Alert 2007-54| August 29, 2007

Counterfeit Personal Money Orders: Counterfeit Personal Money Orders of Canandaigua National Bank and Trust, Canandaigua, NY

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 personal money orders issued in the bank’s name and using a correct routing number of 022303659 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with a mystery shopping scam.

The counterfeit items may be identified by the following: the money orders are of unknown color, contain the bank’s name and logo in the upper-left portion of the instrument, and include the words "PERSONAL MONEY ORDER" in the top-center area. The logo colors are inverted, as the letters of the logo are black in color, while the oblong enclosure is white. The counterfeit items also contain a black square surrounding the logo.

Items presented to date have been made payable in the amount of $1980.00 and contain an authorized signature of Thomas W. Casey. Due to possible variations of appearance of the counterfeit items and scams, it is suggested that officials of Canandaigua National Bank & Trust be contacted to verify authenticity of the bank’s official items, if received from an unknown or questionable source.

Correspondence accompanying the counterfeit items may contain the letterhead of "LOBMAX SHOPPER PLC, 421 Hubert Ave, Suite 305, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Tel: 1-519-991-0693, Fax: 1-800-894-5975." The letter informs the recipient that he or she has been selected to participate in a paid consumer research program. It is explained that the enclosed money order is to be used to purchase merchandise at various nationally known merchants as well as to transfer money using a nationally known wire service. The funds to be spent at each location are broken down with a specific dollar amount, with the shoppers being allotted a portion as payment for their mystery shopper service. Recipients are instructed to contact the accounts manager for details.

For additional information and guidance or to verify the authenticity of Canandaigua National Bank & Trust’s official items, please contact Kathleen A. Housel, Fraud Prevention Specialist, by mail at 72 South Main Street, Canandaigua, NY 14424, by telephone at (585) 393-6050, by fax at (585) 394-4001, or via email at [khousel@cnbank.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