This is taken from the transcript of an interview with Ray in 2014.
"If you take someone like me who makes it their business to know how checks are processed, how checks are made, how to obtain credit cards, how credit cards are used, how credit cards are paid off, you can exploit just about every facet of the process to make money.
Check fraud is easy for me. This is like Disneyland for me. I mean I can't believe how people readily accept checks. And it's simple if you know what you're doing. You're just going to use a valid ABA routing number, you're going to use a valid account number and you get these numbers in abundance in mailboxes every day.
I can go out and in 20 minutes get 10 personal checking account numbers. And 95% of the time, they're going to be good, so I just make a copy, use that same check number and go into Macy's with a driver's license and the machine is going to accept it every time.
I'll do probably two checks the first day. I may be able to get a third one. I may be able to get two the first day and then one the second day, but then they won't go anymore, so I just do two or three for each account.
Like I said, I can get 10 accounts in 20 minutes.
How big a check would I write? For a store, $500, $600, $700. And a store like Home Depot, you just go in and you buy a $500 Home Depot gift card. Write them a check for $500. Some stores have better limits than others and you get to know the stores, you know. Target I don't like to go over $350. Home Depot, I'll go $600 on a check, and with a business check, $700 or $800.
Personal checks at stores is like just for fun, you know what I mean? It's hard to make real money doing it because you're just going to get a $400-$500 check. So if I were to go shopping at Safeway, I would never use cash, you know. If I had to go get socks and underwear, I'd never use cash. I'd just always use a check. If I needed a TV for the house, I'd never use cash. I would never even use a credit card, I'd always just use a check that I made.
Check fraud with the banks is even easier. Once you open that bank account, you're now their customer, right? I've seen some people, that are in this jail even, that find a check and they take it to a bank and they want to try and cash it, and they don't even have an ID or anything.
And you know the bank is really not going to want to cash that check. They usually end up calling the police because they can tell the person is not a real customer. But when you walk into a bank to open up an account, I'd walk in there and I give them $100 for checking and $100 for savings, and I give them a driver's license, they're so happy to open this account and their guard is down because they don't think that I'm in there to take their money. I'm giving them my money.
So you know they're happy to open this account. And then as soon as I get the ATM debit card - it goes to the PO Box in 5, 6, 7 days - now that bank's mine. Now I just start getting checks that have been stolen out of the mail, remaking them for $10—$20—$30,000 sometimes.
The way it works, Company A sends an invoice to Company B for $27,000 for goods and services that they ordered. And Company B sends Company A back a check for $27,000.
Well, if I can get that check out of the mail or someone else can get that out of the mail and get it to me, I can make a copy of that, change the payee to the fake bank account that I opened up, and just deposit it.
Now, this Company A, they're not checking their mail every day for that check. So when the $27,000 comes out of Company B's bank account, they're not tripping either because they wrote the check for $27,000 but they just don't realize that somebody like me has diverted it. And usually, it takes about six weeks for these two companies to realize that the company they sent the money to didn't get the money and that someone else got it.
And by that time, you've already put in another couple of checks maybe for $5-6-7-$10,000 and that's it. I'm sure there's a reason for this, but I've never seen an instance in doing this for a lot of years, I've never seen an instance where the bank will set a trap for me.
Okay, eventually they know this is a fraudulent account and somebody's remaking these checks and depositing them, but when they do find out, the first thing they do is close the account. So as a precaution I would always first check the ATM machine before I walked into the bank.
If there was supposed to be $12,000 in there and it said available balance was zero, I knew that account had closed and then I don't go in the bank. So they never would like just you know, wait for me to come in. So very easy.
And if you know the equipment that you need to make checks, you can get at Staples or Office Depot. They sell blank check stock and they sell magnetic ink. You can buy magnetic ink MICR cartridges on eBay for 50 bucks.
Check writing software, you can get free demos online, and it doesn't cost you anything. You can steal the CD from Staples, you don't even have to buy it. You can buy it for $29 or you can just steal it if you want. It's very easy.
I would sometimes go to casinos and print checks right in the parking lot of the casino. I'd run out of money, I'd come out, print a check, take it into the casino and cash it, you know. It's called riding dirty, an id factory in my car.
Sometimes I go to the same teller like three times with three different driver licenses, three different checks, and they just cash them. That happens a lot."