Big Brothers Big Sisters falls victim to “washed” check


DAVENPORT, Iowa. (KWQC) — Davenport police are investigating a check forgery scheme that claimed the Quad City chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters as a victim. Someone got away with $3,400 and tried to double that amount with another bad check.

The scheme involves check washing. Big Brothers Big Sisters CEO Jay Justin said the groups bank called to verify a check someone was trying to cash that was way out of sequence. The person left the bank without cashing the check, but as the bank looked deeper into the account, it noticed another check that was successfully cashed.

Justin said the check was washed. He said it was a check the group mailed to a vendor, but whoever snagged it washed out the “pay in order of” and “amount” lines and filled them in with new information. The rest of the check was the same. The amount was altered to pay 10 times what it was originally written for.

Justin said this situation is very frustrating and he said it’s disappointing that fraudsters would steal from charity.

“You’ve got to believe there’s a better way and as an organization we’re trying to show kids that way,” said Justin.

He said the group is looking into new ways of conducting business to prevent this from happening again. One option is to buy more expensive checks with additional security features. Another option would involve switching to all electronic transfers. Justin said they’ll consider all options.

Davenport police said they’re talking with other police departments to see if this case connects with any other check forgeries across the area. Police say this type of crime is not unusual, but they say most fraudsters have been focusing on skimming card readers, not focusing on stealing checks.

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