THOMASVILLE — Tens of thousands of dollars in fake checks have resulted from local businesses' bank accounts being hacked, according to authorities.

"Someone is printing checks on them," said Capt. Tim Watkins, Thomas County Sheriff's Office chief investigator.

Getting someone involved online begins the process for hackers.

Watkins said that when the hacker makes contact with someone online, the hacker tells the victim how to proceed to help him get money he needs.

The online site being used by the hackers is known as the Romeo and Juliet scheme, where someone contacts a person and appears to be proposing a romantic relationship.

Watkins said the hacker sends the victim a counterfeit check on a business being hacked and asks the victim to cash the check for them. The process for forwarding proceeds from the check is explained. The victim is told to put the money on a gift cards.

Hacked checks on local businesses total more than $60,000 to date, Watkins said Monday.

The investigator said businesses should check their bank accounts daily to be sure they have not been hacked.

A business with a bank account has been hacked should contact the sheriff's office at (229) 225-3315 during the day or at (229) 225-3333 after hours. 

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