Alert 2007-23| March 30, 2007

Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks: Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks of First National Bank & Trust, Beloit, WI

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 counterfeit cashier's checks issued in the bank's name and using a correct routing number of 075900973 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with a lottery scam.

While the counterfeit items have a slight resemblance to the authentic items, the counterfeit checks may be identified by the following: the instruments are either blue or yellow in color with a dark blue border, contain 6-digit serial numbers, and include an incorrect bank address of "1527 Madison Road, Beloit, WI 53540-3287." One of the following security statements may be located within the top border: "FOR SECURITY PURPOSES, THE FACE OF THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS A COLORED BACKGROUND AND MICROPRINTING IN THE BORDER" or "THE FACE OF THIS CHECK IS PRINTED BLUE – THE BACK CONTAINS A SIMULATED WATERMARK." The payable amount is not encoded, but rather spelled out, and the dollar payable amount contains asterisks in front of the number. The signature line does not contain a security seal, and a padlock security icon follows the signature.

Items presented to date have been made payable in the amount of $2,975.00. Due to possible variations of appearance, it is suggested that First National Bank & Trust's officials be contacted to verify authenticity of the bank's official items, if received from an unknown or questionable source.

Correspondence accompanying the checks may contain the letterhead of "Win-For-Me International Sweepstakes, 2593 Sheppard Ave, E North York, ON M2J5B4." The letter alerts the recipient that this is a final notice that he or she is the winner of an unclaimed prize sponsored by "Publisher's Clearing House, Reader's Digest, Online Casino, and Online Games." Recipients are urged to contact a claims agent at (705) 770-3153 prior to a specific deadline. Note that this telephone numbers is of Canadian origin. The letter further states that the enclosed check is to be used to pay "international taxes and clearance fees." The correspondence is signed by Dr. Jeffrey Forbes, PhD, Director of Marketing and Promotions.

For additional information and guidance and to verify the authenticity of First National Bank & Trust's cashier's checks, please contact Jodi Snively, Accounting Manager, 345 East Grand Avenue, Beloit, WI 53511, by telephone at (608) 363-8078, by fax at (608) 363-8069, or via email at [jodi.snively@bankatfirstnational.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