The Aberdeen Police Department is experiencing a large increase in the number of money orders stolen from drop boxes and mail slots. A press release this morning from Lieutenant Kevin Darst said that “during the last few months, we have seen the theft and forgery of Money Orders increase substantially.”
Most of the money orders are being stolen from drop boxes to include: rental agency businesses with mail slots, post office mailboxes, some bank drop slots and any other deposit slots that are being used to drop these money orders off.
Darst said thieves are fishing the money orders out of the drop slots with devices and are very successful at retrieving them. The thieves then wash the money orders which enables them to rewrite the money orders to themselves or their partners in their crime rings. They can then cash the money order.
Once the money order is cashed, the victim that originally bought the money order is out the money. There is usually no recourse for the original buyer. Money Orders are not normally like your check from your bank that has fraud protection.
In some cases, if the original purchaser wants to find out what happened to their stolen money order, they have to pay the company they purchased it from to investigate it. It can be a little spendy and it can take an extended time to get the results.
The methods for committing these money order crimes appear to spread fairly quickly through the criminal elements in communities which results in the substantial increases in these types of crimes.