Fake Traveler’s Checks Found in Brighton, More May be Arounddda_ad_07
(Brighton Police Department, Sept. 5, 2014)
A citizen recently found a large stack of traveler’s checks in a parking lot and turned them in to police. The traveler’s checks turned out to be fraudulent. These checks were printed to resemble standard personal checks but labeled as Bank Travelers Checks. We’re not aware of any banks that issue traveler’s checks in this manner, but this method provided a rather inexpensive deception that might fool an inexperienced store clerk.
We have not received recent reports of such checks being successfully used in local transactions, but it HowesLocationsometimes takes time for the retailer to realize the fraud and unfortunately some don’t formally report such offenses to police.
Typically, there are several methods used by traveler’s check scammers that include the following techniques:
1. Make a small purchase with the traveler’s check, and receive the balance in cash from the retailer.
2. Purchase a gift card with the traveler’s check and quickly use the gift card at another retailer.
3. Use the traveler’s check to make a large purchase, then take the item and receipt to another branch of the same retailer and return it for cash. nicholas-schrock-allstate
STEP 1: Don’t treat traveler’s checks as cash, scrutinize them as you would other checks.
STEP 2: Examine the traveler’s check(s) for security features:
– Paper – a counterfeit check may feel smoother or thicker than paper currency.
– Watermark – each brand has its own watermark, which should be visible on the front side of the check when lifted to the light. A counterfeit check may not have a watermark or the watermark may appear on the back side of the check.
– Raised texture – on American Express, Visa, Thomas Cook MasterCard and some other brands, part of the modern natural baby inprogressprinting feels raised or engraved.
– Holographic thread – a counterfeit check has no thread or it appears as a dull strip rather than a shiny, metallic strip.
– Signature area – if this area is brownish or the background printing there is missing or smudged, the check may have been “washed” (the original signature removed through chemical means).
STEP 3: Make sure the presenter countersigns the check in the lower left corner in front of you.
STEP 4: Make sure the signature and counter-signature match. seed04_galloway
STEP 5: If the check is already countersigned, ask the presenter to sign it again on the reverse side.
STEP 6: Compare the photo ID to the information on the check (name, address, signature).
If you have any questions or doubts about accepting a traveler’s check, call the issuing company’s customer service department, but don’t rely on a company phone number printed on the check (that could be fake too). Here are some useful phone numbers:
Visa: 800.227.6811
American Express: 800.525.7641
MasterCard: 800.223.7373
robert wittenberg election 2014 adNote: Spelling is not always and indicator of fraud – traveler’s cheques may also be spelled as traveller’s cheque, travellers cheque, traveller’s check or traveler’s check.
NOTE:  Police Reports come directly from the Police Department or agency involved and are written by the person or agency listed below the title.  We generally run these “as is” or with minimal editing for punctuation, spelling, etc. Suspects should not be presumed guilty. Those needing more information about a case are encouraged to follow up with the reporting agency or court system for the most current information.
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