Small Business Owner Confronts Attempted Fraudster in Line at Local Bank


A small business owner in Reading, Ohio, recently witnessed someone trying to cash a fraudulent check with his company’s name on it firsthand.

Air Plus Heating & Cooling owner Robert Raby Jr. was at Valley Central Bank in Reading when the bank manager waved him over. Another man, who he had been waiting in the teller line with, was trying to cash a $2,500 check with his company’s name on it. Raby Jr. said he had recently had a check stolen from a mailbox and was closing that account to prevent any issues with counterfeits.

Raby Jr. told FOX19 Now WXIX, “The branch manager got ahold of my attention and said, ‘Hey, Rob, we have a check here from Air Plus for $2,500 and this gentleman says he works for you.’”

Raby Jr. knew immediately that the man was lying. He confronted him in the bank, but the man changed the subject and was able to exit before police arrived. But thanks to the bank’s safeguards and familiarity with their customers, his attempt to cash a fraudulent check was unsuccessful.

After the incident, Raby Jr. is considering doing more online banking to prevent future check fraud issues. But this story also highlights how impactful a close-knit community can be for small businesses. When you do business with banks and other institutions that know you and your business, they may be more likely to spot potential abnormalities and alert you quickly.

This type of personal connection and service may not be available for every business. So, it’s also important to keep a close eye on your accounts, knowing how prominent these issues can be. Raby Jr. happened to be in the right place at the right time. But most check fraud and other types of theft are completed without an in-person confrontation. So, looking out for abnormalities and acting quickly, especially if you have close relationships with your financial institutions, can help small businesses limit the damage.

Image: Envato

Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 12 years. Annie covers feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. She has a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in Journalism and Marketing Communications.