Every year, millions of Americans are affected by identity theft, fraud or forgery. You may be one of them.
Statistics show, it can happen to anyone.
For one Sioux Falls man, it happened right under his own roof and now he's paying the price.
It was last month, Zeb Anderson noticed something wasn't right.
"I started paying bills, looked online and saw a $300 check made out to Derek Pinkerd and I'm like 'I didn't do that'," Zeb Anderson said.
He said the entire check went through, and Derek Pinkerd got away with all of it before leaving town. At the time, Pinkerd was Anderson's roommate who allegedly stole the checkbook from his bedroom.
"He took the time to write his name and all that stuff in the way that I would write it but everything else was different, the date, the amount of money, and the signature was way off," Anderson said.
Anderson went to his credit union and the Sioux Falls Police. He was told he wasn't going to get any money into his account until Pinkerd was found guilty.
He wonders how the credit union didn't catch it, when Pinkerd isn't even a member.
We were in touch with the President of Sioux Empire Federal Credit Union, who says it's general procedure not to look at and validate every single check that comes through the system, unless they have specific reason to believe otherwise.
Later, Anderson found out more about his roommate, Derek Pinkerd's, history of stealing money. It was Pinkerd's dad who stepped up and paid what his son owed.
Because of that, the bank isn't liable, he says, but it is an important lesson for anyone.
"If someone gets a book of checks stolen, if you're not checking your account regularly, who knows how many of those are going to go through before you do check and get those canceled," he said.
Since the incident, Anderson has decided to switch to a different credit union and drop any charges against his former roommate because his money was given back.
The Sioux Empire Federal Credit Union reminds everyone to keep an eye on statements. If anything out of the ordinary comes up, check with your financial institution. Let them know there is something you did not authorize.
If you're signing onto a new financial institution, ask the 'what ifs' first to make sure you're always on the safe side.
Thursday, February 20 2014 7:42 PM EST2014-02-21 00:42:09 GMT
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