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All in the Scamily: A Check Washing Conspiracy
Episode 429th May 2024 • Nickel & Crime • Early Warning®
00:00:00 00:24:04

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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. 

About the Show

Nickel & Crime takes you deep inside the true stories of the shocking scams that white collar criminals almost got away with. At a time when fraud is on the rise, and financial crime is increasingly sophisticated, go behind the investigations to understand the victims, the criminal minds at work, and the risk. 

In season 2, Nickel & Crime returns with mind-blowing new crimes, and immersive, stirring details. Each episode dives into the victims, the set-up, the sting, and that bold blunder that unraveled it all.  

Hear about a billion-dollar tax fraud that sucked in some of the world’s most savvy investors, or the tales of the real victims and perpetrators of "grandparent scams". We’ll also bring you stories from the bizarre world of job phishing. 

From identity theft to social engineering attacks, and Ponzi schemes, Nickel & Crime breaks down some of the most fascinating and insidious financial crimes of the last decade and examines what new crimes are coming our way. 

About Early Warning

Nickel & Crime is brought to you by Early Warning®, a financial services technology leader that has been empowering and protecting consumers, small businesses, and the U.S. financial system with cutting-edge fraud and payment solutions for more than three decades. Early Warning is also the company behind Zelle®, and the soon-to-launch PazeSM, a wallet that reimagines e-commerce payments. Early Warning partners with more than 2,500 banks and credit union brands to increase access to financial services and products and protect financial transactions.  

Learn more about Early Warning at 

What financial crimes fascinate you? What questions do you have about risk and security? Connect with Nickel & Crime by commenting in the reviews, or email us at

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