Crooks are looking for your checkbook.
"Forgery is a pretty popular crime. There are a lot of people out there comitting it," Sgt. Brent Barbee with the Amarillo Police Department said.
Barbee says they see an average of 35 auto burglaries a week in Amarillo, and 20 percent of those include theft of checks or other personal documents.
He also says checks are commonly stolen from mailboxes, from businesses and in home burglaries.
"The crooks will take the check and use a chemical to wash out the pay to the order of area, and then they'll put either their name or the name of someone whose identity they've stolen," Sgt. Barbee said.
Barbee says if you report the theft, banks are good about watching for crooks using your checks or account number, but he says people need to be more aware of this type of theft.
"We worry so much about these computer scams and phishing and all this high-tech stuff, but in reality, one of the most common ways for the criminals to access our information is to get the actual paper," Sgt. Barbee said.
Barbee says protect those papers, so your money doesn't get stolen.
He recommends avoiding mailing checks, and if you must, go inside the post office. Don't leave checks in your car. And keep checkbooks in a secure location at home and at work.
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