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Alert 2006-66 | November 17, 2006

Counterfeit Official Checks: Official Checks of Simmons First National Bank, Pine Bluff, AR


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 022000868 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with an overpayment scheme.

While the counterfeit checks are very similar to the authentic items, they can be identified by the following traits: the checks may be blue in color with red trim and contain a 9-digit serial number beginning with the series of “60949.”

Counterfeit checks are very similar to the authentic items. However, items presented to date have been made payable in varying amounts in the $4,000 range, contain a remitter name of Jane Harry, and include a 9-digit serial number beginning with the series of “60949.” The checks are presented in varying color schemes: blue with red trim and pink with black trim. Some checks may include a different dollar amount in the typed payable line vs. what appears on the cut line. Due to the constant variation of appearance, it is suggested that Simmons First National Bank officials be contacted to verify authenticity of the bank’s official items.

Counterfeit items are being distributed as payment for items purchased via the Internet. The potential victim will receive a counterfeit check in payment of an item advertised on the Internet; however, the amount of the check will be for a greater amount than the purchase price. The potential victim is instructed to cash the check at his or her bank and wire the difference out of the country.

For additional information and guidance and to verify the authenticity of Simmons First National Bank’s official checks, please contact Lulu Mitchell, Vice President, Branch Administration, 501 Main Street, Pine Bluff, AR 71601, by telephone at (870) 541-1191, by fax at (870) 850-2543, or via email at [].

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.

Richard C. Stearns
Director for Enforcement & Compliance