Crime Tracker: Check Fraud Runs Rampant In Inland Northwest - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Crime Tracker: Check Fraud Runs Rampant In Inland Northwest

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KHQ.COM - Check fraud is running rampant in the Inland Northwest, according to Spokane Police. The fraud involves a variety of illegal activity including, thieves cashing stolen checks or using information from your checks to make their own. 

Crime Tracker Kalae Chock talked to the Spokane Police Department about two major check fraud rings under investigation right now. Detective Stacey Carr says one crime ring has stolen $40,000 in just a few months. She says it all started with checks stolen in a burglary in Washtucna. The thieves then started cashing them throughout Lincoln County and Spokane.

Detective Carr says she thought people were done using checks, which is part of the problem.  She says people are disregarding or forgetting about old check books and then don't realize when they're stolen. Carr tells me the other problem is that people just don't protect their checks the way they should. Here are some tips, Detective Carr says you should consider:

  • First, don't leave your checkbook inside your vehicle.  If your car is broken into and thieves steal your checks, they can steal your identity too.
  • Lock your checks up.  Detective Carr says she keeps her checks locked in her safe.  She treats them the same way she treats other valuables.
  • Also, know whom you're writing a check to.  Anytime you pass over a check, you're handing over your full name, possibly your address, your signature and your bank account information.  Thus, writing a check at a garage sale for example, isn't a good idea.

Finally, it's not a bad idea to destroy your checks even after you close an account. Detective Carr says she talked to one victim who had her checks stolen and cashed from an account she had closed years before.

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