Date: July 31, 2007
Fraudulent Correspondence Regarding the Release of Funds Supposedly under the Control of the International Monetary Unit (IMU) of European Commission (EC) in Belgium
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; Conference of State Bank Supervisors; Deputy Comptrollers (districts); Assistant Deputy Comptrollers; District Counsel and All Examining Personnel
Correspondence, allegedly issued by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) regarding restricted funds purportedly under the control of the European Commission, is in circulation. The item is a hoax.
Attached is a copy of this fraudulent correspondence, which is being sent to United States bank customers in an attempt to elicit funds from them. This letter indicates that, in accordance with international monetary policy, monies are being held until the recipient can produce the necessary documents, which include a Money Laundering/Drug Free Clearance Certificate and an Anti-Terrorist Clearance and Capital Transfer Certificate. According to the European Commission’s recent warning, which can be viewed at http://www.eurunion.org/AntiTerrorCertScamWarn.htm and is also attached, victims of this fraud are directed to pay approximately $25,000 USD to obtain these bogus documents.
Any documents claiming that the OCC is involved in holding any funds for the benefit of any individual or entity are fraudulent. The OCC does not participate in the transfer of funds for, or on behalf of, individuals, business enterprises, or governmental entities.
The correspondence in question contains forged signatures of actual OCC officials and fictitious telephone numbers that are not associated with the OCC.
Before responding in any manner to any proposal supposedly issued by the OCC that requests personal information or personal account information, or that requires the payment of any fee in connection with the proposal, you should take steps to verify that the proposal is legitimate. At a minimum, the OCC recommends that you:
Consumers who receive a counterfeit item and associated material should file complaints with the following agencies, as appropriate:
- Contact the OCC directly to verify the legitimacy of the proposal, either: (1) via e-mail at email@example.com; (2) by mail to the OCC’s Special Supervision Division, 250 E Street, SW; Mail Stop 6-4, Washington, DC 20219; (3) via fax to (202) 874-5214; or (4) by calling the Special Supervision Division at (202) 874-4450;
- Contact state and/or local law enforcement;
- If the proposal appears to be fraudulent and was received via e-mail or the Internet, please file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at http://www.ic3.gov;
- If the proposal appears to be fraudulent and was received via the U.S. Postal Service, please file a complaint with the US Postal Inspector Service by telephone at 1-888-877-7644, by mail at U.S. Postal Inspection Service, 222 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 1250, Chicago, IL 60606-6100 or via e-mail at https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/forms/MailFraudComplaint.aspx.
Any information regarding the subject of this or any other alert that you wish to bring to the attention of the OCC may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Richard C. Stearns
Director for Enforcement & Compliance