HOUSTON -

Investigators with the Harris County Sheriff's Office are asking for the public's help in identifying three people accused of writing close to $7000 in counterfeit checks.

According to investigators, the trio purchased three generators and other items from two Northern Tool and Equipment stores in Houston. The checks were fake but the driver's license numbers on them were real and belong to two men from the Austin area.

"They're in shock right now. They did not even have a clue that someone used their name and driver's license number to write these checks. They don't have these accounts. These accounts don't even belong to them," said Sgt. Leona Peterson, with the Harris County Sheriff's Office Financial Crimes Unit.

It's unclear how the trio got the victim's personal information but investigators believe they went online to one of the five big public databases to pick their targets at random.

Sgt. Peterson says more than likely they sold the generators on the street for some quick cash.

"They would sell them probably 50 cents on the dollar to a construction company or during storms. Everybody wants a generator in Houston," Sgt. Peterson said.

Investigators don't believe these are isolated cases and are waiting to hear back from other local law enforcement agencies to see if they have similar cases.

If you're worried or concerned about your personal information ending up in the wrong hands, log onto the various public data websites and follow the instructions to remove your personal information.

  • Whitepages.com
  • Acxiom.com
  • Intelius.com
  • Ussearch.com
  • The-dma.org