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Police Searching for Bogus Check Cashers

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This is a real check.
WILSON — Money may make the world go round; but thieves keep the money moving.One group of criminals is papering one community with bad checks. It'sadding up to thousands and thousands of dollars in losses.

Police say a group of men are cashing hundreds of dollars worth of checksthat they know are bogus. Each suspect confidently endorses what lookslike a payroll check, then holds out his hand for cash.

"This is very different," says investigator Renee Smith. "Most of the time, we have checks that are just forged or uttered. Here we have checksthat have actually been made."

Since Saturday, 30 of these checks have turned up in Goldsboro and WayneCounty, costing stores and banks around $20,000 dollars. Even experts sayit's difficult to tell them from the real thing.

One a real check from a packing company in Greene County is very similarto a fake one, even down to the smallest details. Police say somecomputer handiwork may have done the trick.

Business Professor Lorraine Raper says whoever is churning out the boguschecks is using our own technology against us. With the right computerprogram, you can print your own checks at home, and just about anybusiness can print checks if it's authorized to doit.

"It certainly opens up the door for a lot of creative opportunities, andthere are lots of creative people out there in regards to technology andwhat they can do with it," Raper says.

Police say although the fake checks are very believable, the one thing thecriminals have failed to do is replicate a watermark and a hologram on theback of the checks.

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