While many of us bank on-line, millions of people... including small business owners... still send payments by check through the mail.
The 2NEWS Investigators found it has led to a new wave of crime. Some criminals are stealing and then forging checks.
Donna Sundberg is frustrated. She says she felt violated after learning one of her company's checks for $40,000 was stolen.
"The check was in the mailbox at the vendors location and the mail was stolen, perhaps on a Saturday nobody around."
Donna is not alone. Thousands of people have fallen victim. Pictures show show of the equipment thieves are using to scan and duplicate the stolen checks.
Postal Inspectors say the elaborate and often intricate process is doing a lot of damage. In fact, one suspect in a recent case had more than $800,000 worth of checks. It impacted 177 victims.
U.S. Postal Inspector Michael Van de Putte says, "Found in our suspects home were many numerous computers, high quality color printers and scanners, as well as magnetic bar code readers and scanners, these were made to make phony ID's and phony checks."
Donna says her company is taking steps to see this doesn't happen again.
"We have put into place with our bank goals and fraud protection. Whenever I issue a check, I send it to our bank and if it's not on the list I send they call is this an issue?"
Postal Inspectors say it is also important to always check your credit. You are entitled to three different credit reports from three credit agencies.
Sundberg says, "If something comes to you unbidden - be suspicious of that - that is the type of thing that usually hooks people in and costing them more in the long run."
In an effort to secure your identify and finances, Postal Inspectors also recommend you shred documents that contain personal information before discarding them in the trash.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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