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May 24, 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 031308535 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with a sweepstakes scam.
While the counterfeit items are similar to authentic cashier’s checks, the counterfeit checks may be identified by the following: printed on a standard check stock paper, which may be brown, yellow, or green in color. A banner along the top of the check includes the following statement: “THIS DOCUMENT HAS A COLORED BACKGROUND AND MICROPRINTING. THE REVERSE SIDE INCLUDES AN ARTIFICIAL WATERMARK.” The account number, which appears at the bottom of the check, is shown incorrectly as 1100839"01. Items may be presented in the amount of $2,800.00 or $2,900.00 and may include a remitter name of “Christine Francis,” “Jason Paris,” “Tracy McGregory,” or “Prime Trust.” They may also show the issuing branch as “003” and be signed by Karen Smith. These checks are mailed to potential victims accompanied by sweepstakes winning notification letters. To date, there have been two standard letters intercepted. The first is signed by Karen Smith of “Sweepstakes and Internet Games Payment Verification Center, 2150 Summerhill Drive, West Island, Canada.” The letter notifies the recipients that they have won a $65,540.00 prize in a lottery drawing and are further instructed to contact the account manager “ASAP” at (403) 383-0891 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The second letter is signed by T. Edwards of “Prime Trust Payment Services, 396 Dundas Street, W., Toronto, ON M5T1G7.” The letter notifies the recipients that they have won a $55,850.00 prize in a lottery drawing and are further instructed to contact the account manager “ASAP” at (647) 866-2258.
Authentic cashier’s checks issued by the bank are blue in color and bear the bank’s logo in the upper-left portion of the check followed by “The Honesdale National Bank, Honesdale, Pennsylvania 18431.” The words “Cashier’s Check” are located in the upper-right section followed by the check number, date, and branch number. The word “REMITTER” is located in the left-center portion of the instrument followed by the payment amount and payee name. A signature line appears in the lower-right section of the check, and a padlock icon accompanied by the statement “Security features are included. Details on back.” appears along the right edge of the check.
For additional information and guidance or to verify the authenticity of The Honesdale National Bank’s cashier’s checks, please contact the bookkeeping department at 724 Main Street, Honesdale, PA 18431, by telephone at (570) 253-3355, by fax at (570) 251-9519, or via email at [email@example.com].
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
Special Supervision Division, MS 6-4
250 E Street, SW, Washington, DC 20219
Fax: (202) 874-5214
For additional information regarding other types of financial fraud, please visit the OCC's anti-fraud resource page.
Daniel P. Stipano
Deputy Chief Counsel