking cents here) anyone can justify that. I mean I can understand they want more but not to take it is even less the dollars add up…

  12. If we can’t afford to give to everyone how about giving a little to everyone and let H’ be the judge who needs and who doesn’t ! After all we want H’ to Mlalamid Zchus on us as well.

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