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Alert 2012-7
Description: Peoples Bank, N.A., Marietta, Ohio

Counterfeit Cashier's Checks of Peoples Bank, N.A., Marietta, Ohio

To: Chief Executive Officers of All National Banks and Federal Savings Associations; All State Banking Authorities; Chairman, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; Chairman, 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 issued in the bank’s name and using a correct routing number of 044202505 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with scams targeting law offices.

Counterfeit items closely resemble the bank’s authentic cashier’s checks but may be identified by the following: The checks do not include the bank’s toll-free telephone number of (800) 374-6123; they do, however, include a security statement along the top border of the instrument as well as a heat sensor lock in the bottom-center portion of the check. Items presented to date have been made payable in varying amounts between $100,000 and $500,000. The items also include various remitter names but most commonly Abbott Laboratories, Inc.   

Potential victims are initially being contacted by e-mail in a scam to open broker/dealer accounts. Upon the fraudster’s refusal to sign an agreement with the law firm, the fraudster has demanded ransom from particular employees of these law offices informing the victim that his or her family member has been kidnapped. As far as all parties are aware, the kidnapping threat has been a scam as well.

For additional information and guidance and to verify the authenticity of Peoples Bank N.A.’s cashier’s checks, please contact Susan Hornbeck, BSA Compliance, by mail at 138 Putnam St., Marietta, OH 45750; by telephone at (740) 374-6117; by fax at (740) 376-2064; or by e-mail at [shornbeck@pebo.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 (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 (888) 495-8501 or via e-mail at [info@phonebusters.com]. Its 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 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 (FBI) Internet Crime 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 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 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 Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) may be forwarded to:

E-mail:occalertresponses@occ.treas.gov
Mail:Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Special Supervision Division, MS 2-7
250 E St. 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 and Compliance