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Alert 2006-20 | April 17, 2006

Counterfeit Official Checks: Counterfeit Official Checks of KeyBank National Association, East Syracuse, NY


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 102003918 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with both lottery and Internet purchase scams.

The counterfeit checks may be identified by the following: printed on versa check paper in various colors. The following address appears in the top-left portion of the instrument directly under the KeyBank logo: “KEY BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, 121 W MANLIUS ST., EAST SYRACUSE, NY 13057.” The scanned authorized signature appears as “Deborah Lane.” The following statement appears along the top border of the check: “THIS CHECK IS VOID WITHOUT A COLORED BORDER AND BACKGROUND PLUS A KNIGHT & FINGERPRINT WATERMARK ON THE BACK – HOLD AT ANGLE TO VIEW,” and the following statement is present under the signature line in the lower-right portion of the instrument: “SIGNATURE AREA CONTAINS A KNIGHT & FINGERPRINT CHECK WORDING.” One group of counterfeit items being presented may be issued in the amount of $2,700.00 and accompanied by a letter from “Hanson Public Relations, 20 St – Margaret’s Bay, Halifax, Nova Scotia H3H IJ4” notifying recipients that they have won the grand prize in an international promotion program. The recipients are instructed to telephone Mark Floyd at 1-902-412-0370 for further information. These checks may bear the name of “TOMMY MURRY” in the memo section of the instrument.

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, 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.


Daniel P. Stipano
Deputy Chief Counsel