We got money stolen out of our bank account!

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Kelly's Landscaping, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,724

    Iv been debating weather or not to share this. This past week we finally got around to checking the latest bank statement I think it it had been on our desk a good week. And as my partner went through it he found that we had 2 checks to 2 people we had no clue who they were for a total of 1840 dollars. Now we hand write checks to pay bills and these were not them the numbers are way off the shape the whole thing no where close. But payroll we use ADP the checks don't say ADP on them accept for the back and its a water mark. These 2 checks had our name account number and were made as close as they could to look like payroll checks. Now the signatures were wrong the names were either middle-eastern or Spanish couldn't pronounce them if I tried.

    So some how they got a hold of a payroll check we paid an employee with and created these 2 checks with that info and made the check numbers about 40 or 50 ahead so as to seem credible. Then they took them to check cashing places again had they went to our bank the signatures would not of passed. So to my surprise Walmart cashes checks as does a Getty 2 towns over and they in-turn deposited the fake checks and took my money. So you can imagine the fun Iv had first there was 21k in the bank so this could of been much worse. Second we had no choice but to cancel the account and start a new one. And all the fun that comes with that for instance yesterday the ADP tried to take out a payment for the feds for an extra unemployment contribution only the account was flagged and the money already removed and the one out standing check too the D E E P for my pesticide supervisor license renewal. Nothing like frantically trying to transfer money to avoid bouncing a check on someone that writes on all paper work there is no grace period. And then third and this one is the worse I do not know where the breach was yet. My partner and I only cash ours at the bank so wasn't us. My employees either had the info stolen at some low life check cashing place by an owner or employee or worse they are in on it.

    Now my bank claims I'll get the money back and I can see that happening I got 2 middlemen that cashed fake checks on me. And they not I, should be out the money. But the part that kills me is how do you even protect yourself against a counterfeit check when once you give it to someone you have no control what so ever where it goes or how its guarded. So of course I had 2 days of sitting in the bank and a police station filling out paper work and we will see if these places still have this on film or not. And Ironically you'd think Id be enraged and I was but then the thought of what my own government does to me came to mind and 1840 dollars didn't seem so big anymore. I have my suspicion which employee was at fault and he was being terminated anyway for other reasons to do with his attitude.

    Now I hear the commercials for life lock but even the account protection would never protect against this. We write hundreds of checks a year no way your gona get a call each time to say ok let that one through. Which is sorta why I posted this for you guys to enjoy because if I didn't do anything wrong and nothing could be done to safe guard checks no longer in my possession. Then every one here is equally vulnerable to this sort of scam and you should all know about it and better sooner than later.
  2. LandFakers

    LandFakers LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Messages: 6,309

    It's amazing to me how much effort people go through in order to steal money. Driving around to find a ghetto place to cash it, adding numbers to the check number, just low life's. Sorry to hear about your misfortune
  3. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    Yeah that sucks and thanks for the heads-up. I always worry about having to put my account number on the checks I deposit, because whoever wrote that check will now have my account number on their cancelled check. Of course it even says what bank it is and my full business name. But that's what they want on it in order to deposit it to my business account.
  4. Landrus2

    Landrus2 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,049

    Here are a few examples of the different kinds of check fraud and how they work. One of the most common kinds of check fraud employs a technique known as check washing to alter the face amount of the check. As an example, an account holder writes out a check in the amount of a thousand US Dollars (USD) The recipient of the check uses techniques to alter the check so that the payable amount becomes ten thousand USD.:waving:
  5. calvinslawnservices

    calvinslawnservices LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 836

    You could always do direct deposit or one of those cash cards. There is a temp service up here that only offers those 2 options, I would guess to cut down on the paperwork and potential fraud.
  6. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,724

    Direct deposit solves one problem but exposes another which is cash flow. And many times this year we would of been over drawn had I been having my checks deposited as well. We presently do not earn enough and as a result cash has been tighter then I would like for the last 2 years.
  7. nightshutter

    nightshutter LawnSite Senior Member
    from UT
    Messages: 513

    Sorry to hear man.
  8. DaveOhio

    DaveOhio LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    You may have to sign an affidavit stating you had nothing to do with those checks.
  9. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,659

    I know we run into cash flow problems early on in the year trying to get started back up but once we get rolling we're usually ok, is it possible to put an alert of a certain amount say anything over $1000 on your account, my bank calls me if anything over $1000 hits the account of course I don't have but two guys one of which is part time so it's pretty easy to keep track of my stuff.
  10. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,724

    We signed that the very day we discovered it. Tomorrow marks a week so were going to call the bank and see where their investigation is. We could use the money, come spring as it stands I expect to be at 0 in the account by the time March ends so a little breathing room would be nice.

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