Phony traveler’s checks circulating in town
March 27, 2003
They are faded and smaller, but they work.
People are using counterfeit $100 traveler’s checks to buy an item at a low price and then pocketing the change. No suspects have been identified.
South Lake Tahoe police Detective Robert Hight said there isn’t a pattern and most instances occurred during the middle of March. A couple of months ago they were fake Thomas Cook traveler’s checks. Now they’re American Express.
“They looked really faded and smaller then a regular traveler’s check,” Hight said. “If you look at it and can compare it to a real traveler’s check, it just looks really bad.”
The checks, which can be used at any business, were used at Tee’s and Things, Romantic Adventures, The Village and Kentucky Fried Chicken at 2136 Lake Tahoe Blvd.
Hight believes the people cashing the checks aren’t the check manufacturers. People either use the checks to buy items then return the money to the maker or buy the fake checks at a discounted price, Hight said. If a cashier receives a traveler’s check, they should call the company issuing the check and make sure it is authentic. Another way to aid law enforcement is to ask for a driver’s license and write the information on the check.
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Any businesses which received a fake check or anybody with information on the matter is asked to contact Hight at (530) 542-6100.
— E-mail William Ferchland at email@example.com