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March 30, 2007
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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 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 [firstname.lastname@example.org].
Consumers who receive counterfeit or fictitious items and associated material should file complaints with the following agencies, as appropriate:
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
For additional information regarding other types of financial fraud, please visit the OCC's anti-fraud resources page.
Richard C. Stearns
Director for Enforcement & Compliance