Nickel & Crime Season 2, Episode 4

Nickel & Crime Season 2 Episode 4: All in the Scamily: A Check Washing Conspiracy

How can the mundane act of mailing a check turn into a half-million dollar heist? In Milwaukee, a group that allegedly referred to themselves as the Scamily mastered this dark art, engaging in a check-washing scheme that preyed on the unsuspecting. This episode dives into these criminals' shocking exploits as they manipulated and erased details on stolen checks to funnel money into their criminal coffers.

These criminals were so brazen in their exploits that they created branded clothing to flaunt the Scamily name and brag about their exploits on social media. Among the victims of this scheme was a cancer patient whose $58 check for medical bills morphed into a fraudulent $200 payout to strangers. Traditional checks—seemingly relics in our digital age—remain vital and, unfortunately, vulnerable. The episode reveals how this gang operated, from the initial theft of mail using stolen arrow keys to the sophisticated laundering of checks, using chemicals to wash and rewrite them for vast sums.

But every scheme has its cracks. Law enforcement's breakthrough came with an accumulation of evidence, leading to dramatic raids and the eventual arrest of the Scamily members. This story isn't just about the cunning tactics of a criminal gang; it's a cautionary tale of how old-school fraud techniques are evolving and persisting.