The Alachua County Clerk’s Office has been notified that counterfeiters are using fake Alachua County checks to scam victims out of thousands of dollars. Counterfeit items are appearing more and more sophisticated, often appearing authentic, as if issued from trusted businesses. In some instances, the checks are issued for the payment of non-existent supplies and services. After depositing the check, the victim is left responsible for the amount withdrawn when the funds fail to clear his or her account. Above is an example of one of the fraudulent checks presented:
In performing the duties of Chief Financial Officer for the Board of County Commissioners, the Clerk of the Circuit Court is responsible for overseeing all county expenditures as well as monies collected through the court system. Numerous safeguards and levels of oversight are in place to ensure tax dollars and other revenues are only used for their intended purposes. It should be noted that no county funds have been lost as a result of this fraudulent activity.
The Federal Trade Commission provides tips about check fraud:
1. Know who you’re dealing with, and never wire money to strangers.
2. Be skeptical of business opportunities that seem too good to be true.
3. It is best not to rely on money from a cashier, business, or personal check until the check has cleared the account. You are responsible for any funds you withdraw against a check.
It is truly unfortunate that thieves are attempting to prey upon the trusted name of the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners. If you have questions about the authenticity of a check issued by the Board of County Commissioners or the Clerk of the Circuit Court, do not hesitate to contact the Alachua County Clerk’s Office at 352-374-3605.
If you are a victim of fraud or suspect fraudulent activity, contact the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office at 352-955-1818 to report it.