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Alert 2006-14 | March 9, 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 two groups of counterfeit official checks issued in the bank’s name and using a correct routing number of 102003918 are being presented for payment nationwide. The first group of counterfeit checks is being issued in the amount of $4,300.00. Each check in this group is accompanied by a letter from “Bono Sweepstakes Lottery” instructing recipients to call 1-905-265-8952 to claim a prize. The second group of checks is being issued in larger amounts ($25,000 – $125,000). Each check in this group is accompanied by a letter from “International Trust Company” with the same telephone number referenced above. These checks appear to be sent in connection with an Internet solicitation; however, the exact nature of the Internet solicitation is unknown.

The counterfeit checks are very similar to the authentic items and may be identified by the following: a standard check stock with a light blue background and a darker blue ribbon border along the sides and the top of the check. The words “OFFICIAL CHECK” are printed in black letters inside of a contrasting blue-colored box located in the top-center portion of the instrument. A black key followed by “KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, 33275 AURORA RD., Solon, OH 44139” is printed in the upper-left portion of the check. This address is a valid address for the Solon branch of KeyBank. All counterfeit items contain the name of Sandra Taylor in the memo line followed by a statement “Issued by KeyBank National Association, Denver, Colorado.” The verification number, 1-800-932-3901, located on the bottom portion of the reverse side of the check, is not a telephone number associated with KeyBank or Integrated Payment Systems. A security statement “HOLD DOCUMENT UP TO THE LIGHT TO VIEW TRUE WATERMARK” appears in the top border of the check.

Authentic cashier’s checks issued by the bank are blue in color with a blue scroll border printed on both sides and the top of the instrument. The words “OFFICIAL CHECK” appear in black block letters inside of a contrasting blue-colored box in the top-center portion of the check. The following statement appears below the top border on each side of the box: OFFICIAL CHECK: “HOLD DOCUMENT UP TO THE LIGHT TO VIEW TRUE WATERMARK.” A black key is printed in the top-left portion of the instrument, followed by KeyBank National Association and the address of the issuing branch. The body of the checks contains light blue lined cubes. The following statement appears under the memo line: “Issued by Integrated Payment Systems Inc. Englewood, Colorado,” and is followed by “KeyBank National Association, N.A., Denver Colorado.” The correct verification number, which appears on the back of the instrument, is 1-800-223-7520.

For additional information and guidance or to verify the authenticity of KeyBank National Association official checks, please contact the bank’s Corporate Security Division by telephone at 1-800-433-0124 or by 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