Fraud

Subject: Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks
Date: August 5, 2019
Description: National Bank of Blacksburg


 

Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks of National Bank of Blacksburg, Blacksburg, Va.

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; Chair, 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 counterfeit cashier’s checks using the bank’s routing number of 051403122are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with a variety of online auction and job opportunity scams.

While the counterfeit checks resemble the bank’s authentic items, they may be identified by the following traits:

  • The checks are light blue with a marbled background and contain a darker blue top border.
  • The top border contains the following security statement: “TO VERIFY AUTHENTICITY, SEE REVERSE SIDE FOR DESCRIPTION OF THE 10 SECURITY FEATURES.”
  • The check number appears faded in the upper right-hand corner.
  • A heat sensitive hologram security feature appears in the bottom center portion of the check encircled by the statement “HEAT SENSITIVE SHIELD. FADES WITH HEAT OR TOUCH.”
  • The remitter name may be “Nancy Wilson” or “Christel Johnson.”

Checks presented to date have been made payable in varying amounts between $1,250 and $7,350 and have been signed by Evelyn Sutherland.  

Correspondence received regarding the fictitious job opportunity may be received via Priority Mail and contain the letterhead of “The Brant Group.” Checks received with this correspondence are made payable for $2,450. Recipients are told to send a text message of “EXERCISE RECEIVED” to (281) 215-5416 or (281) 612-9912 to confirm receipt of the check. Potential victims are then instructed to deposit the counterfeit check and text the words “DRAFT LODGED” to the same numbers. Upon confirmation of funds availability, the recipient is to then text the words “TOTAL SUM OF $2450 READY” and include his or her name. The scammers will then text further instructions regarding the mystery shopping scam. Recipients are also told that they will be allowed to retain $250 as a salary for the assignment. The letter is signed by a “Mike Donald, Task Supervisor.” An email address of [mmikecompany10@aol] is provided.

For additional information and to verify the authenticity of cashier’s checks drawn on National Bank of Blacksburg, please contact Vice President of Operations Jennifer Kirschenman by mail at PO Box 90002, Blacksburg, VA 24068-9002, by telephone at (540) 951-6288, by fax at (540) 951-6337, or by email at jkirschenman@nbbank.com.

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

  • U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Inspector General (OIG): by telephone at (800) 359‑3898 or by visiting the OIG website.
  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC): by telephone at (877) FTC-HELP or, for filing a complaint electronically, via the FTC’s website.
  • National Consumers League (NCL): by telephone at (202) 835-3323 or by email. To file a fraud complaint, visit the NCL fraud website.
  • 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 website 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.

 

Monica A. Freas
Director for Enforcement and Compliance

Link:

OCC Notice

Fake Letter Impersonating the DFSA and its Chairman

05 Aug 2019

The Dubai Financial Services Authority “DFSA” alerts the financial services community and members of the public about a fraudulent scheme in which the DFSA and its Chairman were impersonated.

The scammers, using the DFSA logo, issued a fake letter purporting to be from the “Office of the Administrator” and the DFSA’s Chairman, while a bank and two UAE government entities were purported to have been copied in. The fake letter appears to have been sent to an individual in South Korea who was listed as the beneficiary of a USD 15 million transfer. The letter stated that in order for the UAE government to allow such a transfer, a second individual was required to travel to South Korea which would cost USD 3,500 in travel expenses.  The scammers further claimed this money needed to be transferred by the first individual to the DFSA. A copy of the fake letter can be found here.

In an attempt to authenticate the scam, the perpetrators of the scam fraudulently used the following without permission:
• The name, logo, address and purported stamp of the DFSA; and
• The name and purported stamp of DFSA’s Chairman.

The DFSA confirms that the letter is false. The DFSA informs you that it does not:
• have an office or function referred to as the “Office of the Administrator”;
• get involved in these types of transfers of large sums of money to individuals for no legitimate purpose or rationale;
• require other individuals to travel for the purposes of the safety or security of such transfers; or
• charge for travel expenses in advance of such transfers.

The DFSA strongly advises that you do not respond to the perpetrators in relation to the scam, and under no circumstances should you send or give any money to any party in connection with the scam.

The DFSA has a page on its website dedicated to alerts which it has issued about scams. All alerts issued by the DFSA may be accessed by going to: ALERTS

The DFSA has also issued warnings and guidance about the common types of scams, including Advance Fee scams, perpetrated on consumers. For more information on these scams please go to: HOW TO AVOID BEING SCAMMED

The DFSA encourages consumers to refer to the list of regulated Firms and Authorised Individuals licensed by the DFSA that is available on the DFSA’s PUBLIC REGISTER

If you have any concerns about the authenticity of any correspondence or documents that purport to be issued by the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), DFSA or a DFSA regulated Firm, you should direct your concerns to the DIFC on Tel:+971 4 362 2222 and to the DFSA via the DFSA Complaints function on: COMPLAINTS

Link:

DFSA Notice

Press Releases

Fraudulent website related to United Overseas Bank Ltd.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) wishes to alert members of the public to a press release issued by United Overseas Bank Ltd. on fraudulent website, which has been reported to the HKMA. Hyperlink to the press release is available on the HKMA website for ease of reference by members of the public.

Anyone who has provided his or her personal information to the website concerned or has conducted any financial transactions through the website should contact the bank concerned using the contact information provided in the press release, and report to the Police or contact the Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau of the Hong Kong Police Force at 2860 5012.

 

Hong Kong Monetary Authority
19 July 2019

Link:

HKMA Notice

Press Releases

Phishing email related to The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) wishes to alert members of the public to a press release issued by The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited on phishing email, which has been reported to the HKMA.  Hyperlink to the press release is available on the HKMA website for ease of reference by members of the public.

Anyone who has provided his or her personal information to the email concerned or has conducted any financial transactions through the email should contact the bank concerned using the contact information provided in the press release, and report to the Police or contact the Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau of the Hong Kong Police Force at 2860 5012.

 

Hong Kong Monetary Authority
24 June 2019

Link:

HKMA Notice

Press Releases

Phishing emails related to The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) wishes to alert members of the public to a press release issued by The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited on phishing emails, which has been reported to the HKMA.  Hyperlink to the press release is available on the HKMA website for ease of reference by members of the public.

Anyone who has provided his or her personal information to the emails concerned or has conducted any financial transactions through the emails should contact the bank concerned using the contact information provided in the press release, and report to the Police or contact the Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau of the Hong Kong Police Force at 2860 5012.

Hong Kong Monetary Authority
3 July 2019

Link:

HKMA Notice

FinCEN Exchange Forum Counters Business Email Compromise Scams

Contact
Steve Hudak, 703-905-3770
Immediate Release
Suspicious Activity Reports indicate more than $300 million a month in theft

WASHINGTON—The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) today announced new efforts to curtail and impede Business Email Compromise (BEC) scammers and other criminals who profit from their schemes.  Email compromise fraud schemes generally entail criminal attempts to compromise the email accounts of victims to send fraudulent payment instructions to financial institutions or business associates in order to misappropriate funds or to assist in financial fraud.  Based on data from FinCEN’s Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs), hackers and other illicit actors’ BEC scams generated more than $300 million a month in 2018, with a cumulative total exceeding billions of dollars stolen from businesses and individuals.

“FinCEN has been a global leader and innovator in countering BEC breaches and their devastating effects on businesses, individuals, and national security,” said FinCEN Director Kenneth A. Blanco.  “The Bank Secrecy Act data is a critical resource in combatting all types of financial crime.  We hold, safeguard, and analyze that data and we share our expertise with law enforcement and our industry partners to help make America safer.”

 

 

FinCEN Exchange Forum Focuses on BEC Scams

In New York City today, FinCEN convened another in a series of meetings under its ongoing FinCEN Exchange forum.  Today’s focus was on identifying and combatting potential BEC and resultant money laundering and terrorist financing activities.  Representatives from depository institutions, Federal and State government agencies, a Federal task force, money transmitters, third-party service providers, and technology companies attended the session.  The FinCEN Exchange is a voluntary program established in 2017 to convene law enforcement and financial institutions from across the country to share information.

 

Advisory to Financial Institutions on E-mail Compromise Fraud Schemes

FinCEN also issued today an update to its “Advisory to Financial Institutions on E-mail Compromise Fraud Schemes,” first published in 2016.  Today’s advisory offers updated operational definitions, provides information on the targeting of non-business entities and data by email compromise schemes, highlights general trends in BEC schemes targeting sectors and jurisdictions, and alerts financial institutions to risks associated with the targeting of vulnerable business processes.  The advisory also highlights the potential for financial institutions to share information about subjects and accounts affiliated with email compromise schemes in the interest of identifying risks of fraudulent transactions and money laundering.

 

Financial Trend Analysis of Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) Data

In addition, FinCEN issued an in-depth Financial Trend Analysis of BSA data that explores industries targeted and methodologies used by BEC scammers.  It notes that the number of SARs describing BEC incidents reported monthly has more than doubled, from averaging nearly 500 per month in 2016, to above 1,100 per month in 2018.  The total value of attempted BEC thefts reported in SARs has almost tripled, to an average of $301 million per month in 2018 from $110 million per month in 2016.  The use of fraudulent vendor or client invoices grew as a methodology, from 30 percent of sampled 2017 incidents, to 39 percent in 2018, becoming the most common BEC method.  Impersonating a CEO or other high-ranking business officer as a methodology declined, accounting for 12 percent in 2018 from 33 percent of sampled incidents in 2017.  Impersonation of an outside entity was described in 20 percent of 2018 reports.  Manufacturing and construction businesses were the top targets for BEC fraud in 2017 and 2018, and those sectors may have particular interest in this report.

 

FinCEN’s Rapid Response Program Surpasses $500 Million in Recovered Funds

In another ongoing effort, FinCEN’s Rapid Response Program, in collaboration with law enforcement, recently surpassed $500 million in recovered funds.  Under the program, when U.S. law enforcement receives a BEC complaint from a victim or a financial institution, the relevant information is forwarded to FinCEN, which moves quickly to track and recover the funds.  The program utilizes FinCEN’s ability to rapidly share information with counterpart Financial Intelligence Units (FIU) in more than 164 jurisdictions, and leverages these relationships to encourage foreign authorities to intercede and hold funds or reverse wire transfers.

 

Egmont Group Public Bulletin Outlines Typologies of BEC Fraud Schemes

In addition, yesterday, the Egmont Group of FIUs issued a public bulletin to alert competent authorities and reporting entities of key typologies and money laundering risks associated with BEC fraud schemes.  This bulletin was the result of an initiative by FinCEN and the FIU of Luxembourg in collaboration with nine other FIUs.

Sharing information through reports and public-private partnerships supports more, and higher-quality, reports to FinCEN and assists law enforcement in detecting, preventing, and prosecuting terrorism, organized crime, money laundering, and other financial crimes.  Sharing information also assists the financial institutions in prioritizing their efforts.  One of FinCEN’s top priorities is strengthening public-private partnerships to reveal and mitigate threats and vulnerabilities in the U.S. financial system.

Links:

FinCEN Press Release

FinCEN Advisory

Financial Trend Analysis

Press Releases

Fraudulent websites and phishing SMS message related to Citibank (Hong Kong) Limited

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) wishes to alert members of the public to a press release issued by Citibank (Hong Kong) Limited on fraudulent websites and phishing SMS message, which has been reported to the HKMA.  Hyperlink to the press release is available on the HKMA website for ease of reference by members of the public.

Anyone who has provided his or her personal information to the websites concerned or has conducted any financial transactions through the websites should contact the bank concerned using the contact information provided in the press release, and report to the Police or contact the Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau of the Hong Kong Police Force at 2860 5012.

 

Hong Kong Monetary Authority
15 July 2019

Link:

HKMA Notice