sticky envelope

The process to steal checks out of a postal box and cash them is cumbersome, as you will see from this press release from the Middlebury Police.  

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Avoid using the US Postal Service blue collection boxes to deposit critical mail and financial documents such as checks.


Individuals are “fishing” in USPS blue collection boxes for mail that may contain checks. The perpetrator(s) drop a weighted device coated with a sticky substance into the collection box and retrieve mail.

The perpetrators are looking for checks and may discard any envelopes not containing checks.

Once they are able to get the checks, they treat the ink on the checks with a chemical to “wash” the checks, covering the payee name and amount and are able to cash the checks before the payee realizes they have been diverted.

These incidents have occurred in Middlebury at collection boxes in East Middlebury and in town. If you’ve dropped a check in the mail at a blue collection box recently, confirm with the intended recipient that they have received the check. 

‘Tis the season for fraud. Be careful. Protect your financial transactions and personal information.