Phony Checks Cost Greenville Business Owner Thousands Of Dollar -

Phony Checks Cost Greenville Business Owner Thousands Of Dollars

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Phony checks, fake ids, It was all part of a scheme to steal from an upstate convenience store.

The store owner tells 7 On Your Side a man came in with an elaborate scheme that cost him thousands.  

Cashing checks at Mike and Jack's convenience store is how owner Mike Sarsour makes his living. For a fee you can hand over your check and immediately walk away with the cash.  

"Most of them don't have a checking or savings account so that's why they go to a check place like here," Sarsour said.  

Sarsour tells us he always verifies the checks are real, and the process has always worked.

But Sarsour admits he was finally tricked.

Deputies say a man cashed two bogus checks totaling more than 15 thousand dollars.

Sarsour says the man had an elaborate scheme even setting up a fake phone line for someone to verify the check and give the necessary authorization number.

"The crooks are smarter than us, they are ten steps ahead of us," Sarsour said.

Sarsour is now out more than $15,000.

"I don't know what we are going to do, how I am going to cover the money I have no idea," Sarsour said.

Sarsour tried calling the authorization phone line again to find out about his 15 grand.

"I was so surprised when I called the toll free number and then the lady spoke with me and said congratulations you won a trip to the Bahamas," Sarsour said.

After realizing he wasn't getting the money back, Sarsour has a new policy for his employees.  

"From now on any check over 500 dollars do not cash it," Sarsour said.  

Deputies agree that's a smart move, because until the check actually clears through a bank, it's hard to tell which ones are frauds. 

If someone is caught cashing fraudulent checks they will be charged with Forgery.

A forgery charge can come with up to 5 years behind bars, and an order to pay full restitution.

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