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Scam: Local check fraud

Ashley Hunter

Greene Publishing, Inc.

On Wednesday, Aug. 3, a concerned citizen came into the Greene Publishing, Inc. office to advise the public against a new threat of forgery that she had been the victim of.

Earlier in the year, the citizen had posted a check to her insurance agency through her personal mailbox.  A period of time passed, and the citizen realized that her check had never been cashed by the agency, and she began to grow suspicious.

The check, which she said only amounted to approximately $166, was, however, eventually cashed – for a total of $1,000.

The citizen discovered the error when she was balancing her checkbook, and claims that if she had not balanced her check book, the forgery would have never been discovered. Aghast, the citizen went to her bank and explained that the check couldn't possibly have been for that amount and provided proof.  Upon being given a copy of the check for $1,000, the citizen realized that not only had the dollar amount been changed, but the name of the recipient had also been altered.  The bank also provided proof that the check had been cashed in Winston Salem, NC.

“The bank has been wonderful,” said the citizen, but she also fears a repeat of the forgery attempt, especially as she has no idea when the check was stolen to change it, or how to prevent it. “You can't just watch your mailbox all day,” said the citizen, adding that most people don't expect their mail to be stolen.

The name on the altered check, whether it was an accurate name or an alias, has been connected to other counterfeit checks and forgery attempts in Thomas County, Ga.

The citizen brought all the information to the Madison County Sheriff's Office for them to process, but wanted to warn the citizens of Madison.

“Not everyone balances their bank statements,” said the citizen. “If I hadn't, I never would have caught this.”  The citizen also claimed that she is hesitant to continue sending checks through the mail, as she is concerned that it might happen again.

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