Earlier this month we talked about 10 tips for spotting a fake check – were you paying attention? If not, this will likely increase your vigilence.
In a story out of New Jersey, we learn that a check forgery ringleader used a computer to manufacture fake checks:
Stephens created the checks using graphic software, inflating the amounts on scanned copies of legitimate checks and targeting banks with “customer-friendly policies on availability of funds” to withdraw $590,354 before they could detect the ruse, according to acting Attorney General Robert Lougy.
You probably noticed the phrase “customer-friendly policies on availability of funds” in their scheme – – lending weight to the concerns financial institutions have about balancing customer service and the potential for coordinated fraud like this. And there was actual cooperation from persons named on the bogus checks – – a member of the ring worked as a “recruiter” for Stephens, getting bank account information, debit cards, and pin numbers from people willing to be named as payees on the bogus checks!