The Idaho Falls Police Department arrested five people on Saturday, in what they believe may be a traveling check fraud ring.
Local 8 News reports that a manager of a local business followed a car carrying a “person of interest” who allegedly attempted to cash a bad check at his store. The man had police on the phone as he followed the car to a laundromat, alerting them to his location.
— Chris Oswalt (@cjoswaltNEWS) January 8, 2017
When authorities arrived on the scene, all five people inside the car were arrested for various charges, including check fraud, providing false names, and outstanding warrants. The police department believes that this wasn’t a one-time occurrence for those arrested.
Although the manager spotted the fake check, others affected by these kind of scams weren’t so lucky. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warns against check fraud, informing the public that scams involving counterfeit checks are becoming increasingly more prominent.
High-quality printers and scanners are being used by con artists whose counterfeit checks look legitimate enough to deceive even bank tellers. Fake check fraud can come in the form of foreign lottery scams and overpayment scams, among others.
The FTC wants consumers to be aware of where the responsibility lies for funds withdrawn against checks deposited into their accounts. It’s best to wait until the bank clears the check because, shoud it happen to bounce, you will be responsible for the funds you withdrew. It’s also advised to try to get a check from a local bank, or a bank with a local branch. You can bring the check to the bank to verify it authenticity.
As of Saturday morning, police have not released any names of the Idaho Falls suspects.