Investigation: Virginia Beach mailbox latest one connected to check washing

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Check washers have struck again, and similar to previous cases 10 On Your Side has uncovered, the combination of mail and bank fraud involves thousands of dollars.

“I’ve never been through anything like this before,” said Sheila Romm in a Tuesday afternoon interview. “I thought I was gonna have a heart attack.”

She mailed her $198 payment to Dominion Energy with a personal check at the outdoor mail collection box at the post office on George Mason Drive near the courthouse in Virginia Beach in February.

When she got her statement in March, she saw that the check had been rewritten and cashed at a Wells Fargo bank for $6,920.

“I’ve never written a check for that amount of money,” she said.

So far, it’s similar to other check washing cases we’ve covered, but even before she got her account statement, it got strange.

She got a mysterious voicemail from someone claiming to represent Wells Fargo, the bank that cashed her washed check.

“[His name was] Edgar, saying he wanted to know more about my bank account,” she said.

He knew the amount of the washed check — $6,920. Romm felt right away it was very sketchy.

10 On Your Side called “Edgar” on Tuesday and got a non-working number.

And like the rest of us, the Romm family doesn’t happen to have an extra $7,000 just lying around.

“My son is getting married and that’s part of his wedding,” she said.

The post office posted a warning on the box earlier this month. It’s gone now, replaced with a note about packages.

Online banking would give some protection, but Romm says she’s old school and will continue to use checks. But she won’t use the outside box anymore.

Romm says her bank, BB&T, has to give Wells Fargo, the bank that cashed the check, a total of 90 days to investigate. Those 90 days will be up in one month.

Several of the other cases we’ve reported involved the Thoroughgood Road post office in Virginia Beach, and one happened in the Churchland section of Portsmouth.

The U.S. Postal Service says it has been doing an ongoing investigation.

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