Louisville auto shop scammed out of thousands of dollars with fake checks
The Better Business Bureau says check scams are common, but it said a new one targeting a Louisville body shop one is different because there was accurate information on the fake checks.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Better Business Bureau says check scams are common, but it said a new one targeting a Louisville body shop one is different because there was accurate information on the fake checks.
Jerry Page owns Auto Body, but he's losing sleep over who is scamming his business.
"You can bankrupt someone pretty quick writing a check all day long every day," Page said. "I'm not sure how many were written since Friday. You can take 13 checks in one day. That's a lot of money."
Somehow, checks with his business name, routing number, account number and his son's signed name ended up being electronically deposited into various accounts.
Patrick Bowie of Idaho had more than $1,200 deposited and knew something was wrong. Then Bowie got a call from a so-called loan company.
"Something like earnest money as part of a grant, and I was supposed to send it back to pay for fees, and then they would give me $15,000 or $50,000, some kind of grant money," Bowie said.
Bowie says he knew it was a scam and called Auto Body of Louisville. Page then went to the bank and found out there were three other fake checks that day and 13 on Friday, all different amounts totaling more than $10,000.
"Mr. Page may have written out a check to somebody to pay an invoice or pay a bill," said Mindy Eaton with the BBB. "Somebody at some point may have intercepted the check and gotten the account information off it is where they then create the fraudulent checks."
Checks were made to people in different states like Michigan, Texas and Maryland.
"How did they do that?" Page asked. "How did they get a copy of my own check? How did they get a copy of my son's name?"
The Better Business Bureau is reminding businesses to always check their statements and to alert their bank immediately just like Page did. He has a new account number now and is thankful for a call from an Idaho man who recognized a scam.
"I didn't listen to all of it," Bowie said. " I basically told them where to stick it, and I just knew it was pretty messed up."
We tried calling the so-called loan company, and the person who answered denied asking people to wire money and hung up on our call. Page says he's contacted the FBI and Secret Service.
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