Alert 2007-59| November 16, 2007

Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks: Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks of The First National Bank of New Holland, New Holland, OH

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 but using the routing number of Miami Valley Bank, 044111191, are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with a mystery shopping scam.

The counterfeit checks are significantly different than the authentic items. The counterfeit checks may be identified by the following: the checks are of unknown color and contain a logo of an eagle in the top-left corner with the words "First National Bank." The bank name of "First National Bank of Holland, PO Box 348, New Holland, OH 43135" appears in the top-center section of the check with an incorrect abbreviated routing code of "60-119/441" to the right. A remitter section is located in the top-left portion of the instrument, the words "Cashier’s Check" are located in the lower-left area, and the date section is preceded by the word "Date." The top border of the check includes the following security statement: "FOR SECURITY PURPOSES, THE FACE OF THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS A COLORED BACKGROUND AND MICROPRINTING IN THE BORDER." An additional security statement is located within the bottom-center portion of the check and is enclosed with two padlock icons: "SECURITY FEATURES INCLUDED. DETAILS ON BACK."

Checks presented to date have been made payable in the amount of $4,999.99, contain an authorized signature of Katherine Bell, use a remitter name of Debra Brooks, and contain the following statement in the bottom-center portion of the check: "VOID OVER $4,999.99." Due to possible variations of appearance of the counterfeit items and scams, it is suggested that officials of The First National Bank of New Holland be contacted to verify authenticity of the bank’s cashier’s checks, if received from an unknown or questionable source.

Correspondence accompanying the counterfeit instruments may contain the letterhead of "Money-Op Market Research Inc., [www.money-op.com], P.O. Box 1400, New York, NY 10040, Tel: 1-226-200-0281, Fax: 1-866-544-7540." 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 check 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 at 226-200-0281 for details on how to complete the remittance forms. Note that this telephone number originates from Kitchener, Ontario. The offer has an expiration date to further entice potential victims to act quickly. The letter may be signed by Serge Burns, Director Human Resources.

For additional information and guidance or to verify the authenticity of The First National Bank of New Holland’s cashier’s checks, please contact Ruth R. Murphy, Cashier, at 25 N. Main Street, PO Box 348, New Holland, OH 43145-0348, by telephone at (740) 495-5307, by fax at (740) 495-5478, or via email at [rmurphy@fnbnewholland.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