Alert 2007-34| June 11, 2007

Fraudulent Regulatory Agency Issuances: Fraudulent letters claiming to be from the FDIC are being sent to financial institutions

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 Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has been informed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) that fraudulent letters that appear to be faxed by the FDIC to financial institutions in the United States and other countries are currently in circulation.

The letters state that "information is sought pursuant to sections 5318(J) and 5318(k) of Title 31 of the United States Code, as added by sections 313 and 319(b) of the USA PATRIOT ACT OF 2001 (Public Law 107-56)."

The letters also state, in part:

"As part of our oversight duties over banks operating in the United States, it is our statutory responsibility to ensure that foreign banks which maintain correspondent accounts with banks in the United States are up to date with their Certification."

Recipients are asked to complete a form (attached as a second page to the fraudulent fax) and return the completed form by fax to a telephone number provided. The letters are signed by "Ms Rosaline Smith, For and on Behalf of Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation."

The letters are fraudulent and were not sent by the FDIC. Financial institutions should NOT respond to the fraudulent request for information and should NOT, under any circumstances, forward any information to the fax telephone number.

Any information that you may have concerning this matter should be brought to the attention of: FDIC's Cyber-Fraud and Financial Crimes Section, 550 17th Street, NW, Room F-4004, Washington, DC 20429, or transmitted electronically to alert@fdic.gov.

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