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More claims of mail 'check washing' connected to Chicago U.S. Post Office

2 more claim they were victims of check fraud connected to Chicago U.S. Post Office
2 more claim they were victims of check fraud connected to Chicago U.S. Post Office 02:30

CHICAGO (CBS) – Two more people have come forward saying they too mailed checks from the 41st and Halsted Post Office, only to become fraud victims.

They spoke to CBS 2's Tim McNicholas after seeing stories on a Canaryville Army veteran who had his check altered, uncovering a troubling pattern at that post office.

"It was white-washed," said Patricia McMullen, one of the victims of check fraud.

McMullen and Judy Garrity were both victims.

"I was shocked," McMullen said. "I was so nervous."

"I was actually laughing like, this can't be happening," Garrity recalled.

They both dropped checks in a blue box outside the 41st and Halsted Post Office within the past couple months.

Then, someone stole the check, changed the recipient name, and increased the dollar amount by thousands.

"From $50 to $5,000," McMullen said.

"And I just saw $7,000 out of my account," Garrity said.

Garrity and McMullen both spoke with CBS 2 after seeing a previous story on the Browns.

"It was obvious fraud," said Mickey Brown, a U.S. Army veteran who said he even went inside the post office to drop off his check in June, and still became a fraud victim.

"Now I'm living off my savings account," Brown said. "I haven't caught up yet. We're on social security. It's a pain in the butt."

And it turns out, this is not the first time customers have complained about a pattern of postal problems at the same location.

A quick social media search showed multiple posts about check fraud after mailing from the 41st and Halsted back in 2019.

One post even discussed the idea of a peaceful protest at the post office.

"Somebody has to know something," Garrity said. "It's going on too much. It's almost like an inside job that it's going on and on and on and on."

"Something needs to be done," McMullen said. "This has been going on and the neighbors are talking like, 'What good is it to report it? We don't hear from anybody.'"

So CBS 2 emailed and called postal inspectors to ask how the thefts are happening, but only got a voicemail answering message.

But while the victims wait for answers, "We're on a fixed income and all the sudden, we don't have money," Garrity's husband said.

McMullen got her money back but the Garritys and Browns are still waiting for a refund from their banks.

A spokesperson for Ald. Nicole Lee's (11th) office told CBS 2 her office has received similar complaints from constituents lately.

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