You are reading

Mail fishing scams on the rise in Astoria, police say

mailbox

Oct. 12, 2016 By Hannah Wulkan

Astoria has seen a rise in mail fishing scams in the past month, similar to those seen in the Bronx earlier this year, according to police.

A representative from the 114th precinct confirmed that there has been an uptick in mail fishing recently, a scheme where criminals use sticky objects attached to string to fish mail out of mailboxes in search of personal information and checks.

Thieves then wash the checks with certain chemicals, and then rewrite it to themselves, often increasing the amount it is made out for.

Police were not able to provide the exact number of reports of mail fishing recently or provide past statistics, but said that it has increased in recent months.

Though police are working to raise awareness of the issue by attending community meetings and handing out fliers, they are unable to do much more, said the representative from the 114th precinct.

Police are encouraging people to use Uniball 207 gel pens to write checks, as the ink has particles in it that adhere to the paper and make it harder to wash. They also encourage people to mail their checks from an indoor post office drop box, and to keep a close eye on their accounts for any discrepancies.

A similar wave of mail fishing happened in the Bronx earlier this year, and the city replaced many mailboxes to make it harder for thieves to steal mail. However, there are no plans to implement similar solutions in Astoria, the police representative said.

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Crunching the Queens crime numbers: felony assaults across the borough on the rise, burglaries down slightly in northern Queens

Feb. 21, 2024 By Ethan Marshall

The number of felony assaults across Queens increased during the 28-day period from Jan. 22 through Feb. 18, compared to the same period of time last year, according to the latest crime stats released by the NYPD Tuesday. At the same time, the number of reported burglaries experienced a slight but noticeable drop in northern Queens.