The Monroe County Sheriff’s office is warning residents about a check cashing scam in the area.
Sergeant Joseph Firpo said there have been at least three confirmed cases this year- two in Sweden and one in Hamlin. There also may be some going on in Greece and Irondequoit.
These scams are not new. The department said the suspects approach people at ATMs, ask the citizen to deposit a check into their own personal account and offer them part of the money deposited as a reward. But these checks are fake.
“These people ultimately end up being out-moneyed from their bank because they the checks are found to be fradulent then they have to prove to their bank that they weren’t involved,” Firpo said.
He said he believes people are intrigued by the reward, and lose common sense. Police said this is usually not about safety, but about losing money. If you suspect something like this happening to you, do not hesitate to call police right away.
Two of the scams happened at local ESL credit unions. They released this statement Monday:
“Over the weekend we saw increased activity around a scam that has fraudsters contacting ESL members to deposit fraudulent checks into the accounts at an ATM and on the mobile app. ESL is working closely with local law enforcement to catch people who are engaging in these activities. It is important to note that if customers deposit these fraudulent checks into their accounts, they automatically become an accomplice and are responsible for the money withdrawn from the account tied to the fraudulent checks. We urge ESL customers to be vigilant as to not unknowingly become an accomplice to this illegal activity. All ESL ATMs have cameras that help us monitor activity, and our customers have also been helpful in alerting us about these issues as well as providing additional information to help identify the suspicious individuals. If you are contacted or approached by a potential fraudster, please contact your local authorities. If you see suspicious activity on your account, please call ESL’s Fraud Team directly at 585.336.1140.
ESL members: never let anyone that you do not know make a transaction into or from your account, and never loan or give out your ATM/Debit card, PIN, and Online Banking login credentials.