Counterfeit Checks

Subject: Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks
Date: September 20, 2019
Description: Consumers National Bank


 
Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks of Consumers National Bank, Minerva, Ohio

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 041201143are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with a variety of online auction overpayment and job opportunity scams.

The counterfeit checks may be identified by the following traits:

  • The checks are blue and contain an outdated bank logo of CNB in the upper left corner of the check.
  • The following security statement is located within the top border: “FOR SECURITY PURPOSES, THE BORDER OF THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS MICROPRINTING.”
  • The ABA number appears 56-114/412.
  • The following statement is located above the single Authorized Signature line: “Drawer: Consumers National Bank. THIS CHECK VOID IF NOT CASHED WITHIN 6 MONTHS.”

Checks presented to date have been made payable in varying amounts and may contain a remitter name of “Jim Kirk.”

For additional information and to verify the authenticity of cashier’s checks drawn on Consumers National Bank, please contact Risk & Compliance Officer Christina Montgomery by mail at 614 E. Lincoln Way, Minerva, OH 44657, by telephone at (330) 868-9057, by fax at (330) 868-3460, or by email at cmontgomery@consumersbank.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

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

Subject: Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks

Date: May 22, 2019

Description: Farmers & Merchants National Bank


 

Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks of Farmers & Merchants National Bank, Nashville, Ill.

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 081906275are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with a variety of online auction and job opportunity scams.

There are at least four variations of counterfeit checks in circulation. While the counterfeit checks resemble the bank’s authentic items, they may be identified by the following traits:

Variation #1

  • The checks are light blue with a white wreath in the center and contain a darker blue border.
  • The top border contains the following security statement: “SECURITY FEATURES INCLUDE TRUE WATERMARK PAPER, MICROPRINT BORDER, HEAT SENSITIVE ICON AND FOIL HOLOGRAM.”
  • The bank’s logo does not contain the telephone number.
  • The following security statement is located along the right border along with a padlock icon: “Security features included. Details on back.”
  • A heat sensitive hologram security feature appears in the bottom center portion of the check.
  • The authorized signature appears as “Anna Wilhelm.”
  • The remitter name may be “Mark Rilay.”

Variation #2

  • The checks are light blue with a darker blue top and bottom border.
  • The top border contains the following security statement: “THE FACE OF THIS DOCUMENT HAS A COLORED BACKGROUND ON WHITE PAPER.”
  • The bank’s logo does not contain the telephone number.
  • The bottom border contains the following security statement: “THE BACK OF THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS CHECK SECURITY WATERMARK AND COIN REACTIVE INK.”
  • A heat sensitive key security feature is located in the bottom center portion of the check.
  • The authorized signature appears as “Anna Wilhelm.”
  • The remitter name may be “John Nowicki.”

Variation #3

  • The checks are white and contain the following security statement in blue in the top border: “WARNING: THIS DOCUMENT HAS SECURITY FEATURES IN THE PAPER.”
  • The bank’s logo does not contain the telephone number.
  • A padlock icon and security statement appear along the right border.
  • The authorized signature appears as “Anna Wilhelm.”
  • The remitter name may be “Janeen Glasco.”

Variation #4

  • The checks are of unknown color but contain a marbled background and darker top border.
  • The top border contains the following security statement: “THIS DOCUMENT HAS A COLORED BACKGROUND AND MICROPRINTING. THE REVERSE SIDE INCLUDES AN ARTIFICIAL WATERMARK.”
  • The bank’s logo does not contain the telephone number.
  • The authorized signature appears as “Anna Wilhelm.”
  • The remitter name may be “Cody Miller.”

Checks presented to date have been made payable in amounts between $1,450 and $6,850.

For additional information and to verify the authenticity of cashier’s checks drawn on Farmers & Merchants National Bank, please contact Chief Financial Officer Kimberly Gill by mail at 120 West St. Louis Street, Nashville, IL 62263, by telephone at (618) 327-2405, by fax at (618) 327-4963, or by email at kgill@fmbnashville.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

 
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Ensuring a safe and sound Federal Banking System for All Americans
 
Alert 2019-2
Subject: Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks
Date: March 13, 2019
Description: First National Bank of Elmer
 

Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks of the First National Bank of Elmer, Elmer, NJ

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 031203915are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with an online job opportunity overpayment scam.

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

  • The checks are blue with white marbling and contain a dark top border with the following security statement: “THIS DOCUMENT HAS A COLORED BACKGROUND AND MICROPRINTING. THE REVERSE SIDE INCLUDES AN ARTIFICIAL WATERMARK.”
  • The bank’s address appears as “PO BOX Elmer NJ 08318.” The actual box number is missing.
  • The words “CASHIERS CHECK” appear in the top center portion of the check but are not encircled.
  • The ABA number is located beneath and to the left of the check number.
  • The written dollar amount line contains empty space after the amount.
  • The numerical dollar amount is not underlined.
  • The account number in the micro line at the bottom of the check is preceded by four zeros.

Checks presented to date have been made payable in amounts ranging from $1,300 to $100,000 and contain a remitter name of Robert White.

Potential victims have been contacted via email by David Netto using an email address of [Davidnetto101@protonmail.com]. The email correspondence introduces Mr. Netto as a writer for a well-known magazine, who is advertising for a professional photographer. Counterfeit checks that are sent to potential victims are made payable for an amount greater than the agreed-upon amount. The potential victim is told to deposit the counterfeit check and immediately wire the overage amount to a third party.

For additional information and to verify the authenticity of cashier’s checks drawn on the First National Bank of Elmer, please contact Vice President and Risk Officer Steven Botto by mail at 10 South Main Street, Elmer, NJ 08318, by telephone at (856) 358-7000, x1119, or by email at sbotto@elmerbank.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 e-mail. 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

Subject: Counterfeit Official Bank Checks
Date: March 4, 2019
Description: Bremer Bank, NA
 

Counterfeit Official Bank Checks of Bremer Bank, NA, Saint Paul, Minn.

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 official bank checks using the bank’s routing number of 092005411 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with a variety of online auction and job opportunity scams.

There are at least four variations of counterfeit checks in circulation. While the counterfeit checks resemble the bank’s authentic items, they may be identified by the following traits:

Variation #1

  • The checks are blue with white marbling and contain a darker blue top border with the following security statement: “TO VERIFY AUTHENTICITY, SEE REVERSE SIDE FOR DESCRIPTION OF THE 11 SECURITY FEATURES.”
  • The bank’s address appears as “109 S Mantoville Ave, Kasson, MN 55944.”
  • The entire left side of the check is missing information, as the first letter of each word on each line has been cut off.
  • A heat shield security feature may appear in the bottom center portion of the check.

Variation #2

  • The checks are tan with white marbling and contain a darker brown top border with the following security statement: “THIS DOCUMENT HAS A COLORED BACKGROUND AND MICROPRINTING. THE REVERSE SIDE INCLUDES AN ARTIFICIAL WATERMARK.”
  • The bank’s address appears as “109 S Mantoville Ave, Kasson, MN 55944.”

Variation #3

  • The checks are of unknown color and contain a dark outlined border with a crown style icon in each corner. The top border includes a blurred security statement.
  • The bank’s address appears as “109 S Mantoville Ave, Kasson, MN 55944.”
  • A heat shield security feature is located in the bottom center portion of the check.
  • A padlock icon and security statement appear along the right border and on the reverse side of the check.

Variation #4

  • The checks are white and contain a green top border with the following security statement: “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS INVISIBLE UV SECURITY AND MICROPRINTING. THE REVERSE SIDE INCLUDES AN ARTIFICIAL WATERMARK.”
  • The bank’s address appears as “109 S Mantoville Ave, Kasson, MN 55944.”
  • Green round icons appear inside both the right and left borders in the lower portion of the check and contain the following security statement: “ICON APPEARS WITH UV LIGHT.”

Checks presented to date have been made payable in amounts between $1,880 and $7,250 and contain check serial numbers beginning in the 241100 series.

Victims receiving checks in regard to the job opportunity scam have received one of the following letters:

Fictitious Correspondence Variation #1

Correspondence is in regard to a purported shopper assessment job opportunity. Recipients are instructed to either cash or deposit the check, retain $300 as compensation, and use the remaining balance to purchase specified gift cards under the guise of secretly surveying the stores where the gift card purchases are transacted. Upon completion of the purchases, recipients are instructed to send pictures of the gift card serial numbers to the perpetrator of this scam. The letter is signed by Greg Sturge, Survey/Evaluator Consultant, with an email address of [sturgeg@basicshop.net]. A telephone number of (608) 535-4020 is provided for recipients to submit text messages.

Fictitious Correspondence Variation #2

Correspondence mirrors the first example, but the contact information differs. This letter is signed by Gary Cooper, Survey/Evaluator Consultant, with an email address of [garycooper@valuationroute.com]. A telephone number of (213) 443-8126 is provided for recipients to submit text messages.

For additional information and to verify the authenticity of official bank checks drawn on Bremer Bank, NA, please contact Loss Prevention Services Manager Kristin Hines by mail at 8555 Eagle Point Blvd., PO Box 1000, Lake Elmo, MN 55042, by telephone at (800) 299-9990, Option 2, or by email at kjhines@bremer.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


Links:

OCC Notice

Sample Fictitious Correspondence

 
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Ensuring a safe and sound Federal Banking System for All Americans
 
Alert 2018-12

Subject: Counterfeit Official Bank ChecksDate: September 11, 2018

Description: First Federal Bank of Ohio

 

Counterfeit Official Bank Checks of First Federal Bank of Ohio, Galion, Ohio

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 official bank checks using the bank’s routing number of 042000314 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with a variety of online auction and job opportunity scams.

There are at least two variations of counterfeit checks in circulation. While the counterfeit checks resemble the bank’s authentic items, they may be identified by the following traits:

Variation #1

  • The checks are unknown in color and contain a darkened top border with the following security statement: “THE FACE OF THIS DOCUMENT HAS A COLORED BACKGROUND ON WHITE PAPER”.
  • The bank’s logo letters of “FF” in the upper left corner appears either white or light in color.
  • The branch offices are not listed under the bank’s logo.
  • A heat shield security feature is located in the bottom center portion of the check.
  • A reference line contains the name of “Donald Sawyer”.
  • The following security statement appears in the bottom border between two padlock icons: “SECURITY FEATURES INCLUDED. DETAILS ON BACK.”
  • The checks are signed by “Leiann Waddell.”

Variation #2

  • The checks are unknown in color and contain a darkened top border with the following security statement: “THE FACE OF THIS DOCUMENT HAS A COLORED BACKGROUND ON WHITE PAPER”.
  • The branch offices are not listed under the bank’s logo.
  • The following appears in the top center portion of the check: “DRAWEE  Fifth Third Bank (Cincinnati)”. The statement lacks punctuation.
  • The following statement appears directly above the signature line: “TWO SIGNATURES REQUIRED OVER &5,000.00”. The statement includes a typographical error.
  • A heat shield security feature is located in the bottom center portion of the check.
  • A reference line contains the name of “Matthew Newsom”.
  • The following security statement appears in the bottom border between two padlock icons: “SECURITY FEATURES INCLUDED. DETAILS ON BACK.”
  • The checks are signed by “Leiann Waddell.”

Checks presented to date have been made payable in amounts between $2,455 and $10,000.

Victims receiving checks in regard to the job opportunity scam have received correspondence from “Rick Allen, Survey Evaluation Co-ordinator of Blink Research and Services.” Recipients are instructed to deposit the check, retain $308 as compensation, and use the remaining balance to purchase gift cards under the guise of secretly surveying the store where the purchase is transacted. A telephone number of (973) 531-7814 is provided for recipients to submit text messages in order to receive further guidance. The guidance provided includes instructions to send pictures of the gift card numbers to the perpetrator of this scam.

For additional information and to verify the authenticity of official bank checks drawn on First Federal Bank of Ohio, please contact Assistant Treasurer/Bookkeeping Sally Petrie by mail at 140 N. Columbus Street, Galion, OH 44833, by telephone at (419) 468-1518, by fax at (419) 468-2973, or by email at spetrie@firstfederalbankofohio.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

Links:

OCC Notice

Sample Fictitious Letter and Survey Form

 
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Ensuring a safe and sound Federal Banking System for All Americans
 
Alert 2018-11

Subject: Counterfeit Official Bank ChecksDate: September 5, 2018

Description: Sterling National Bank

 

Counterfeit Official Bank Checks of Sterling National Bank, Montebello, N.Y.

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 official bank checks using the bank’s routing number of 221472815 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with a variety of overpayment scams involving online purchases.

There are at least three variations of counterfeit checks in circulation. While the counterfeit checks resemble the bank’s authentic items, they may be identified by the following traits:

  • The checks are light blue in color with a marbled background.
  • One of the following security statements appears in the top border:
    • “WARNING: THIS DOCUMENT HAS SECURITY FEATURES IN THE PAPER.”
    • “THIS DOCUMENT HAS A COLORED BACKGROUND AND MICROPRINTING. THE REVERSE SIDE INCLUDES AN ARTIFICIAL WATERMARK.”
    • “TO VERIFY AUTHENTICITY, SEE REVERSE SIDE FOR DESCRIPTION OF THE 11 SECURITY FEATURES.”
  • The reference line (“Ref”) has been left blank.
  • The following coding appears beneath the payable dollar amount: “BR: 52; CDR: 15298; 343052.”

Checks presented to date have been made payable in amounts between $700 and $20,380, with the majority being under $3,000.

For additional information and to verify the authenticity of official bank checks drawn on Sterling National Bank, please contact Director of FCIU Catherine Manzione by mail at 400 Rella Boulevard, Montebello, NY 10901, by telephone at (845) 918-5704, or by email at cmanzione@snb.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