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Alert 2007-38
Description: Rabobank, N.A.

Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks of Rabobank, N.A., El Centro, CA

To: Chief Executive Officers of All National Banks; All State Banking Authorities; Chairman, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; Chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; Director, Office of Thrift Supervision; Conference of State Bank Supervisors; Deputy Comptrollers (districts); Assistant Deputy Comptrollers; District Counsel; and All Examining Personnel

The above-named bank has reported that counterfeit cashier's checks issued in the bank's name and using a correct routing number of 122238420 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with a lottery scam.

The counterfeit checks resemble the authentic items but may be identified by the following: the instruments may be brown or mauve in color, contain the words "CASHIER'S CHECK" in the upper-left corner of the item, and include the following security statement in the top border: "FOR SECURITY PURPOSES, THE FACE OF THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS A COLORED Background AND MICROPRINTING IN THE BORDER." The words "AUTHORIZED SIGNATURE" are found beneath a single signature line in the lower-right corner of the check, and the bottom border includes two padlock icons and the following statement: "SECURITY FEATURES INCLUDED. DETAILS ON BACK." The items do not contain the correct bank contact telephone numbers of "(831) 751-2265 or (877) 886-2265."

The volume of these counterfeit items has increased along with the variation of the appearance of the items. Bank officials, therefore, are encouraged to contact Rabobank, N.A. to verify the authenticity of the item that is being presented.

Correspondence accompanying the counterfeit items may contain the letterhead of "Northwest Financial & Trust Services, North West House, Lyford Cay, P.O. Box N-3229, Nassau, Bahamas, Sponsor: Readers Digest, Publishers Clearing House, Sweepstakes, Lotto – 1-306-351-2387." The letter alerts the recipient that he or she is the winner of an unclaimed prize and instructs the recipient to contact an agent at Northwest Financial & Trust Services at 1-306-351-2387. Note that this is number originates in Canada. The letter further states that the enclosed check is to be used "for the payment of tax and administrative expenses (international clearance fees) and that the recipient is to keep all winning information confidential. The letter may be signed by Philip Dodgers, SR. Director / Claims & Credit Control.

For additional information and guidance, please contact Ebony Strange, Fraud Investigations Officer, Security Department, 1498 Main Street, El Centro, CA 92243, by telephone at (760) 337-7344, by fax at (760) 370-3371 or via e-mail at [Ebony.Strange@Rabobank.com].

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

  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC): by telephone at 1-877-FTC-HELP or, for filing a complaint electronically, via the FTC's Web site at www.ftc.gov.

  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police (Canadian scams): by telephone at 1-888-495-8501 or via e-mail at [info@phonebusters.com]. Their Web site, www.phonebusters.com, provides additional contact numbers.

  • 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 international Web site www.bbb.org offers contact information for local BBBs, objective reports on more than two 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 (FBI) Internet Fraud Complaint Center (scams that may have originated via the Internet) at www.ic3.gov.

  • If correspondence is received via the U.S. Postal Service, contact the U.S. Postal Inspector Service by telephone at 1-888-877-7644, 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 e-mail at http://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/forms/MailFraudComplaint.aspx.

Additional information concerning this matter that you believe should be brought to the attention of the OCC may be forwarded to:

E-mail: occalertresponses@occ.treas.gov
Mail: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Special Supervision Division, MS 6-4
250 E Street, SW, Washington, DC 20219
Fax: (202) 874-5214
Internet: http://www.occ.gov

For additional information regarding other types of financial fraud, please visit the OCC's anti-fraud resource at: http://www.occ.gov/topics/consumer-protection/fraud-resources/index-fraud-resources.html.

/signed/

Richard C. Stearns
Director for Enforcement & Compliance

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