The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

February 15, 2013

Businesses cashing bogus payroll checks

JEFFERSON —  They look like real payroll checks issued by area businesses, but when local retailers deposit them, they discover the check is a scam.

Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Department detectives say they have received complaints of at least five instances where local businesses cashed what they thought was a payroll check that turned out to be counterfeit. They feel that the checks are being generated using a bookkeeping software that allows the user to customize the business’ name and phone number on the check.

A carpet store, remodeling business and industrial supply retailer are among the local businesses who have had their identities stolen by the bogus check writer. Detectives say that the bogus checks include a phone number that is answered by a person who assures the caller that the check is bona fide.

According to a sheriff’s department report, a check for $322.85 was cashed by an Ashtabula Harbor restaurant on Jan. 28 for a 29-year-old customer who lives near the restaurant. It appeared to be a payroll check from a local builder, but turned out to be fraudulent. The man who cashed the check could face charges in Ashtabula Municipal Court, according to the report.

Detectives say check amounts have ranged from $300 to $700 and the scheme has been going on for at least two weeks. Detectives say they expect there will be more cases if local businesses are not more cautious about taking checks.

They strongly recommend that retailers and restaurants simply refuse to cash payroll checks.

“That’s why they have banks,” says Lt. Terry Moisio of the department.

If a business owner decides to accept a payroll check, he should call the check issuer’s phone number listed in the telephone book, not the one on the payroll check, to verify that it was indeed issued to the person presenting the document.

Detectives could not say what color the original checks are because they have, thus far, received only copies of the documents back from the business stung by the scam.

Text Only
Local News
Ashtabula County Alive
July 4 Celebrations 2014
Summer off to Big Start
Ashtabula County Flag Day 2014
Northeast Ohio Soap Box Derby 2014
Tour de State Line and Boating Season
Ashtabula County Memorial Day 2014
Sam Magill Sr. Memorial
Armed Forces Echo Taps 2014
Lakeside Loop Color Run
Keeping Ashtabula County Clean and Healthy
Canoe Race and Ashtabula Easter Events
The Taping of the Teacher: A sticky Sitation
18th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Geneva State Park
House Ads
AP Video
NDN Video
Bill Murray Continues To Be Just Bill Murray By Eating Some Free Bill Murray Ice Cream Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl