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Alert 2005-16 | October 7, 2005

Counterfeit Official Checks: Counterfeit Official Checks of First National Bank in Alamogordo, New Mexico


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 checks issued in the bank’s name and using the bank’s correct routing number, 112202123, are being presented for payment.  While the counterfeit items are strikingly similar to the authentic items, the counterfeit checks may be identified by the following:  A light blue graduated background (dark to light) with a dark blue banner across the top, which includes a notice “This document has a graduated background. Dark to Light. The reverse side includes an artificial watermark.”  All checks, presented to date show the remitter as Eric Meade, are in the amount of $4,900.00, and include a signature similar to that of bank employee Marie Harms.

Authentic official checks issued by the bank are light blue in color with a background design and include a watermark on the back of the check.  Directly under the payment amount line, the following phrase appears “This document has a colored background, Foil Guard and a backside authentic watermark; absence of these features will indicate a copy.”

Both the authentic and counterfeit checks include the bank’s logo in the upper-left corner with the bank’s address located to the right, and the term “OFFICIAL CHECK” appearing in the top center.

You can verify the authenticity of the First National Bank in Alamogordo’s official checks by contacting Operations Officer Kelly Nichols, at 414 Tenth Street, Alamogordo, NM  88310, by telephone at (505) 443-5272, by fax at (505) 437-1631 or via email at []. 

Additional information concerning this matter that you believe should be brought to the attention of the OCC may be forwarded 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 for Enforcement & Compliance