Alert 2007-61| November 19, 2007

Counterfeit Official Checks: Counterfeit Official Checks of Integra Bank, N.A., Evansville, IN

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 official checks issued in the bank’s name and using a correct routing number of 022000868 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with a lottery scam.

The counterfeit checks are similar to the bank’s authentic item; however, counterfeits may be identified by the following: the background is blue and pink in color, the bank’s logo in the lower-left corner appears as three circles instead of interlocking rings, the following security statement is located in the top border: "THIS CHECK IS VOID WITHOUT A RED & BLUE BORDER AND BACKGROUND PLUS A KNIGHT & FINGERPRINT WATERMARK ON THE BANK. HOLD AT ANGLE TO VIEW," and the following security phrase follows the signature line in the bottom-right portion of the check: "SIGNATURE AREA CONTAINS A KNIGHT & FINGERPRINT CHECK WORDING."

Checks presented to date have been made payable in the amount of $4,825.00, are dated 10/05/2007, and use a remitter name of "Heidi Clark." Due to possible variations in appearance of the counterfeit items and scams, it is suggested that officials of Integra Bank, N.A. be contacted to verify authenticity of the bank’s official checks, if received from an unknown or questionable source.

Correspondence accompanying the counterfeit instruments may contain the letterhead of "Excel Lottery Gaming Corporation (ELGC), PO Box 7652, St. John, Virgin Islands 00831." The letter alerts the recipient that he or she is the winner of an unclaimed prize associated with a lottery. The letter further states that the enclosed check is to be used to pay applicable taxes, which should be paid either by MoneyGram or Western Union. Recipients are instructed to contact claim agent Mr. Steve Adams at 1-778-863-7898 by a specific date or risk forfeiting the prize. Note that this telephone number originates in British Columbia. The letter may be signed by Larry Watts.

For additional information and guidance or to verify the authenticity of Integra Bank, N.A.’s official checks, please contact Gary Fein, Fraud Investigator, 21 SE Third Street, PO Box 868, Evansville, IN 47705-0868, by telephone at (812) 464-9672, or via email at [gfein@integrabank.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