Alert 2007-53| August 22, 2007

Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks: Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks of First National Bank of Holdrege, Holdrege, NE

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 104900886 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with a mystery shopping scam.

Counterfeit items do not resemble the authentic items and may be identified by the following traits: The checks are blue/gray in color and contain a dark blue logo in the upper-left corner and a nine-digit check number printed in red ink. The following security statement is contained within the top border: "SECURITY NOTICE: RED PADLOCKS ARE HEAT SENSITIVE AND CHANGE COLOR WHEN RUBBED." The bank’s name, city, state, and unassociated telephone number of 1-888-634-5623 are located to the right of the logo. The words "Cashier’s Checks" are located on the left-hand side beneath the logo, and the word "Remitter" appears in the bottom-left section of the check.

Items presented to date contain an authorized signature of Kristy Hudson and a countersignature of William M. Gunther, are made payable in the amount of $4,997.00, are dated August 13, 2007, and contain a remitter name of "Get Paid To Shop Agency." Due to possible variations of appearance, it is suggested that officials of First National Bank of Holdrege be contacted to verify authenticity of the bank’s cashier’s checks if received from an unknown or questionable source.

Correspondence accompanying the checks may contain the letterhead of "GET PAID TO SHOP AGENCY, www.getpaid2.com, Tel/Fax # 1-905-559-4699, Suite 1200, 575 Argus Road, Oakville, ON L6J 8J3." Please note that this telephone number originates from Canada.

The letter informs the recipient that he or she has been chosen to represent the company as a secret shopper. A statement explains that the enclosed cashier’s check is to be used to purchase merchandise at various nationally known merchants and to transfer money using a nationally known wire service. The funds to be spent at each location are divided into specific dollar amounts, with the shopper being allotted the remaining funds as payment for his or her mystery shopper service. The recipient is instructed to call 1-905-599-4699, ext. 100. He or she will then receive detailed instructions on how to proceed. The letter is signed by "David Hawkins, Chief Assignment Co-ordinator."

For additional information and guidance and to verify the authenticity of First National Bank of Holdrege cashier’s checks, please contact Diane Samuelson by mail at PO Box 800, Holdrege, NE 68949; by telephone at (877) 310-4411; by fax at (308) 995-8371; or via email at [dianesamuelson@fnbholdrege.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.


Richard C. Stearns
Director for Enforcement & Compliance