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Alert 2008-37
Description: First Century Bank, N.A.

Fictitious Official Checks of First Century Bank, N.A., Bluefield, WV

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 fictitious official checks, issued in the bank’s name and using a correct routing number of 051500601, are being presented nationwide for payment in connection with a variety of international up-front fee scams.

These items are fictitious, as First Century Bank, N.A., does not issue official checks. Checks presented to date have been made payable in varying large dollar amounts and have included a remitter name of "0506/Mill Bore Engineering Inc." or "0506/David Emerson." The fictitious items contain a telephone number of "1 (888) 843-0662," which is not associated with First Century Bank, N.A.

The checks may be distributed as part of various Internet purchase payments in addition to legal representation payments to attorneys, who have seemingly been retained to collect funds from third parties for their “client.” Correspondence accompanying the checks may include one of the following letterheads:

  • David Emerson, Corporate Server, 28 Helene Street, Mississauga, Ont L5G387

  • Jane McKenzie, MBEI International Services, Mill Bore Engineering Inc., 115 Dodge Avenue, Stratford, CT 06615-7303

  • Ivan Pateya, MBE - Mill Bore Engineering, 115 Dodge Avenue, Stratford, CT 06615-7303, Phone: (888) 203-7608, (203) 516-2215, Fax: (206) 339-4024

  • Mr. Roman Hidotashi, Hidotashi Consultants, 33-35 Queen Square, BS1 7LU, London, UK

  • Dr. Lee Song, Chipang Lee Song Manufacturing Company, 2-1-11, Showamachi, Kika-ku, Tokyo, Japan, 114-8516

Due to possible variations in the appearance of the bank’s official items and differing scams associated with the counterfeit or fictitious items, officials of First Century Bank, N.A., suggest they be contacted to verify authenticity of the bank’s official items if received from an unknown or questionable source.

For additional information and guidance and to verify the authenticity of First Century Bank, N.A.,’s official items, please contact Matthew W. Barnett, Assistant Security Officer, 500 Federal Street, Bluefield, WV 24740, by telephone at (304) 324-3256, by fax at (304) 324-3256, or via e-mail at [mbarnett@firstcentury.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 http://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 http://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 https://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