PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) - Phenix City Police are trying to get the word out on a scam that's sweeping the valley area involving bad checks.
Tamika Cochran found that out the hard way when she took her son's $2,500 check to the bank.
"The teller who was a manager knew me and she said is this a blank check, I know you're not bring me a bad check and I said no, you know I wouldn't do that," explained Cochran.
The check came in the mail in a FedEx package that was inside a white envelope. The check was issued from TD Bank from Mark Howard in Gainesville, FL, but that information didn't check out during our own internet search.
"I was happy and I looked at everything because normally it would say non-voided but I didn't see that on there," added Cochran.
The teller at Phenix-Girard Bank told Cochran the check was bad after several attempts to run it through. Now Cochran wants everyone to be on the lookout for fraudulent checks.
Officers said the best way to play it safe is to ask the experts the difference between a good check and bad check.
"Talk to someone at the bank, find out from someone at a financial institution to see if they can find out if it's a legitimate check. No one is going to send you a check with a large amount of money," advised Sergeant Michael Toomey, a 20-year veteran.
People go on the internet for different things shopping, websites, and somehow people access their information their address is considered to be one way the transactions start, according to Toomey.
Requests to cash a check for someone for a fee is another common scam, and you may be surprised to learn where some of that money is going.
"Traces through some of our investigations on a federal level come to find out some of the money gets funneled back to terrorist organizations...n ot saying all of them do but some like Al Qaeda."
Remember the old saying - if it's too good to be true, it probably is.