Watch what you post on social media. Authorities busted a ring of alleged check scammers in New York City after trailing their flashy lifestyle online. According to NY1, 39 people were charged and allegedly stole more than $1 million.
Here's how authorities think the crime occurred: Two suspects worked check-cashing services on Staten Island. They photographed checks and then stole bank-account and check-routing numbers. "So using the stolen information, fake checks are created," explained Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance.
The scammers also used social media to entice victims. With photos of large living and captions like, "Get Money and Enjoy Life," they tricked young people into sharing bank account information in exchange for the promise of money. They deposited fake checks into these accounts and then withdrew money once they cleared.
"It's attractive to see your friends posting pictures holding piles of money, lounging in sports cars, kicking back in the hot tub. And of course, kids want to do that too. But unfortunately, the consequences for doing that can be serious, including going to jail," Vance said.
Authorities say the scam is an example of a spreading crime called "debit card cracking." Those apprehended have been charged with crimes including grand larceny to enterprise corruption. Out of the 39 suspects, 13 are allegedly members of the Bloods in Staten Island.
Authorities want to seize $1 million in cash from the suspects and luxury cars featured on Instagram.
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