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Alert 2011-3
Description: Park National Bank

Counterfeit Official and Cashier's Checks of Park National Bank, Newark, Ohio

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 official and cashier’s checks issued in the bank’s name and using a correct routing number of 044101305 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with a lottery scam.

There are currently at least four versions of counterfeit items in circulation.  All versions are printed on a plain copy paper stock and contain the bank’s name in the upper-left corner.  All items present differently and contain varying security features; however, none contain watermarks.

Items presented to date have used remitter names of Thornhill Securities Inc., Royal Securities Inc., David Coleman, and Fairmont Securities Inc.  Payment amounts range from $3,000 to $5,000, and the items dates range between March 9, 2011, and March 16, 2011.

Information regarding correspondence accompanying these checks is not available.  However, consumers who receive unsolicited checks in the mail and who suspect them to be counterfeits should contact the issuing bank directly to verify their authenticity.  When contacting the bank, consumers should never use telephone numbers found on the instrument but rather research a genuine telephone number.  To locate a bank’s contact information, consumers may check the FDIC’s Web site at:  http://research.fdic.gov/bankfind/

For additional information and guidance and to verify the authenticity of Park National Bank’s official checks, please contact Jullene Barnes, Administration Manager, Loss Prevention, 50 N. Third Street, Newark, OH  43055, by telephone at (740) 349-6836, by fax at (740) 349-7916, or via e-mail at [jbarnes@parknationalbank.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.
  • Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) – Businesses often arrange for mystery shoppers through independent companies, many of which are members of the MSPA.  To verify the legitimacy of an organization, visit www.mysteryshop.org
  • 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 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:www.occ.treas.gov

For additional information regarding other types of financial fraud, please visit the OCC’s anti-fraud resource at: http://www.occ.treas.gov/fraudresources.htm.

Richard C. Stearns
Director for Enforcement & Compliance