The Cedar Rapids Police Department is warning citizens about the potential dangers of cashing checks for strangers.
In recent months, the police department has seen a rise in counterfeit bills being cashed at financial institutions, grocery stores and check cashing businesses. Some checks have legitimate business or company names on them, but false routing numbers, while others have fake business names on them, police said.
Police said those who are making the fake checks are recruiting people or asking people to cash the checks. People have also been asked to deposit the checks into their personal accounts and withdraw the money from an ATM. However, police said people who cash these fake checks could be charged with forgery or face civil action for the financial loss to the businesses.
Police are advising citizens to be cautious about checking checks for other people, especially if they don’t know them well. Businesses should also take additional steps to check the authenticity of the checks, such as asking questions about the origins of the check.