Counterfeit checks passed on South Shore |

Counterfeit checks passed on South Shore

Gregory Crofton

Someone is passing counterfeit $100 traveler’s checks in town.

South Lake Tahoe Police Detective Cameron Carmichael said fake checks have been reported at Sierra Shirts at the “Y,” Tahoe Keys Liquor, Swiss Mart, Cutting Edge Sports, and Sunglass Time on Ski Run Boulevard.

The checks, several of which were passed in mid-March, took several weeks to be rejected by banks. Police said that lag time has made the investigation difficult.

“By the time the bank kicks it back, it’s three weeks past and clerks can’t remember what the guy looked like,” Carmichael said. “The only description I’ve gotten is that of a white male, approximately 35 years old with a mustache.”

The checks all claim to have been issued by US Bank and Visa. Several of the bogus documents have been signed “J. Acosta” and have had serial numbers ending in O39, 040, 041.

“They are normal looking checks but people have said they have a weird feel to them,” Carmichael said. “If people have any suspicions they should call us. I’m sure that would scare a person right out of the store anyway.”

Carmichael believes the perpetrator must also be presenting a false driver’s license along with the traveler’s check.

“What I would recommend is for clerks to ask to see another form of I.D. because it’s pretty easy to manufacture a false driver’s license,” he said. “We’re in a tourist town so we get a lot of traveler’s checks. (Fraudulent checks) kind of come in waves.”

Anyone with information or questions about the bogus checks is asked to call Carmichael at (530) 542-6100.

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