Consumers warned of counterfeit scam - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Consumers warned of counterfeit scam


by Bryan Goettel

CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - Chances are, you've seen one of them before -- a letter or e-mail essentially giving away cash.

"These patrons get checks and then they get a letter and they get instructions that they've been selected as a secret shopper," said Linn County State Bank assistant vice president Kevin Banasik.

That's the one Linn County State Bank has become all-too familiar with because they recently became victims of a scam.

"The counterfeiters were able to get our routing number and our bank logo which are publicly available items," said Banasik.

There are many differences between the counterfeit check and the real one. One of the most significant being, the counterfeit one is issued as a cashier's check, which Linn County State Bank does not use while the real one is issued as a money order.

"We did have a customer of ours that came in with one of the fraud checks," said cash manager Rachel Schmidt. 

When Schmidt saw one of the checks last month, she knew something was up.

"We knew about the fraud at that point and said, nope this check isn't good," said Schmidt.

As soon as the problem started, the bank notified authorities. But with thousands of scams like this out there, this case just becomes another on the stack. All the bank can do at this point, is make their customers aware of the problem.

"If something's suspicious where they're asking you to send money back to them, that should be a red flag to you," said Banasik.

Online Reporter: Bryan Goettel

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