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Counterfeit Checks Hit Local Customer’s Bank Account

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(Arlington) There is a warning about a check scam that could cost you big - someone is printing counterfeit checks, and investigators don't know who it is.

One Mid-South woman contacted WREG to show us how some crooks are bypassing the banks in order to get their hands directly on your money.

Just looking at the canceled checks Linda Miller shows us, you'd think they were written on a Bank America account.

Everything about them is bogus because the routing number on the bottom of the check connects to a Regions Bank checking account, and that account belongs to her.

She talks about how she found out about the fraud.

"I thought I just don't understand why I'm having to put more money into my checking account," said Linda Miller.

Miller, a retired teacher, didn't know why her checking account was short on cash until she figured out she was caught in the middle of a sophisticated counterfeit scam.

Someone printed bogus Bank of America Checks and put her Regions Bank checking account number on the bottom.

Amazingly, no bank officials ever caught it.

The crooks rang up a $1,308 bill at three stores.

"The police even said they're so good. These counterfeit people out here, they are so good. We don't know how they're doing it, but they are so good at it," said Miller.

Checks written at most stores go through automatic check readers, and the money is deducted before the checks ever make it back to the bank.

Miller said, "Because of the millions of checks that go through, they don't ever look at it. The policeman and the banks told me that once that check is put into the envelope of places like Bed Bath and Beyond and Hibbet Sports then it's never seen again by human eyes."

Regions bank says its privacy policy won't allow them to talk specifics, but sent WREG the following statement from Jeremy King at Regions Financial:

"Regions takes a variety of measures to help prevent fraud, and we encourage customers to be vigilant as well. It is important for customers to routinely monitor their accounts for any suspicious activity."

Here's Miller's response to that statement.

She said, "Everybody I talked to says, I didn't know that. I thought they always looked at my checks. Uh Uh, they don't."

After writing letter after letter even to the head of Regions Bank, Miller finally got half her money back.

She's the victim, but still had to pay for not discovering the fraud by the bank's 30 day deadline.

She said, "If you go past that 30 days, then you are liable for it and that's what happened to me."

Miller told us Regions Bank discontinued its service of sending customers canceled checks in the mail this summer.

Since this is how she found the fraud, she opted to pay the bank's $3 service fee to continue to receive hers.

She now checks them as soon as she gets them returned in the mail.


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