Counterfeit Bell Atlantic Checks Surface in West Virginia

Counterfeit Bell Atlantic Checks Surface in
West Virginia

Company Identifies 30 to 40 Bogus Checks in Different Parts
of State

April 27, 1999


Paul Miller,

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Bell Atlantic - West Virginia today
issued a warning to merchants across the state to beware of cashing
counterfeit Bell Atlantic checks.

"Bogus Bell Atlantic checks are turning up all over the state, from
Wayne County in the southwest to Morgantown in the north," said
Bob Siebel, a Bell Atlantic security investigator. The checks have also
surfaced in Beckley, Charleston and Clarksburg.

Siebel said he has collected 30 to 40 counterfeit checks within the last two
months. "They appear to be a valid check, although there are some
differences," he said.

The denomination of the checks vary from $250 to $500. Kroger stores
appear to be the merchant of choice for the counterfeiter.

Siebel advises merchants who are asked to cash a Bell Atlantic check to
always ask for proper identification before doing so. Anyone who
discovers a counterfeit Bell Atlantic check should immediately contact
local law enforcement.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of
the new communications and information industry. With 43 million
telephone access lines and nine million wireless customers worldwide,
Bell Atlantic companies are premier providers of advanced wireline voice
and data services, market leaders in wireless services and the world's
largest publishers of directory information. Bell Atlantic companies are
also among the world's largest investors in high-growth global
communications markets, with operations and investments in 23 countries.