Hot new trend in Crown Heights: Artisanal identity theft

Hmm...looks good to us

Hmm…looks good to us

DIY in Brooklyn: so hot right now. Of course, just because law abiding citizens are enjoying the fruits of their labor in the form of fire escape tomatoes and clothes made in their living rooms doesn’t mean that bad guys can’t get creative too. And according to DNA Info, that’s exactly what’s going on in Crown Heights right now.

Enterprising scammers are using Photoshop, scanners and printers from their homes to make checks that look and feel like the real thing. Then they take them to a bank, deposit them in a new account and take all the money out at an ATM. There’s also some people going the traditional identity theft route that actually harms people, and looking over people’s shoulders as they punch in their PIN numbers, a tactic known as shoulder surfing. Then bringing a fake check made out to the victim to their bank and tell the bank they lost their ATM card, get a new one and siphon everything out of the account through the ATM. Which sucks, but is still less embarrassing then getting robbed because you didn’t lock the goddamn door.

Of course, there’s humor to be found in this uptick of identity theft. Speaking to DNA Info, a police official noted that in some cases, when passing off bum checks, “The stupid ones use their real name.” So watch yourself at ATMs out there, and if you do make fake checks, put your roommate’s name on them, dummy.