Staff Reports

TYLER — The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is alerting all banks, credit unions and check-cashing companies to be on the lookout for individuals who are attempting to cash fake payroll checks at local financial institutions.

The BBB reminds businesses to verify the legitimacy of the check and of the individual attempting to cash the check before finalizing the transaction.

According to the Tyler Police Financial Crimes Unit, several individuals have targeted financial institutions in Tyler, Lindale, Rusk and Marshall.

The checks were forged using correct bank routing and check numbers, and the forms of identification used in in this particular case have been from Cuba, Guatemala, Argentina and other Latin American countries.

“We really want to emphasize that businesses take extra precautions to ensure the check is valid,” Tyler Police Public Information Officer Don Martin said. “If the form of identification is from another country, request a second form of identification.”

“Altered and fraudulent payroll checks often have telltale signs of forgery, but an excellent fake may fool even the most knowledgeable professional,” Mechele Agbayani Mills, President and CEO of BBB Serving Central East Texas said. “When in doubt, don’t accept the check.”