“Window Washer” in Clayton Gives Himself a $100 Bonus After Switching Amount on Check

December 16, 2013 10:34 am · 42 comments

Watch out for the window washer who switched the amount on a check from $75 to $185 in Clayton last week.

Here’s the story from the victim’s son:

Just a heads up that a sketchy “window washer” is cruising Clayton.

He pitched a sob Holiday story to my mother and offered to wash the windows of her home in the Southbrook neighborhood (north of Clayton Rd). She wrote him a personal check and decided to contact her bank because she had an unsettling feeling about this shady character. Sure enough, the man had changed the amount payable from $75 to $185 and GOT AWAY WITH IT.

I am aware that this is a minuscule incident but my mother is currently on disability due to breast cancer treatment and it certainly does not make the Holidays any easier for her.

She filed a police report because he had been going door-to-door claiming to run a business and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was casing out houses as well.

Sorry to hear about your mom’s breast cancer, we hope she recovers and lives a long and very happy life.

Claycordians, watch out for this window washer, and don’t hesitate to call the police if you think something is suspicious. Also, if you ever have anybody do yard/house work that you don’t know well, always pay them with cash.

The man’s alleged name was provided to Claycord.com by the victim’s son, however, we are not releasing his name at this time because he hasn’t been charged with a crime.

{ 42 comments }

1 Michelle December 16, 2013 at 10:43 AM

You really have to be careful about these things. I only give out personal checks to reputable businesses and I line out the extra spaces whenever i write a check. Have the bank do an investigation–they will reimburse your mother after 60 days, depending on the bank.

2 Bill December 16, 2013 at 10:54 AM

How did he change the script denoting “Seventy five” to “One hundred Eighty Five”?? That’s not easy to do, something’s fishy here!!

3 Angelica December 16, 2013 at 10:58 AM

The bank will go by the amount written in the line on the check, not in the little box. How did they change the amount from $75 to $185 without the bank noticing?

A teller in a hurry?

4 just1dering December 16, 2013 at 11:03 AM

Yes, fishy for sure.
Let’s see, if I had a grudge, wanted to be mean or just hated some guy that was washing windows, this would be perfect to post.

Probably someone that got bad service from the guy and made up this story to kill his business.

5 KJ December 16, 2013 at 11:23 AM

Seems like her bank should be out the $100, not her.

6 anon December 16, 2013 at 11:34 AM
7 anon December 16, 2013 at 11:35 AM

#4 is the tweaker window washer

8 Atticus Thraxx December 16, 2013 at 11:51 AM

Question is…how do the windows look? He do a good job?

9 Anon December 16, 2013 at 12:02 PM

WOW, sorry to see everyone doubting this story.

Claycord, how about a first name or something to help us not get ripped off?

10 Anon December 16, 2013 at 12:05 PM

This kind of thing does happen. It happened to me many years ago when someone stole an envelope with a check for bill payment from a mailbox and drastically changed the amount. The bank did reimburse me promptly. I finally got the check back and it was very obviously tampered with- I could still see my original writing. Hope your mom get’s her money back.

11 russ December 16, 2013 at 12:13 PM

Insert pun here:
White washed
Window dressing
Writing checks his body couldn’t cash

12 Princess December 16, 2013 at 12:13 PM

Why are people so willing to think negatively of the person providing the warning? I find it hard to believe someone would be so annoyed over the quality of their window washing that they would take the time to make up a story, contact Claycord, etc.; that seems insane to me. It is possible that the bank made an error. I had a new teller once that only looked at the numbers in the box – not the written part – of the check and processed the incorrect amount as a result. It is entirely possible that there is nothing “fishy” about the person reporting the crime and that the bank made a simple mistake when the guy brought in the tampered check to cash. Hopefully that is the case because if so, then the bank is responsible for the loss. Here’s hoping for a happy/happier holiday for everyone!

13 Indie December 16, 2013 at 12:18 PM

It can happen, and there were a 2-3 people canvasing the Clayton area in the last week or two. I never open the door for those folks, so I have no idea what they wanted.

14 Natalie December 16, 2013 at 12:37 PM

I believe this happened (they filed a police report), and I blame the bank for not catching it.

Changing the amount written out is hard to do without noticing that the check was altered.

15 Blame Game December 16, 2013 at 12:48 PM

It’s the victim’s fault…It’s the bank’s fault….

IT”S THE GUY-WHO-COMMITTED-FORGERY’S FAULT!

16 Charles-the-cat December 16, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Stop and think people. The lady is ill and possibly elderly. I’m neither and have, on occasion, forgotten to write out part of a check. It seems likely that the lady forgot to fill in the line amount and the recipient of the check took advantage of the opportunity to write in his own amount after studying what was written in the number box to figure out the cleanest alteration. Changing 75 to 185 in the number box is, of course, trivial.

17 Frank L. December 16, 2013 at 12:52 PM

It would be easier to alter the check from $75 to $175 than $185. You would think the bank would notice.

Hopefully he cashed the check at his bank, not hers, and they take it out of his account. If he has one.

A smart crook would cash it at the bank where the check was drawn, not his own bank.

18 Dorothy December 16, 2013 at 12:57 PM

Never (!!) do business at the door! No matter what!!!

19 @Princess #12 December 16, 2013 at 1:10 PM

I couldn’t have said it better myself!

20 Anon December 16, 2013 at 1:21 PM

I agree with a few of you, irritating when someone reaches out to this site to help others and the doubters pop up with their own theories and proceed to blame the victim or worse, doubt the victim.

I had my receipt altered by a server at Spaghetti Factory even though I had left a generous tip. They just changed the last “0″ to an “8″. If they had been doing that consistently, it adds up! Yes, management confirmed it when I called to inform them.

21 MamaP December 16, 2013 at 1:39 PM

As for me…QUIT GIVING PERMITS TO ANYONE WITH BREATH IN THEIR BODY TO TRESPASS ON MY PROPERTY to sell crap that I don’t want!! And, the city of Clayton actually CHARGES these yahoos to get a permit! I have often said…NO TRESPASSING…it is MY property-NOT the city of Clayton’s. If the city wishes to hold a “beggar’s convention” and have all sales persons go to the town square to sell their wares on a selected day of the month-right near the Police Station, it would be much better. Yet, they continue to cash in on granting permits to TRESPASS and then want ME to put up a crappy “No soliciting” sign. Since when are you allowed to be paid to allow trespassing??? It’s MY house—if I don’t know you and don’t want you there…WHY COME??? Send it to me via US Mail-I can toss your sorry crap directly into the garbage can instead of getting up from what I was doing (ESP during the dinner hour or when sick) to answer your sorry ass. What redress do I have if the permit is issued (as most are) to past felons or peeps who are shady????? I actually had some guy ball up his fist as though he was going to HIT me cuz I wanted no part of his driveway cleaner. I told him “bring it”..you’ll be soooooooo sorry! It’s MY house..I WILL SAY WHO COMES ON MY PROPERTY AND WHO DOESN’T….AND it is MY choice NOT to put up a crappy sign just to keep you away when you are T R E S P A S S I N G!!!
BTW-TRESPASSING IS ILLEGAL! How can the city make money off this????

22 Reality Check December 16, 2013 at 1:42 PM

It is easy to alter or change a name on a piece of paper; but reality is, never give your checks or info to someone you do not know. Period. Check with your bank to get your money back, they will over a period of time.

23 Anonymous December 16, 2013 at 1:52 PM

B of A cashed a bunch of checks from a senile person. Some had no dates, some had dates 10 years old, on some the written amount wasn’t even on the check. The manager whipped out some regulation that says they can do what they want.

24 The Grant December 16, 2013 at 2:01 PM

People still use checks?

25 Elwood December 16, 2013 at 2:14 PM

I recently cashed a check at the household name bank (the very branch) where I have banked since 1972. I was required to swipe my debit/ATM card, enter my PIN and show them my driver’s license.

Also I deliberately make a check in such a way that it would be difficult to change the amount. without scrubbing it.

Makes me wonder how the tweaker was able to cash the kited check, unless the teller was colluding with him.

26 The Closer December 16, 2013 at 2:35 PM

@MamaP

You go girl!!! Testify.

27 anonanonagain December 16, 2013 at 2:37 PM

@ Anon #6, I love Catherine Tate!!!

“Look at the state of those windows. He asn’t bloody well touched ‘em……”
Ha!!!

28 F Sharp December 16, 2013 at 2:47 PM

I get that it’s the holiday season. But 75 dollars seems like way too much. Especially from somebody claiming to wash windows to make money. Even I would not stoop to that in hard times. The victim lacked judgement in this situation. However, I do feel bad for him/her since its pretty angering to be tricked.

29 Reality Check December 16, 2013 at 3:22 PM

@anonanonagain
Probably just partied together as with most during the unboring times.

30 Mamasgirl December 16, 2013 at 3:35 PM

It is horrible when someone trespasses on your property, especially to wash windows. I wouldn’t pay a dime to anyone to do this! I hope you will be able to recover your funds.

31 Ancient Mariner December 16, 2013 at 3:44 PM

Some years ago, a guy got a job with the phone company in England.
His job was to process the cheques that came in to pay phone bills.
The beneficiary was supposed to read “British Telecommunications, PLC”, but many people just wrote in “BT”.
So this guy stole cheques made out to “BT” and doctored them to read various different names, such as “B. Thomas”, “B. Smith”, etc. and deposited them in several bank accounts that he had set up under false names.
Then he made regular withdrawals in cash.
I don’t know if he was eventually caught, or if he just quit when he had enough money.

32 Ancient Mariner December 16, 2013 at 3:47 PM

Oops, not “B. Smith” – “B. Terry”, I meant!

33 Clay Ton December 16, 2013 at 4:22 PM

I just checked with Clayton PD. No one at the City of Clayton issued a solicitor’s permit or license to a window washing company.

34 Most banks reqire a finger print to cash your check if you do not have a account! December 16, 2013 at 4:32 PM

How sad.

I sure hope things work out for this very special lady.

Most service people who are licensed ETC will be charging you a minimum of at least $200.00.

You can not stay in business charging $75.00.

Lesson learned.

How many times must this happen before people stop hiring these losers?

35 Nom de Plume December 16, 2013 at 5:26 PM

One thing that can help is when you write checks, always use a pen with ink that cannot be washed. Uniball 207 is one of them.

I hope that man wasn’t inside the house, too. She’d better check to make sure nothing else was stolen.

36 Reality Slap December 16, 2013 at 5:39 PM

The legal amount of a check is amount that is written out. Have the victim go to the bank and DEMAND that the difference between the amounts be redeposited in their account. It’s on whoever cashed the check for the illegally altered amount. Don’t let the bank bully you, and trust me they will try to, I know, worked in the banking industry until I retired.

37 Jerk December 16, 2013 at 6:07 PM

I want to see the check. Not the name or account information, but I would love to see how they pulled that off. I once had a check that had inconsistent amounts and if I remember correctly – They gave me the written amount and not the numerical amount on the right.

38 Redoubt December 16, 2013 at 6:24 PM

This is an old scam. It was going around
in the 90s and as I remember, the check
can be washed with acetone and the figures
and script rewritten. At that time, a pen
by uniball was the only one manufactured
that wouldn’t erase and was recommended
for check writing. One can also remove
addresses from some mail for recycling
purposes with a cotton ball and alcohol.

39 Anon December 16, 2013 at 6:37 PM

I wonder if this is the same tweeker that advertises on craigslist, if so used to take his checks to a check cashing place and did the same thing to me when he cleaned my gutters.

40 MamaP December 17, 2013 at 9:54 AM

# 33-NOR SHOULD THEY-EVER TO ANYONE!

41 Silva December 17, 2013 at 9:54 AM

She’s probably a lovely person of a bygone era when you could trust people not to screw you at every turn & didn’t have to keep your windows & doors locked & bolted. I had family like that, and they were extremely resistant to adapting to having to watch their backs every moment of the day. Sometimes it’s a relief that they are no longer alive to see or hear of what people do to each other.

Good luck with the BC, I hope it’s successfully treated as mine was.

Thanks Anon, I needed that!

42 Julie December 17, 2013 at 11:03 AM

Even if they washed the check and the check was re-written, wouldn’t you notice the difference in writing?

Or do they wash the name too, and write the whole check over again.

Maybe he cashed it at the check cashing center. Do those places even care?

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