Fraud Incidents Put Retailers on High Alert - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Fraud Incidents Put Retailers on High Alert; BCSO Searches for Suspects

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The holiday shopping season is here and just like customers are looking for sales and savings authorities are looking for counterfeit and fraud at the register.

On October 20th security cameras at a supermarket on Panama City Beach spot two woman using fake ID's to cash counterfeit checks receiving $1000 in cash.

In a separate incident on November 2nd a white female attempts to use a counterfeit $10 bill to make a purchase.

"Fraud is one of the biggest and fastest growing crimes," said BCSO Investigator Craig Romans.

Romans says retail stores should stay on the look out for any suspicious cash or check transactions.

"We do see an increase level of fraud; counterfeit bills, counterfeit credit cards, checks all kinds of different financial fraud around Christmas time because there is so much business going on and its such much easier to get away with it during that time frame," said Romans.

Authorities encourage businesses to check bills for reflective markings and match all check or credit card transactions with an ID or drivers license.

"Notate the information from those identifications somewhere on the receipt or the check itself," said Romans.

For situations like these the Bay County Sheriff's Office provides the F.I.R.S.T. program in an attempt to bridge the gap between retailers and law enforcement.

"We work together we have a partnership to not only discourage crime but to solve crime that has already occurred," said Romans.

BCSO says this isn't important just during the holidays but all year long and retail stores have procedures in place to protect against fraudulent activity.

If you have any information of the identification of the two suspects you can contact the Bay County Sheriffs Office at 747-4700.