LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3.com) -- If you think your bank account is theft-proof, think again. In this Rip-Off Alert, dozens of victims in Missouri whose accounts were compromised learned a valuable lesson they want to let you know.
Small business owner Mary Pearson’s story begins with a call from her bank.
“They said, ‘Did you write a check for $2,400?’ and I said I absolutely did not,” she said. “I was very, very angry. I don’t like it when someone steals from me.”
Pearson immediately went to the bank to make sure no other bad checks had been written. Then she filed a police report.
“My next thought was how in the world did they get that information” she said. “Who is this person, and why did they pinpoint us?”
It turns out that she was one of 55 victims who had accounts compromised with more than $60,000 in losses. Postal inspectors say two suspects were producing and cashing counterfeit checks.
The suspects would “take the information on the checks that were stolen and just create a new check based on that information,” said U.S. Postal Inspector David Nitz.
Inspectors were able to identify some of the check-cashers recruited as part of the ring.
“We were able to get one of the check-cashers and started working with them, and that resulted in them doing recordings and phone calls and track their locations,” Nitz said.
Pearson says she has learned a valuable lesson.
“Now, I go online daily to see what’s gone through on a daily basis to see what has gone through the amount who it went to,” she said.
The main suspect in the case was charged with mail fraud, false statements, counterfeiting and forgery. He was sentenced to 18 years in prison.