WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Warwick police are warning residents about an increase in reported check fraud stemming from “mailbox fishing.”

Mailbox fishing, according to police, is when people reach into mailboxes and bins to retrieve envelopes containing checks. The suspects will then wash the checks and cash them, typically for thousands of dollars more than they were originally written for.

Police said the mailboxes that were recently targeted include 850 Post Road, 325 Strawberry Field Road, and Namquid Drive at Spring Green Road.

They also offered some tips to avoid falling victim to one of these schemes:

  • Consider transferring money through other methods
  • Directly drop off mail containing checks to the Post Office, or hand it directly to your carrier
  • Deposit mail into the bins as close as possible to the scheduled pickup time
  • Use a pen with pigmented ink when writing checks

If you see someone who appears to be committing mailbox fishing, call Warwick police at (401) 468-4200.