Update From Tomchei Tzedakah On Check Fraudster

Update to yesterday’s story, submitted by Tomchei Tzedakah. The checks were handwritten for small amounts and the payee was a local mosad. The fraudster somehow removed the writing and changed the payee to KR Services. KR Services is a legitimate check cashing company in Eretz Yisroel and they unwittingly cashed the two checks – for a total of $16,000.

Tomchei Tzedakah is quite certain that we have identified the culprit. It is someone that we issued an ishur to previously but, based on information we’d received, we have denied him an ishur since 2010. This meshulach was now collecting in Lakewood without an ishur. We are waiting for after Shabbos to confirm the details with our contacts in Eretz Yisroel and hopefully they will be able to recover the money. TLS.

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  1. Its important when writing a check to someone that you don’t know, to make sure to make X’s and lines before and after the numbers and the written amount.

  2. Kupas haire had such s problem about a year ago
    Someone was stealing checks from their mailbox here in America (over a yom tov) then it was passed on to another guy in eretz yosroel who cashed in Eretz Yisroel at at legit check cashing company.
    Kupas haeir only realized the problem because they saw a breakin in the mailbox and the mailman told them That indeed he delivered many envelopes over the holiday
    One of the guys was caught ( I think it was the one in Eretz Yisroel) if I remember correctly it was the check cashing company that started getting suspicious after a few checks
    I know this because I was involved with one of the donors whose check for 4000.00 dollars was one of the stolen checks and when Kupas hair asked him to try to get his bank involved (since the check did clear)
    This donor is not a frum guy so he started wondering if Kupas Hair was playing games
    The guy that was caught did not want to say who the guy on America was that stole the envelopes from the mail box EVEN THOUGH HE WOULD HAVE TO SIT IN JAIL. It seems like he was afraid for life

  3. But of course some people will still eat their hearts out and continue to insist that the Ishur is a terrible idea and we should give to everyone, even without a Ishur.

    Only give to a meshulach if he has valid current Ishur. There are really fraudsters out there. Maybe these stories will finally make you face this reality.

  4. The ink can be lifted off checks, google “check washing” it can be done pretty easily. There are some pens (uni-bal 207 for example) that claim to be unwashable.

  5. I only give checks to people i know or mosdos.

    just in the past 2 weeks i had a mishluch who i gave $5 at the door ask for a check which never happens.

    personaly I wonder if we could set up a tzedaka fund which we would donate x amount of dollars to a mishuluch which would then be accumalitve distributed to the mishulach and save him the time running all around town.

    So for example if you give $1 or $5 to each mishulach you would send in that amount for each month and it would be distributed via the vaad tzedaka. Each Member would place a sticker on their front door and this would save the mishulach to move on to the next home and save him much time.

    I love getting the mishulach brachos but i feel bad when they come door to door in all weather and the most we can offer if small amounts due to our other local obligations. This will save them much time. the drivers would not get a percentage as its collected in the vaad office.

  6. The original check is never used in this scam and photoshop doesn’t come into play. Required: 1) Any check printing program like Quick-Books 2) A laser printer with a special toner cartridge that prints the MICR numbers in magnetic ink and the precise font in the precise location (x and y axis) on 3) blank check paper. The info from the original check: the persons name, address, bank name, float code and matching check number to the MICR printing which has the routing number, account number and check number along with special characters must appear on the new check exactly. Hard to beat for those cashing a couple of checks and leaving the US without snitches. Interpol cooperation or extradition is no piece of cake either. Used by Russians and Israelis who charge a fee for this service often the bank name is misspelled which is a dead giveaway otherwise its almost a perfect scam if the victim has the money in the bank.

    How to beat it: 1) Minimize your potential losses by only writing your checks to personally unknown by you entities from a special account that has just enough money in it for the Tzedaka check amounts and no more. POST DATE them by a couple of days even if the money is in there. That doesn’t mean that the crook won’t try to make a new check and cash it right away. They are playing roulette anyway. DO NOT GET OVERDRAFT SERVICES on that account. Protect the original by getting a stamp that prints “FOR DEPOSIT ONLY” or write it on the BACK of the check. A teller will not cash a check that has that printed or written on the back.

  7. I am pretty sure that the writer of the check is not liable for the altered amount. If he contacts his bank they should reimburse him for that amount because the writer never authorized the check for that amount. The Uniform Commercial Code (adopted in basically all states) in 4-401 clearly states that the bank may only charge the account holder when the check is properly payable. When someone alters a check it is not properly payable (they didn’t authorize it) and therefore the bank must bear the loss, not the check writer.

  8. Many years ago, when my son was a bochur living in a dira in E”Y someone stole some checks from his checkbook and made out large checks from his account, which were cashed. The only way we found out about this was because the bank notified us of bounced checks. My son never used his checking account which only had a few dollars in it (he only had it with him for emergencies) and he was unaware that he was missing any checks. Of course I notified the bank and verified that it wasn’t my sons signature on the checks and all was well.

  9. This has been happening to businesses as well as tzedokah organizations. Several businesses had their mail stolen over weekends, only to find checks being cashed in Israel…

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