Be Careful Using Mailboxes

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
moehoward
Posts: 73
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:16 am

Re: Be Careful Using Mailboxes

Post by moehoward » Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:26 pm

Good post. We do write a few checks a year but deposit them directly at the PO. Didn't know about the gel pen, I do now.

JW-Retired
Posts: 6825
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2007 12:25 pm

Re: Be Careful Using Mailboxes

Post by JW-Retired » Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:37 pm

AAA wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 12:19 pm
I've read this several places, for instance here: http://www.ckfraud.org/washing.html

From the last paragraph:

WHAT TYPE OF PEN TO USE WHEN WRITING A CHECK:

If you are a ballpoint pen lover, switch to black ink when security is important. Among water-based inks, remember that gels are the most impervious. But when you're writing checks to pay the monthly bills, only one type of ink, the kind in gel pens, has been found to be counterfeit proof to acetone or any other chemical used in "check washing." Most ballpoint and marker inks are dye based, meaning that the pigments are dissolved in the ink.

Based on recent ink security studies, we highly recommend that you use a gel pen, like the Uniball 207 that uses gel ink that contains tiny particles of color that are trapped into the paper, making check washing a lot more difficult. The pen sells for about $2. Personally I sign all my checks and important documents with one. But if you don't want to switch, do not hesitate to to use your favorite fountain pen. Just fill it with ink in one of the more durable colors and enjoy!
Thank you for the tip AAA! That sounded worthwhile for this frequent check writer so I bought some of those Uniball 207 pens this morning (6 for $5). Had some acetone in the garage so I could test disolving this pen's gel ink writing in acetone against that of other ball points I use. Yes, it is indeed very resistant to acetone compared to the other pens I had around.

Paint thinner didn't touch it either! :beer
JW
Retired at Last

Miakis
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Joined: Sat Aug 16, 2014 6:40 pm

Re: Be Careful Using Mailboxes

Post by Miakis » Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:14 pm

HIinvestor wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 2:21 am
My CPA says we are his only client who insists on NOT writing checks with our tax returns but always paying online thru e-check or CCard. It just feels safer NOT to write both our full SS#s on the check as IT’S required. Sadly, the IRS is claiming we didn’t pay them even though we have a receipt from their website showing we did pay as well as the bank statement showing funds were transferred from our acct to IRS. :-(
I've had this happen before when I used my name to pay taxes, but my husband was the primary on the tax return. They didn't link up the payment with the return. Silly, I know. But it's worth checking to see if the payment is on either spouse's account record, but not linked to your tax return.

The other thing that can happen is if the payment was somehow assigned to the wrong year.

criticalmass
Posts: 458
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:58 pm

Re: Be Careful Using Mailboxes

Post by criticalmass » Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:17 pm

Miakis wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:14 pm
HIinvestor wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 2:21 am
My CPA says we are his only client who insists on NOT writing checks with our tax returns but always paying online thru e-check or CCard. It just feels safer NOT to write both our full SS#s on the check as IT’S required. Sadly, the IRS is claiming we didn’t pay them even though we have a receipt from their website showing we did pay as well as the bank statement showing funds were transferred from our acct to IRS. :-(
I've had this happen before when I used my name to pay taxes, but my husband was the primary on the tax return. They didn't link up the payment with the return. Silly, I know. But it's worth checking to see if the payment is on either spouse's account record, but not linked to your tax return.

The other thing that can happen is if the payment was somehow assigned to the wrong year.
I haven’t written my SSN on an IRS (or DoR/DoT) check in at least a decade. No problems, but IRS conveniently prints SSN on back anyway.

cheesepep
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Re: Be Careful Using Mailboxes

Post by cheesepep » Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:47 am

My neighborhood has a large metal mailbox in the front that everyone shares. It got broken into a few months ago using crowbars, I guess. The mailbox was upgraded to a more heavy duty design two weeks later. I also keep my use of the USPS as little as possible and happy that all my bank statements are electronic. If I do mail something, especially internationally, always DHL or Fedex for me.

Texgal17
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:51 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Be Careful Using Mailboxes

Post by Texgal17 » Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:16 pm

GoldenFinch wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:34 am
Cheyenne wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:50 am
I have observed the mail box at our post office full to the top on a Sunday night when letters were visible in the slot and one could easily grab a hand full.
Our local post office mailbox sometimes has mail stuffed to the brim and even falling out! I was pretty shocked the first time I saw mail on the ground in the snow next to the box. I go into the post office with my mail now.
Sometimes that happens after some businesses drop a load of mail in the boxes after hours on a Saturday, and then no removal of mail until Monday morning.....I’ve seen this happen......(retired postal worker).... And sadly, I never use the outside mail drops, as I don’t trust them, due to seeing many mailboxes vandalized!!!

HIinvestor
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Re: Be Careful Using Mailboxes

Post by HIinvestor » Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:03 am

Ive seen mailboxes with stickers and graffetti but never attacked with a crowbar or forced open. I’ve never felt insecure by putting mail in the metal USPS mailboxes I see around town. So far it has never been a problem.

HIinvestor
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Re: Be Careful Using Mailboxes

Post by HIinvestor » Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:34 am

Thanks--I have delegated working with the IRS to straighten out their confusion to the CPA. He has experience dealing with them and I have none. We prepaid for any little snafus and he's happy to get things worked out promptly. I'm sure he and his office will let us know what the issue with the IRS is. We did it online and indicated both of our names and the correct tax year and form. I have no idea why they're having these issues and perhaps it may be a glitch in their programming that is sending out letters to folks who properly pay online? It is annoying but we have proof the funds were sent by us and received by them in a timely manner via THEIR website. No mailboxes or USPS personnel were harmed in the transaction either!

NoHeat
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Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2016 10:13 am

Re: Be Careful Using Mailboxes

Post by NoHeat » Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:33 pm

JW-Retired wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:37 pm
I bought some of those Uniball 207 pens this morning (6 for $5). Had some acetone in the garage so I could test disolving this pen's gel ink writing in acetone against that of other ball points I use. Yes, it is indeed very resistant to acetone compared to the other pens I had around.

Paint thinner didn't touch it either!
Nothing beats an experimental test! Thanks for doing that.

Here's a youtube video of a similar test:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gN8MHDWTB4
where they also explain why gel pens are better: the colored part is pigment flakes that become mechanically snagged into the paper fibers. That makes them hard to wash out, whereas typical dye-based ink has no flake-like properties so that it can be removed by a simple solvent.

JW-Retired
Posts: 6825
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2007 12:25 pm

Re: Be Careful Using Mailboxes

Post by JW-Retired » Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:32 pm

NoHeat wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:33 pm
JW-Retired wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:37 pm
I bought some of those Uniball 207 pens this morning (6 for $5). Had some acetone in the garage so I could test disolving this pen's gel ink writing in acetone against that of other ball points I use. Yes, it is indeed very resistant to acetone compared to the other pens I had around.

Paint thinner didn't touch it either!
Nothing beats an experimental test! Thanks for doing that.

Here's a youtube video of a similar test:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gN8MHDWTB4
where they also explain why gel pens are better: the colored part is pigment flakes that become mechanically snagged into the paper fibers. That makes them hard to wash out, whereas typical dye-based ink has no flake-like properties so that it can be removed by a simple solvent.
Late addition..........Don't sign the back of your new credit card with the Uniball pen ink. I just tried it and it doesn't stick to the slick plastic signature strip at all. I signed the back of a new card this morning and it looked OK, but the first time I took it out of my wallet I saw my signature was smeared. Found I could wipe it all off with a dry tissue :oops: ..... had to resign the card with an ordinary ball point.

Still great for writing on paper checks though.
JW
Retired at Last

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jabberwockOG
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Re: Be Careful Using Mailboxes

Post by jabberwockOG » Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:44 pm

Checks are an extremely insecure and risky 100+ year old payment system. Do not pay using paper checks unless it is absolutely necessary. And especially risky to put checks in the mail. And never take your checkbook (full of blank checks) out of the house where it can be lost or stolen.

In almost any situation it is 100x better to pay with CC, or electronically or with cash. There is zero upside to paying for anything with a check and lots and lots of downside.

And btw - to you old geezers and gee-zettes in line at the grocery store digging out your month-eaten checkbook, you are driving the rest us bonkers while we wait and watch you futz around with your checkbook and write out your check to pay for groceries. Please join us in the year 2018...please : )

student
Posts: 2317
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:58 am

Re: Be Careful Using Mailboxes

Post by student » Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:00 pm

JW-Retired wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:32 pm
NoHeat wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:33 pm
JW-Retired wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:37 pm
I bought some of those Uniball 207 pens this morning (6 for $5). Had some acetone in the garage so I could test disolving this pen's gel ink writing in acetone against that of other ball points I use. Yes, it is indeed very resistant to acetone compared to the other pens I had around.

Paint thinner didn't touch it either!
Nothing beats an experimental test! Thanks for doing that.

Here's a youtube video of a similar test:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gN8MHDWTB4
where they also explain why gel pens are better: the colored part is pigment flakes that become mechanically snagged into the paper fibers. That makes them hard to wash out, whereas typical dye-based ink has no flake-like properties so that it can be removed by a simple solvent.
Late addition..........Don't sign the back of your new credit card with the Uniball pen ink. I just tried it and it doesn't stick to the slick plastic signature strip at all. I signed the back of a new card this morning and it looked OK, but the first time I took it out of my wallet I saw my signature was smeared. Found I could wipe it all off with a dry tissue :oops: ..... had to resign the card with an ordinary ball point.

Still great for writing on paper checks though.
JW
I am not sure whether one needs to sign the card anymore.
https://www.creditcards.com/credit-card ... quired.php

JW-Retired
Posts: 6825
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2007 12:25 pm

Re: Be Careful Using Mailboxes

Post by JW-Retired » Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:12 pm

student wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:00 pm
I am not sure whether one needs to sign the card anymore.
https://www.creditcards.com/credit-card ... quired.php
That rings sorta true. I haven't noticed anyone bothering to look at my card signature in a long time. But can't say anything about the restaurants where they take the card away.
JW
Retired at Last

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