Check Fraud Reports on the Rise | VideoChris Williams | 2/26/2013
The people trying to cash fraudulent checks have found an easy way to get their hands on your money.
"We would like to encourage or citizens to keep an eye on their mail. We have information that checks are being stolen out of the mail, and forged and altered," said Detective David Peterson.
After they get your check out of the mailbox, Peterson says one way they`re forging checks is called check washing, which basically means they take your check and make it completely blank.
"They`ve got your check, and they`re just recreating them. Sometimes with the same check number, sometimes they will make your checks with different numbers," said First National Bank and Trust Internal Auditor Wendy Hendrickson.
Before online banking, all checks went to through your bank, and were filed under your name. Now the bank where the check is cashed processes it, meaning your bank might never see the check.
"You`re not getting your checks back. You need to make sure everything is correct. The younger generation everybody goes online, they get e-statements, you need to check those," added Hendrickson.
Hendrickson says knowing who your bankers are also helps prevent bad checks.
"We had a very experienced long term person, that a check came in, and it was forged, and she noticed the signature didn`t look right. Actually it wasn`t a bad forgery at all, it`s just that her familiarity with that customer actually saved the bank quite a bit of money, and also the customer."
Hendrickson also says if you receive a call from anyone asking for important information always be suspicious.
"If you get a phone call, and it says that`s it`s one of us here at the bank, we will have no problem with you saying if you excuse me if I could have your name, I`d like to call you back because if you have the opportunity to place the call you know who you`re calling."
Trying to pass forged or altered checks is a class B or C felony.