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February 28, 2006
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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 cashier’s checks, issued in the bank’s name and using a correct routing number of 122238077, are being presented nationwide for payment in connection with a Nigerian check fraud scam.
The counterfeit checks may be identified by the following: a standard blue check stock with a security strip in the top border which states: “THE FACE OF THIS DOCUMENT HAS A BLUE CHECK Background ON WHITE PAPER AND A VOID PANTOGRAPH WITH A BLUE SECURITY STRIP IN CENTER.” The words “CASHIER’S CHECK” appear along the left border of the instrument, and the bank’s name “First Bank, San Luis, California” appears in the center of the check with a fictitious bank logo to the left. The logo is the #1 inside of an image of the United States encircled by a globe. The words “TO THE ORDER OF” appear in the lower-left corner of the check. An “Authorized Signature” line appears in the lower-right corner possibly showing the signature of a David Jaret, followed by the numbers “312 1235.” The checks appear to be prepared using a digital check writer. All of the counterfeit items presented to date have been printed with check number 64341, dated February 13, 2006, in the amount of $4,500.00, and show the remitter as Chris Welmore.
Authentic cashier’s checks issued by the bank have a color scheme of light green changing to light brown from left to right. The bank’s logo of an ocean view with a bird flying across is located in the top-center portion of the check followed by the bank’s name, address, and telephone numbers “FIRST BANK OF SAN LUIS OBISPO, PO Box 1249, 995 Higuera Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93406, Tel: (805) 541-6100 – Fax (805) 544-2217.” The dollar amount is embossed on the check and followed by the statement: “This document has a micro-print signature line, watermark and a thermochromic icon; Absence of these features will indicate a copy.” The words “CASHIER’S CHECK” are located in the lower-left portion of the instrument.
For additional information and guidance or to verify the authenticity of First Bank of San Luis Obispo’s (Pacific Capital Bank, N.A.’s) cashier’s checks, please contact Holly Mislavsky, Senior Vice President of Operations, 995 Higuera Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401, by telephone at (805) 783-5125, by fax at (805) 544-2217 or via email at [Holly.Mislavsky@firstbankslo.com].
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 information on items similar to this particular situation, please refer to OCC Alerts 2006-6 and 2006-8.
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