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.

1
Text Only
Local News
Good Friday Cross Walks and Easter Egg Hunts
Spring Comes Alive
Ashtabula Spring Cleaning
The Taping of the Teacher: A sticky Sitation
Saturday Fun in Ashtabula County March 22, 2014
American Red Cross Ashtabula County Heroes Breakfast
Rotary Club Dodge Ball Tournament
18th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Geneva State Park
Ashtabula Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Events
End of year weather extremes
Christmas 2013
Harpersfield Barn Fire
Route 11 Rescue Plymouth Township
Ashtabula Fire
House Ads
AP Video
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday