Casino employees are trained to bust counterfeit check scams

Published: May. 28, 2014 at 10:27 PM CDT|Updated: May. 29, 2014 at 9:54 AM CDT
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BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Every day, hundreds of gamers go through the Hard Rock Casino's cashier line with cash or checks. Those behind the counter are trained to spot counterfeits.

"The employees are our best defense against it," Senior Vice President of Gaming Operations, Joe Farruggio said. "We teach them to use their senses to feel and to look. Then we have all the other devices we can check. We have the pens, the lights, things like that, or electronics with anti-counterfeiting detection devices on them."

With all of these policies in place, Farruggio said only a very few actually get away with counterfeit scams at the casino.

"Maybe a handful a year and at least 80 percent of those are caught," Farruggio said. "We may have two or three bills that get through a year, very few checks get through."

One of the reasons detection is so successful is because before taking any checks, employees are required to ask for identification.

"In that case, the ID was not legitimate," Farruggio said. "It was noticed. We called the authorities, and they did their jobs."

"The majority of the time, you see fake IDs, obviously bad companies, bad checks and they will usually hit on weekends, usually three day holiday weekends i.e., this past weekend was coming up on Memorial Day Monday. It takes a little longer for those checks to process," said Biloxi Police Investigator Michael Shaw.

Shaw said technology has made it easier than ever for crooks to make counterfeit checks. All the suspects need is a good routing and account number.

"Names will constantly change, sometimes the checks will, the companies will change," Shaw said. "The routing numbers and banks, once they start using it for a while, will change those too."

Before taking a check, Shaw says you should always make sure the bank name and logo match. Also, pay close attention to spelling and check the watermark on the front and the back to make sure it is not blurry.

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