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Police warning on fake checks

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - Christmas may be over but that doesn't mean thieves aren't on the lookout for an opportunity.
Lawton police are warning residents tonight to be careful when writing checks.... saying someone could steal your identity. 

A Lawton man was notified by his bank that his account was overdrawn. The bank emailed him 10 pictures of personal checks that were in his name and written out to someone he didn't know.  Adding irony to the crime the man told police he doesn't use personal checks. Lawton police believe someone got his account information and made fake checks. The bank reimbursed the 1,500 hundred dollars stolen from the man.

"We do see this quite a bit, check fraud is pretty big here", said Adamson.

Arvest Bank Vice President Michelle Ramsey said they see a lot of fake checks around the holidays. 

"We see it multiple times a month, sometimes it more prevalent depending on what time of the year I think it is. People will try to get more money, but we see them a lot especially now", said Ramsey.

There are several ways thieves can steal your identity. Sending personal information through email or over the phone is one way they can get ahold of your information, but Ramsey said writing checks is another. 

"Somebody could get the information of the bottom of it, wherever the check was negotiated. Some people sell people's information if they acquired it then they sell it to someone else then someone will make counterfeit checks", said Ramsey.

Once your information is stolen,  Thieves will buy stock checks from stores or online and write personal checks to themselves using your routing and account number.

"You can get the stock almost anywhere. It's just knowing having that check and making sure it looks a lot like the check they already have so that it takes longer for people to determine that is is counterfeit", said Ramsey.

There are ways you can protect yourself so you don't become a victim of identity fraud. 

"Never put your checks in your mailbox, drop it off at the post office box, or one of the drop locations. Know who you are giving a check to if you don't maybe do a cashiers check or something different." Don't ever leave checks in your car at night if it is not locked inside your house or garage if then I would say don't do it because windows can get broken out, doors can get open and your checks can get stolen that way", said Adamson.

Copyright 2016 KSWO. All rights reserved.

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