Beware Counterfeit Traveler’s Cheques Circulating in Door County

Deb Merkle-Schubert, branch manager of Baylake Bank, would like you to be aware that in recent days the Northern Door County business owners have been victims of counterfeit Thomas Cook MasterCard Traveler Cheques.

The business owners were presented with a $100 travelers cheque to either be cashed or they gave cash back after a small purchase by the suspect. Unfortunately, the business owner is out the $100. Dennis McIntosh, Baylake Bank Security Officer has spoken to the sheriff’s department about what the business owners can do. If they want to, they can report it to the sheriff department, however, this does not guarantee they will get their money back but could aide in the capture of the suspect.
Baylake Bank has found the following alert on the Internet in regards to the counterfeit Thomas Cook Traveler cheques. It lists some very good steps for customers to take before accepting traveler cheques:

Counterfeit Travelers Checks
National Crime Alert Network

Business Owners should be alerted that several counterfeit travelers’ checks have been passed around the country in recent weeks.
Thomas Cook MasterCard Travelers Checks should be scrutinized closely when passed over the counter. These “bogus” bank notes in $100 denominations have been used at retail establishments and are high quality copies of the originals.
“Although the reproductions are extremely sophisticated, there are some safeguards built into the authentic checks that are extremely difficult to duplicate,” said Detective Andrew Rau.
He said the following steps can be taken to verify the validity of these checks:
  • Watermarks are molded into the wet wood pulp by using a wire screen during the paper making process. Because they are not printed on the document, these marks cannot be imitated and are visible when held up to a light source. On a MasterCard check, a translucent image of a goddess in a white circle should be displayed.
  • The engraved printing on the banknotes has a raised texture that can be felt with the fingertips.
  • The paper used for printing checks is 100 percent durable cellulose that is not available commercially. It should have the crisp feel of new currency instead of a flimsy feel and/or glossy appearance that tears easily.
“It is advisable to treat travelers checks the same way that you treat a personal check. Request and record personal identification information on the back of the document in the event it comes back from the bank as fraudulent,” said Rau.

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