Remember when there was a time when you could send a check in the mail and not have to worry? It was the normal thing to do and we didn't think much of it. I remember mailing a check to a friend in Albany for his birthday. No worries, no problem. I remember even sending a check to someone in Poughkeepsie and New Lebanon back in the day. Times have certainly changed and New York folks need to be aware.

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Why Should New York Residents Refrain From Mailing Checks? Is This Method Now Illegal?  

While it is still legal to send checks to people in the mail, the USPS advises against the practice due to theft and fraud issues. The same goes for cash. Fraud cases are on the rise and many checks aren't making it to the correct recipients. AARP stated the following regarding fraud and theft of paper checks in the mail.

Last year (2022), banks identified 680,000 reports of check fraud, up from 350,000 in 2021. Meanwhile, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service reported that about 300,000 mail theft complaints were made in 2021, more than double the complaints in 2020. That’s happening even as the number of paper checks in circulation has declined dramatically, to roughly 3.4 billion checks in 2022.

What are Some Safe Alternatives to Sending Checks in the Mail? 

If you insist on sending a paper check in the mail there are a couple of alternatives you can choose from to avoid check fraud and theft including handing your mail directly to your mail carrier or using a secure mail drop inside your local post office or at your place of business.

Apps and Credit Cards Can Do the Trick Too

According to AARP safer options include using cash transfer apps like Zelle or paying by credit card. With so much fraud, and theft taking place these days, it's more important than ever to protect ourselves. Eventhough many people are not writing as many checks as in the past, there are still thousands of people getting ripped off by the bad guys. Now is the time to go paperless. You can get more information including more helpful tips by going here.

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