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Alert 2013-12
Description: OneWest Bank, FSB

Counterfeit Official Checks: OneWest Bank, FSB

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 official checks using a correct routing number of 322271106 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with various Internet scams targeting law offices.

The counterfeit checks resemble the authentic items but may be identified by the following: Counterfeit items have a left-to-right sweeping color change pattern from light lime green to blue and then to pastel burgundy. The checks contain a pale blue border, and the words “Account Number:” read as “Account number.”

Counterfeit items presented to date are made payable in varying amounts from $1,000 to $288,000. Recipients of the counterfeit items are generally presenting two checks, which contain sequential serial numbers.

For additional information and guidance and to verify the authenticity of OneWest Bank’s official checks, please contact the Client Care Center by mail at 888 E. Walnut Street, Pasadena, CA 91101, by telephone at (877) 741-9378, or by e-mail at CustomerCare@owb.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 (to report Canadian scams): by telephone at (888) 495-8501 or by e-mail at info@phonebusters.com. Its Web site, www.phonebusters.com, provides additional contact telephone 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 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 Internet Crime Complaint Center (to report scams that may have originated via the Internet): Its Web site is 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 the online complaint form at https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/forms/MailFraudComplaint.aspx.

Additional information concerning this matter that 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
400 7th St. SW, Suite 3E-218; MS 8E-12
Washington, DC 20219
 Fax:(202) 649-6450
 Web:www.occ.gov

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

 

Ellen M. Warwick
Director for Enforcement and Compliance