CHAMPAIGN - Although its a long-standing issue, Champaign police say check fraud is as prevalent as ever.
Detective Patrick Kelly says the department is investigating several active cases of check scams, wherein college students tend to be the target.
Kelly says criminals, often from the Chicago suburbs, convince individuals to sell their debit card information. Fraudulent checks, either stolen or made, are then deposited into the account. Kelly says the account is then artificially inflated, allowing for cash to be withdrawn.
Yet in Champaign, Kelly says cases of counterfeit cash use are even more common throughout the area.
He advises businesses to train all employees as to how to detect whether cash is real or not. Contrary to popular belief, Kelly says detective marker pens are often unsuccessful at determining whether cash is real or not. He suggests people rather check a bill's watermark to determine whether it's real.
If business owners are interested in gathering more information surrounding counterfeit bills, they may contact the police department for help.