A Boston man never thought simply mailing a check would cost him nearly $10,000. And he needed that money back, so he decided to “check” out Solve It 7. Brandon Gunnoe has the story. 

Back in January, Eric wrote a check to pay his accountant.

“I addressed it, put it in the envelope,” Eric said.  

His wife dropped it in this South End mailbox.

Soon after Eric got a call from his accountant.

“He called maybe four or five days later, very worried that he hadn’t gotten the check,” Eric said. 

So, Eric logged into his bank account and was stunned: nearly ten thousand dollars was gone.

“I just, I couldn’t believe it,” Eric said.

Someone had stolen the check, changed the name of the person being paid, and altered the amount from $1500 to $9500.

“He made a made a nine out of one and then, using a mobile app, deposited the money. It was like a cold sweat. I just was in disbelief. That was just a crazy amount of money just to disappear,” Eric said.

Eric filed a police report and a fraud claim with his bank, figuring he’d get his money back.

“It was so obvious that the check was altered when you look at it, I didn’t think it would be a big deal,” Eric said.

But Eric says it did turn into a big deal after hearing from his bank.

“They have to make a claim with the with the other bank, the depositing bank. And once that bank reimburses your bank, then you can have your money. So, it’s a whole rigmarole. It’s just a waiting game,” Eric said

After months of waiting, Eric still didn’t get his money.

“I was kind of getting the feeling that this was I was gonna have to take the hit,” Eric said.

In August, his bank sent him this letter saying, “Unfortunately, we have not been able to recover your funds because the depositing bank has not responded to us. We are closing your claim…”

“It was just shocking,” Eric said.

That’s when Eric checked out Solve It 7.

“I wasn’t getting anywhere,” Eric said.

We contacted both banks and in a couple of weeks, Eric got his $9500 back.  

“Thank you for my for my missing money. I feel like the media is able to call people that are not available to the regular public. So I feel like investigative reporting is really important,” Eric said.

We think so, too, Eric. So happy you got your money back in time for the holidays. 

Do you need help with a problem you can’t solve? 

Give us a call at 617-367-7777. 

The fastest way to reach us is by email: SolveIt7@whdh.com  

The U.S. Postal Service has tips on how to protect against check washing. 

Eric’s bank shared additional ways to protect yourself when mailing a check:

  • Use permanent ink [gel ink pen] to write your check.
  • Use the whole line or draw a line to the end of the line when writing the payee’s name on the check, so no one can add an additional name.
  • Use the whole line or draw a line to the end of the line when writing the check amount. 
  • Fill out the amount in numbers and use punctuation that matches the written amount. For example, One hundred dollars, $100.00.
  • Sign your checks the same way every time.
  • Consider using other digital payment methods, especially if you need to write a check that says “cash.”
  • Order your checks from a reliable source.
  • When mailing a check, use only monitored and safe drop-off places or your local post office; do not leave your check unattended in your mailbox.
  • Be sure to review your monthly account statements and review images of all checks to ensure none have been altered.

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