MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Do you know where your checkbook is? FOX6's Contact 6 says identity theft criminals are using elaborate means to get their hands on your account information!
"Our bad guys like money, as most people do, but they don`t want to work for it," U.S. Postal Inspector Essialani Hollier-Jackson said.
The bad guys in this case executed an elaborate scheme to steal thousands of dollars through a stolen check scheme.
"They are counterfeiting the checks, putting a new name on the checks with the same banking information. The account number is correct, which is what the bank is checking, and they have ID that matches the name on the check," Hollier-Jackson said.
Then, the suspects went shopping. In one case, $350,000 in losses.
"Designer clothing, designer bags, very nice bags, but a lot of shopping because a lot of the items were then resold or reused," Hollier-Jackson said.
Postal inspectors began tracking the case and pinpointed exactly where the checks were being used to pay for goods.
"By checking the checks we were able to go back and pull some video from stores and we were able to find some persons we wanted to talk to," Hollier-Jackson said.
They got a break when they identified a main suspect.
"He was the maker. He was making checks at his house on printing equipment, old checks, that kind of thing. It was a wealth of information," Hollier-Jackson said.
And when authorities tried to take him into custody...
"He threw the computer out of a top window, trying to destroy it. Criminals are pretty smart - until they aren`t pretty smart. He was really just handing it to us, or more like throwing it at us," Hollier-Jackson said.
Postal inspectors say one of the best ways to protect yourself and your finances is to check your monthly bank statements for any irregularities, as well as an annual credit check.