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DL School hit with fake check scam

The Detroit Lakes School District says it has apparently been the target of a fake check scam — albeit an unsuccessful one so far.

Detroit Lakes Public Schools Business Manager Ryan Tangen reported at Monday morning’s school board meeting that there are fake checks, purportedly issued by the school district, which are being circulated.

“Somebody created a check on their computer to look somewhat like our checks with the school district’s account information on them,” Tangen said Tuesday.

He said that from reports he’s received there have been multiple checks written — about 22 in all — for a total sum of around $100,000.

“The school district has not lost any funds to this scam,” Tangen added — because fortunately, the district has measures in place to prevent such a loss from happening.

“We have internal controls set up with our banking institution,” he said. “The internal controls have stopped all attempts to clear unauthorized checks through our account.”

Tangen also informed the board that he’s received many phone calls from people who have received a check, seeking verification of its validity before cashing it. He added that the checks appeared to be hand written.

Anyone receiving one of the fake checks should contact the Detroit Lakes Police Department; however, Tangen said, “so far all the activity has been down south.”

“The activity is following the same track as all the stolen credit cards from the Municipal Liquor Store did a few months back,” Tangen said. “We haven’t had any activity for a few days now, so hopefully it is over.”

Also at Monday’s school board meeting, the board approved a one-year lease with the Detroit Lakes Community & Cultural Center for space to house its Area Learning Center, Recovery School and Teen Age Parenting Program (TAPP). The cost of the lease will be $63,196, payable no later than July 1.

The DLCCC lease will only be for one year, because according to Superintendent Doug Froke, the district is working out the final details for relocating the ALC to the M State college campus, starting with the 2015-16 school year.

“There is still some work to do on this agreement,” he said.

Froke also noted that previously, the DLCCC lease agreement for the Area Learning Center included shared access to the pool and locker room; the district will need to negotiate a separate lease arrangement for this space in the future, he said, as there are no plans to discontinue use of the pool for Laker swimming and diving events.

Follow Detroit Lakes Newspapers reporter Vicki Gerdes on Twitter at @VickiLGerdes.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454