Fake checks cashed from Grand Strand Humane Society account - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Fake checks cashed from Grand Strand Humane Society account

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One of eight fraudulent checks cashed over the past week with the Grand Strand Humane Society name. (Source: Executive Director Sandy Brown) One of eight fraudulent checks cashed over the past week with the Grand Strand Humane Society name. (Source: Executive Director Sandy Brown)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - For the second time the Grand Strand Humane Society has fallen victim to identity theft, and the fraudulent checks are leaving a string of victims.

Executive Director Sandy Brown says the fraudulent checks started being cashed sometime last week, and have been presented and cashed at local businesses from Surfside Beach to Conway as late as Wednesday morning.

"They have the wrong street address, the wrong signature on the check and the wrong check numbers," Brown said. "However, they do have the right account number, so they're actually getting them cashed."

Brown says although the bank account that the checks are tied to has been closed, at least one restaurant in the Surfside Beach area and a Food Lion grocery store in Conway have offered cash to the check presenters.

A total of eight checks with the Grand Strand Humane Society name on them have been cashed, totaling $2,000 to $3,000 over the past week. Brown says the checks have been signed under multiple names and each time a check has been cashed, the signer was able to present a photo ID to get the money.

Brown could not confirm if the signers of the checks were showing their own photo IDs, or if the identification cards were stolen.

Employees of the GSHS are being paid as usual, but Brown says the real victims of the money crime are the small businesses cashing the checks. She adds it is difficult to obtain surveillance video of any possible suspects as most of the targets of the bad checks have been very small, local businesses who may not have security cameras.

A manager with Sundown Sports Pub in Surfside Beach explains that they cashed a check for approximately $190 before learning that the check was counterfeit. Although the manager did not want to speak on camera, she did say the pub was able to retain the money from the bank after the discovery was made.

The bar manager adds that she did contact the Surfside Beach Police Department, and they are currently investigating the situation.

The manager explains that Sundown Sports Pub now has a sign posted within their establishment saying they will no longer cash checks due to the recent string of forgeries.

Horry County Police, Myrtle and Surfside Beach Police are investigating the crime. With the check printers still on the loose, SBPD Sgt. Matthew Prock says one simple step can be the difference between preventing a crime and becoming a victim.

"Take the time to call the business that's on the check," he said. "Call and confirm if this check is valid."

Copyright 2012 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

SIDEBAR: Humane Society check fraud

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Photos of stolen checks

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