Business loses thousands to check fraud

BROOKINGS – A Brookings business owner reported losing thousands of dollars when thieves forged checks and passed them out of state, according to the Brookings Police.

The theft was reported at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday, Lt. Marci Gebers said.

“A Brookings business owner reported having several forged checks written on his business account, totaling $14,700,” Gebers said.

“Somehow the suspects were able to obtain his account number, routing number and business name and address and passed these checks then in Washington (State), so we will be working together with authorities in Washington (State) in this case,” Gebers said.

“Chances are they obtained that information online because he has never been to that area and never passed any checks out in that area,” Gebers said. 

“We do not have any suspects at this time,” she added.

She warned others to be careful.

“It’s just scary, the amount of information these criminals can obtain online,” Gebers said. “Half the time, it’s a mystery how they’re able to even obtain these account numbers.”

She recommended people be aware of what’s happening with all their accounts.

“Just pay attention to your bank statements,” Gebers said. 

For those who access their account information online, it can be a way to keep a close eye on your transactions.

“I think it’s a good idea to check your account frequently whether it’s a personal or a business account,” Gebers said.

And a little extra help doesn’t hurt.

“The local banks are good about catching things like this and contacting people,” she added.

Contact Jodelle Greiner at [email protected]


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