Checks litter Dallas freeway, could lead to identity theft in OK

Thursday, August 11th 2005, 10:53 am
By: News On 6

Thousands of checks with personal information are found on a Dallas freeway. Some of those checks include the personal information of Oklahomans, some in Tulsa. It's prompting concern tonight about identity theft. News on 6 anchor Craig Day says the truck lost much of its valuable payload Sunday. Since then, several people have found the checks and turned them in. Even though many of the checks have been recovered, it's still unclear how many checks, with personal information on them, are lost. Rudolph Colorado picked up check after check after check.

Rudolph Colorado, Dallas Resident: "I look up and I just see checks floating on the bridge, laying on the ground everywhere. So I just started picking them up. It's a lot of banking information I didn't want getting out."

The checks turned out to be Federal Reserve checks, most from Texas, Louisiana and New Mexico, but some with Oklahoma addresses on them.

Rudolph Colorado: "Here's one particular one, a 44-thousand dollar check. Here's another one. 92-thousand dollar check."

Juan Villegas saw the delivery truck driving down the Central Expressway in Dallas. Its back door was wide open.

Juan Villegas, Traveler: "Hit a bump and I saw something coming down the highway, a box. Pulled over, picked it up and put it in the back of the truck."

The Federal Reserve Bank Checks have already been cashed and canceled, but they include valuable information. That includes things like social security numbers, names and account numbers. Things you don't want in the hands of an identity thief.

Marco Lopez: "When I saw these checks, I thought wow. This is kind of serious."

Rudolph Colorado: "The banking information on the front. That's vital information. With all the identity theft going on, I didn't want that to get in the wrong hands."

Those men who picked up the checks, couldn't get through to federal workers. So they took them to Dallas television station WFAA. The station reports, the Federal Reserve is now conducting an internal investigation, but it's believed to be just a case of human error.