Alert 2007-11| March 1, 2007

Counterfeit Official Checks: Counterfeit Official Checks of AMCORE Bank, N.A., Rockford, IL

To

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 at least two variations of 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 various lottery and Internet purchase overpayment scams.

The first variation of counterfeit items may be identified by the following traits: the checks are blue and white in color with a blue border. The following statement is located in the top border of the item: "THE FACE OF THIS DOCUMENT HAS A BLUE GRADUATING TINT (BLUE-WHITE-BLUE) BACKGROUND ON WHITE PAPER." An abbreviated routing number of 19-86/220 is printed in the top-center portion of the check, the words "Official Check" are located in the upper-right portion of the instrument, and the following statement may be printed in the lower-left section of the check: "Issued by Integrated Payment System Inc, Englewood, Colorado Citibank (New York State) Buffalo, NY." The bottom border of the item contains the following security statement: "THE BACK OF THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS A REFLECTIVE SECURITY MARK – HOLD AT AN ANGLE TO VIEW."

The second version of counterfeits received to date may be identified by the following traits: the checks are blue in color with a marbled background and contain a dark blue border. The following statement is located in the top border of the item: "THE FACE OF THIS DOCUMENT HAS A COLORED BACKGROUND ON WHITE PAPER AND ORIGINAL DOCUMENT SECURITY SCREEN ON BACK WITH PADLOCK SECURITY ICON." The bottom border contains a Website address of: "[www.LaserPrinterChecks.com]," and the right border contains a Padlock icon along with a security statement of: "Security Features are Included. Details on back." These items contain an abbreviated routing number of 16-86/220 in the top-center portion of the check directly beneath the words "OFFICIAL CHECK."

Items presented to date have been made payable in various amounts and may contain remitter names of Suzanne Freeman or John Sprader.

One example of lottery correspondence accompanying the checks may contain the letterhead of "Citadel Financial Trust Services, P.O. Box N-4093, Nassau, N.P., The Bahamas, Sponsor: Lotto, Reader's Digest, Publisher's Clearing House, Sweepstakes." The letter alerts the recipient that he or she is the winner of an unclaimed prize and should contact the office immediately. The recipient is advised to keep all information confidential and is encouraged to act by a specific date or the winnings will be forfeited. Recipients are to contact claims agents Mr. Henry Diop at 1-613-255-3295 (Canadian telephone number) for further instruction. The correspondence may be signed by Andrea Klein, Director Claims & Credit Control.

Due to the constant variation of appearance, it is suggested that AMCORE Bank officials be contacted to verify authenticity of the bank's official items.

For additional information and guidance and to verify the authenticity of AMCORE Bank, N.A.'s official checks, please contact Wendell Craft, Security Manager, AMCORE Bank, N.A., 501 Seventh Street, PO Box 1537, Rockford, IL 61110-0037, by telephone at (815) 961-4990, by fax at (866) 237-4287, or via email at [wendell.craft@amcore.com].

Consumers who receive counterfeit or fictitious items and associated material should file complaints with the following agencies, as appropriate:

  • U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Inspector General (OIG): by telephone at (800) 359-3898 or by visiting the OIG website.
  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC): by telephone at (877) FTC-HELP or, for filing a complaint electronically, via the FTC's website.
  • National Consumers League (NCL): by telephone at (202) 835-3323 or by email. To file a fraud complaint, visit the NCL fraud website.
  • Better Business Bureau (BBB): The BBB system serves markets throughout Canada, Puerto Rico, and the United States and is the marketplace leader in advancing trust between businesses and consumers. The website offers contact information for local BBBs, objective reports on more than 2 million businesses, consumer scam alerts, and tips on a wide variety of topics that help consumers find trustworthy businesses and make wise purchasing decisions.
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation Internet Crime Complaint Center (to report scams that may have originated via the internet).
  • If correspondence is received via the U.S. Postal Service, contact the U.S. Postal Inspection Service by telephone at (888) 877-7644; by mail at U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Office of Inspector General, Operations Support Group, 222 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 1250, Chicago, IL 60606-6100; or via the online complaint form.

Additional information concerning this matter that should be brought to the attention of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) may be forwarded to

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Special Supervision Division
400 7th St. SW, Suite 3E-218; MS 8E-12
Washington, DC 20219
Phone: (202) 649-6450
Fax: (571) 293-4925
www.occ.gov
occalertresponses@occ.treas.gov

For additional information regarding other types of financial fraud, please visit the OCC's anti-fraud resources page.

/signed/

Richard C. Stearns
Director for Enforcement & Compliance