EDMOND, Okla — They typically stake out day care centers, fitness clubs or neighborhood parks. Authorities say the criminals are specifically looking for women who leave their purses behind.
Elaine Dodd with the Oklahoma Banker’s Association said, “If you leave your purse, also your cell phone which is another way to get your banking information, it’s a treasure trove. Once they’ve got your purse, you’re in trouble. You need to protect it at all costs.”
Local, state and federal agencies are investigating millions of dollars in check fraud, covering at least six states including Oklahoma.
Dodd said, “They steal checks and the masterminds have a group all over the country and they go to the bank and the farthest lane out. We call them the felony lane gang for that reason because you can’t be seen as well.”
Authorities say these guys are pros.
After they’ve stolen your checkbook and license, they put on a disguise including glasses, make up, even a wig to resemble your driver’s ID.
They’ll do anything they can do to fool the teller at the bank.
The Oklahoma Banker’s Association is warning banks statewide to lookout for any suspicious activity.
They also want to stop the problem at the source, your unattended purse and unlocked car.
Dodd said, “We need to protect that always because even though you can get it turned around, it is a real hassle. We just want our customer’s money to stay safe.”