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Alert 2004-3 | January 27, 2004

Fictitious Regulatory Agency Issuances: Fictitious Financial Programs Attributed to Officials of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency


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; Conference of State Bank Supervisors; Deputy Comptrollers (districts); Assistant Deputy Comptrollers; District Counsel and Examining Personnel

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) continues to receive fictitious documents that claim to be issued by the OCC and falsely state that international payments are being held by the OCC. The most recent version of these documents make reference to the September 11, 2001 tragedy, contain the forged signature of an OCC official, and purport to offer a mechanism for obtaining the release of restricted funds out of Nigeria, Afghanistan, and Iraq. These documents are originating from many sources around the world. (See also, Alert 2001-5 and attachments issued on May 29, 2001.)

The OCC does not participate in the transfer of funds for, or on behalf of, private enterprises or governmental entities, domestic or international. Further, the OCC does not maintain or control any type of deposit account for, or in the name of, any individuals or corporations, domestic or international.

Any documents stating that the OCC is holding, or has placed a hold on, funds for the benefit of any entity, or for an entity’s account, should be viewed as fraudulent.

Please be advised that:

  • These documents are fictitious and the statements contained in them are completely false.
  • The headings on the documents are not used by, or authorized for use by, the OCC.
  • The phone and facsimile numbers and email address contained in the documents are not those of any OCC office.
  • The signatures on the documents are fictitious. While Julie L. Williams is the First Senior Deputy Comptroller and Chief Counsel of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the signature appearing above William’s name is not her signature, and it has not been authorized by her or any other OCC official.

Prior to responding in any manner to any proposal that requests personal information or personal account information, or the payment of any fees in connection with such proposals, you should exercise extreme caution to ensure that the proposal is legitimate. At a minimum, the OCC recommends that you:

  • Obtain direct verification of the facts presented to you by contacting your financial institution;
  • Review the OCC alerts and related information available under the topic "Issuances" on the OCC's Website:; and
  • If the proposal is fraudulent and the document was received by email or the Internet, please report the incident to the Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC). Please go to the IFCC Website at: and follow the instructions for filing a complaint.

Any additional information that you wish to bring to the attention of the OCC may be sent to:

Mail: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Enforcement & Compliance Division,
MS 8-10
250 E Street, SW,
Washington, DC 20219
Fax: (202) 874-5301


Brian C. McCormally Director,
Enforcement & Compliance Division