OCC Counterfeit Check Alert: Washington Federal Bank of Seattle

 

 

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Ensuring a safe and sound Federal Banking System for All Americans

 

Alert 2016-6
Subject: Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks
Date: March 30, 2016
Description: Washington Federal Bank, NA

 

Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks of Washington Federal Bank, NA, Seattle, Wash.

To: Chief Executive Officers of All National Banks and Federal Savings Associations; All State Banking Authorities; Chair, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; Chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; Conference of State Bank Supervisors; Deputy Comptrollers (Districts); Assistant Deputy Comptrollers; District Counsels; and All Examining Personnel

The above-named bank has reported that several versions of counterfeit cashier’s checks using a correct routing number of 325070980 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with an online employment scam.

The counterfeit checks resemble the bank’s authentic checks; the counterfeit checks, however, may be identified by the following traits:

Variation No. 1

  • The checks contain a brown weaved background pattern.
  • There are no security statements along the edges of the checks.
  • The checks contain no borders.
  • The checks contain one authorized signature line.

Variation No. 2

  • The checks are of unknown color.
  • The following security statement is located within a dark top border: “FOR SECURITY PURPOSES, THE FACE OF THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS A COLORED BACKGROUND AND MICROPRINTING IN THE BORDER.”
  • The checks contain one authorized signature line.
  • The following security statement is located along the bottom border between two padlock icons: “SECURITY FEATURES INCLUDED. DETAILS ON BACK.”

Variation No. 3

  • The checks are of unknown color.
  • The following security statement is located along the top edge: “WARNING: THIS DOCUMENT HAS SECURITY FEATURES IN THE PAPER.”
  • The checks contain one authorized signature line.

Variation No. 4

  • The checks are of unknown color.
  • The following security statement is located along the top edge: “WARNING: THIS DOCUMENT HAS SECURITY FEATURES IN THE PAPER.”
  • The payable dollar amount section contains no borders.

Counterfeit checks presented to date have been made payable in varying amounts and have contained an authorized signature of “Roy M. Whitehead.” Remitter names appearing on these checks may include: Scott Allen, Jessica Belten, Mary Birch, John Bonnes, Susan Cotton, Devon Curtis, George Fisher, Margaret Giffett, Cheryl Hubner, Brandy Longnecker, Connie Lopez, Kelly Lynch, Gail Malloy, Shirley Partin, Melinda Patton, Helen Sheffield, Freddie Smith, Deniece Stevens, Cynthia Villa, and Valerie White.

Correspondence related to this scam may include a company name of “The Premier Mystery Shopping Company” and be signed by “Ben Howard.” Contact information may include the e-mail addresses of [david199510@qaol.com] or [benhoward.mspc@gmail.com] and a telephone number of (336) 844-2482. Another variation may include a contact name of “Walter H. Anders” using an e-mail address of [assessnowresults055live@yahoo.com], [evaluatenshop.us055@yahoo.com], or [evaluateteam055live@outlook.com].

For additional information and to verify the authenticity of checks drawn on Washington Federal, NA, please contact General Counsel Arian Colachis by mail at 425 Pike St., Seattle, WA 98101, by telephone at (206) 777-8327, by fax at (206) 624-2334, or by e-mail at arian.colachis@wafd.com.

Consumers who receive counterfeit or fictitious items and associated material should file complaints with the following agencies, as appropriate:

  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC): by telephone at (877) FTC-HELP or, for filing a complaint electronically, via the FTC’s Web site.
  • National Consumers League (NCL): by telephone at (202) 835-3323 or by e-mail. To file a fraud complaint, visit the NCL fraud Web site.
  • Better Business Bureau (BBB): The BBB system serves markets throughout Canada, Puerto Rico, and the United States and is the marketplace leader in advancing trust between businesses and consumers. The Web site offers contact information for local BBBs, objective reports on more than 2 million businesses, consumer scam alerts, and tips on a wide variety of topics that help consumers find trustworthy businesses and make wise purchasing decisions.
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation Internet Crime Complaint Center (to report scams that may have originated via the Internet).
  • If correspondence is received via the U.S. Postal Service, contact the U.S. Postal Inspection Service by telephone at (888) 877-7644; by mail at U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Office of Inspector General, Operations Support Group, 222 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 1250, Chicago, IL 60606-6100; or via the online complaint form.

Additional information concerning this matter that should be brought to the attention of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) may be forwarded to

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Special Supervision Division
400 7th St. SW, Suite 3E-218; MS 8E-12
Washington, DC 20219
Phone: (202) 649-6450
Fax: (571) 293-4925
www.occ.gov
occalertresponses@occ.treas.gov

For additional information regarding other types of financial fraud, please visit the OCC’s anti-fraud resources page.
 

Ellen M. Warwick
Director for Enforcement and Compliance

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Link:

OCC Alert

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