March 10, 2023

Cortez Masto, Colleagues Sound Alarm on Check Washing Fraud

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) in a letter to the American Bankers Association (ABA) expressing concerns regarding increasing check fraud scams, which cost consumers more than $800 million last year.

“Check washing has become an elaborate and organized method of successfully scamming consumers and banks,” wrote the Senators. “In light of the many concerns raised by consumers, we are concerned by banks’ inability to effectively identify washed and other types of fraudulently-altered checks, timely process claims, and reimburse those that have lost thousands of dollars. Consumers should not be left waiting for their accounts to be made whole again. It is the responsibility of banks to properly address these concerns and to reimburse consumers in a timely manner.”  

A copy of the letter is available here.

Senator Cortez Masto has led efforts to protect consumers throughout her career. She has introduced legislation to protect American consumers who sue corporations for fraud and to protect and support whistleblowers reporting misdeeds to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. During the Trump Administration, she spoke out frequently about his nominees’ efforts to weaken the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and leave consumers without restitution. In 2020, she helped secure passage of legislation to deter disruptive and potentially harmful phone calls and texts.