NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Investigators from Metro to Sumner to Wilson counties are all reportedly working a check scam operation that has cost banks and businesses $10,000 and counting.
Sources told News 2 a man in a surveillance picture, who has been seen cashing fake checks in Nashville, is the key to the case.
The unidentified man has been seen as far away as Alabama trying to buy $8,000 in mattresses.
According to Belle Meade investigators, the man has been using computer generated checks with regularly since last year.
“He has used the account number of several individuals in Middle Tennessee to counterfeit checks to banks, to businesses, to buy goods and services,” Investigator Tom Sexton said.
Sexton told News 2 the man is suspected of cashing a $1,900 fraudulent check at a Nashville bank.
Detectives say he also wrote a nearly $3,000 check for roofing shingles that he stole from a Nashville company.
Sexton said the man might be the perpetrator or working with the perpetrator.
“Or being manipulated. He could be homeless,” he said. “We’ve had instances where they pick up homeless people and offer them an extraordinary amount of money to do this type of thing.”
Police said a Gallatin victim’s financial information was used to buy almost $1,000 worth of tires from a Murfreesboro Road tire shop. Witnesses say the man was driving a 2007 Cadillac at the time.
“It’s concerning. He is using the personal ID of these individuals and we are trying to figure out how he is getting this info,” Sexton said.
After forging a Mt. Juliet victim’s check information to buy $8,000 worth of mattresses from an Alabama outlet, investigators say he got spooked and left without the product while driving in a white Ford F-150.
Detectives told News 2 all of the checks are created online and everything about them is fake expect the banking information.
“On some cases, we feel he’s taking the checks from the mailboxes, on other cases, we are not sure how he done it, so we are trying to piece together all the info to determine how these victims are losing their identity,” Sexton said.
Police said the man is believed to be local because all of the frauds, with the exception of the failed one in Alabama, have occurred here in Middle Tennessee.
The man is in his late 60s and is bald with a gray beard. He wears what has been described as “tattered” clothing.