Some amazingly well designed counterfeit travelers checks are making the rounds, and have ensnared at least one consumer in West Virginia. The fakes were so well designed that they even had a silver seal and hologram. Additionally, they contained water marks and micro printing.
"What the consumer thought she received in the mail were travelers checks that appeared to be issued by Bank of America and American Express," said West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw. "What the consumer actually received were very well-constructed counterfeit documents that looked like the real thing."
McGraw said the case came to his attention where a consumer in West Virginia "won" an on-line sweepstakes and was sent $3,000 worth of travelers checks in $500 denominations.
After depositing the travelers checks into her bank account, the consumer proceeded to spend the money. Within fourteen days, the travelers checks were returned as counterfeit and the consumer was responsible for the funds that had been spent.
McGraw advises that any scenario that sounds too good to be true probably is. Most people do not win on-line sweepstakes and even if the sweepstakes is legitimate, most contests do not give travelers' checks as prizes.
McGraw said he believed the transaction involved counterfeit documents and originated out of state, so he has referred this specific case to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.