Shopping Scam Exposed
Dallas DA busts California crime ring in counterfeit check scheme
An organized crime ring based in Oakland, California, used counterfeit traveler's checks to rip off dozens of North Texas retailers for more than $100,000 in stolen goods. The Dallas County District Attorney's Office says 10 people have been arrested nationwide, including two individuals in Dallas.
The DA's office is not releasing names of suspects or retailers at this time, as the investigation is ongoing. However, several of the stolen products' brands are visible in a widely distributed DA photo, including Justice, True Religion, Vans and Asics.
"We’ve never seen a scam like this," Dallas District Attorney Craig Watkins said in a statement.
The con involved people traveling to North Texas, masquerading as shopping tourists. After using fraudulent traveler's checks to purchase thousands of dollars worth of merchandise in one state, they would travel to another and return the items for cash.
In addition to Texas and California, the criminals also traveled to Florida, Minnesota, Mississippi and South Dakota. Watkins urges local stores to contact his office at 214-653-3600 if they believe they could be victims of the scheme.