Sacto 9-1-1
January 14, 2009
3 sought in bogus travelers-check scam

From Sandy Louey:

Sacramento police are looking for three people who are allegedly altering travelers checks and using them to buy items that are returned for cash.

On Dec. 28, a woman bought a jacket at the Nordstrom at Arden Fair using a $500 MoneyGram travelers check from SaveMart, said Officer Konrad Von Schoech, a Police Department spokesman.

Afterward, she went to the first floor of the store and met up with a man and woman (see photos from security cameras at bottom). The trio went to another part of the store and tried to make another purchase using a travelers check, police said.

They left after the cashier indicated that she would need to get approval for the check, Von Schoech said.

The three are buying travelers checks for $1 and altering them so it the denomination reads $500. The checks are used to buy high-end items at department stores. The items are then returned for cash, Von Schoech said.

He said police believe the group is using this tactic at department stores in the Sacramento region and encouraged retailers to be vigilant.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at (916) 264-5471.

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