Crooks want your checkbook - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Crooks want your checkbook

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Do you know where your checkbook is?  You need to keep it safe. Dougherty County Police say stolen check cases are on the rise.  And if thieves steal your checks, they can steal more than just money, they can steal you identity.

Dougherty County Police say thieves are looking for your check book when breaking into cars and homes.

 "Legitimate checks stolen, either from vehicles, out of pocketbooks, or even occasionally out of the mail when people order a bulk package of checks," said Dougherty County Police Chief Don Cheek. 

Dougherty County Sheriff's Office Investigators say people need to use more common sense to protect their checks. Thieves might not even break into your car. There have been cases where employees at service centers or car washes take checks while servicing your car.

 "If you leave them laying around, they'll pull a couple of checks out of the back, and you'll never miss them," said Sheriff's Captain Craig Dodd. 

The routing number at the bottom of each check can be used to steal your identity, and used over the computer or even the telephone.

"They can call a credit card company and pay for it by giving your routing number and your check number. And they can pay for a bill that way by debiting your account and you will never even know it," said Dougherty County Sheriff's Office Lt. Anita Allen.

If thieves get even a canceled check, they can counterfeit your checks with your legitimate number, and empty your account before you know it.

Investigators say keep your checks hidden or locked up, even in your house. Don't leave them in your car. And monitor your checks occasionally in your checkbook, to make sure none is missing.

Investigators say also make sure no one is looking over your shoulder when you fill out checks at the store or bank. Thieves can quickly get your routing number and make counterfeit checks with the information.

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