Mail thieves steal checks, more unemployment fraud

MONROE, CT — Police are investigating two reports of theft from mailboxes, in which checks were stolen, altered and deposited into bank accounts.

On Thursday, an 86-year-old Hawthorn Lane woman told police she placed eight personal checks into her mailbox on Nov. 14 and put the flag up, so it would be picked up by the U.S. Postal Service.

Then on Nov. 22 a Bank of America branch in Virginia notified her that someone deposited a $6,200 into an account there. It was the same check number as the $115 check she made out to Economy Fuel, police said.

The check amount had been altered and the recipient was changed to someone unknown to the victim, according to the report.

Police said she put a stop payment on the other seven checks and, as of Friday, no other transactions were made.

The incident is being investigated by the Monroe Police Detective Division, the U.S. Postal Service, the victim’s bank (Chase Bank) and Bank of America.

On Wednesday, a 41-year-old Monroe man told police he made out a $145.32 check to Eversource and placed it in his mailbox on Oct. 31, then Bank of America notified him the check was altered and cashed for $5,000 on Nov. 29.

The bank credited the victim’s account. The U.S. Postal Service and the Monroe Police Detective Division are investigating.

Unemployment benefits scam

Police received six complaints of fraudulent unemployment benefits claims between Monday and Thursday.

On Monday, a 56-year-old Hillside Lane man told police his employer informed him an unemployment claim was made to the Connecticut Department of Labor on his behalf.

He notified the Department of Labor immediately and there was no financial loss, police said.

A 51-year-old Woodlawn Road man told officers he received forms for an unemployment claim in the mail and his employer notified him that a claim was made in his name. He told police he was never out of work.

He contacted the Department of Labor and there was no financial loss.

A 29-year-old Rosewood Circle man and a 55-year-old Old Colony Road man also filed complaints over the scam, though more information was not available Friday.

On Wednesday, a 29-year-old man told police he received a letter from the Department of Labor indicating he applied for benefits. He had no financial loss.

On Thursday, a 58-year-old Nickel Place man told police he was notified of a false claim in his name. Police said there was no financial loss.

Victims of this scam were advised to contact the Social Security Administration, their banks, credit card companies and the three major credit bureaus.

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