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Alert 2006-1 | January 3, 2006

Counterfeit Official Checks: Counterfeit Official Checks of KeyBank National Association, Cleveland, OH


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 a correct routing number of 122037171 are being presented for payment.

The counterfeit checks may be identified by the following: a standard check stock that is light red in color with a white marbled background and a darker red top border. The bank’s name is printed in the top-left portion of the check followed by an incorrect address and telephone number of: 23250 Pacific Hwy S, Kent, WA 98032, 1-866-909-9189. The words “OFFICIAL CHECK” appear in the top-center portion of the instrument, and the following statement appears inside of the top border: “THIS DOCUMENT HAS A COLORED Background AND MICROPRINTING. THE REVERSE SIDE INCLUDES AN ARTIFICIAL WATERMARK.” The first known serial number presented for payment was 952337804 with subsequent checks issued sequentially from that number. All checks have the name Michael Rideout in the memo area, which is located in the lower-left section of the check.

Authentic cashier’s checks issued by the bank are blue in color with a blue scroll border on both sides and the top of the instrument. The words “OFFICIAL CHECK” appear in white block letters inside of a grey box in the top-center portion of the check. A black key is located in the top-left portion of the instrument, and the following statement appears below the top border: “THE BACK OF THIS DOCUMENT HAS AN ARTIFICIAL WATERMARK PRINTED IN A SPECIAL WHITE INK. HOLD THE DOCUMENT AT A SMALL ANGLE TO SEE THIS SECURITY FEATURE.” The body of the checks contain blue lined cubes that fade from top to bottom with the lighter blue color located in the center portion. Below the routing number line is a dark blue strip that contains the following statement: “THE VARIABLE TONE Background AREA OF THIS DOCUMENT CHANGES COLOR GRADUALLY AND SMOOTHLY FROM DARKER TONES AT BOTH TOP AND BOTTOM TO THE LIGHTEST TONE IN THE MIDDLE.”

You can verify the authenticity of KeyBank National Association official checks by contacting the bank’s Corporate Security Division via telephone at 1-800-433-0124 or via mail at 127 Public Square, Cleveland, OH 44144.

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

For additional information regarding other types of financial fraud, please visit the OCC's anti-fraud resource page.


Brian C. McCormally
Director for Enforcement & Compliance