Alert 2007-62| December 26, 2007

Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks: Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks of Carlinville National Bank, Carlinville, IL

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 081904662 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with a mystery shopping scam.

While counterfeit items have a strong resemblance to authentic items, the counterfeit checks may be identified by the following: the checks may be green, tan, or blue in color and contain a blurred bank logo in the lower-left portion of the instrument and a bold check number in the upper-right corner. The following security statement is located within the top border: "THIS DOCUMENT HAS A COLORED BACKGROUND AND MICROPRINTING. THE REVERSE SIDE INCLUDES AN ARTIFICIAL WATERMARK."

Checks presented to date have been made payable in varying amounts, including: $4,500, $4959.10, $4495, $3799, and $3,499. The items have contained an authorized signature of either Vick Haltman or Vicki Halteman, use a remitter name of either Richard Belly or R-TEC Corp, contain a check serial number of 156000 or higher, and are dated 7/12/2007, 12/12/07, or 12/18/07. Due to possible variations of appearance of the counterfeit items and scams, it is suggested that officials of Carlinville National Bank 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 "MYSTERY SHOPPERS PLCTM, [WWW.MONEY-OP.COM], P.O. BOX 1301, NEW YORK, NY 10040, Tel: 1-226-200-0361, Fax: 1-646-248-6243." 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 by a specific dollar amount, with the shoppers being allotted a portion as payment for their mystery shopper service. Recipients are instructed to fax only the completed acceptance form before depositing the check for payment. While the letter does not instruct the recipient to call a specific party, it does state that the Accounts Manager will detail to which destination the money should be wired. Note that the telephone number listed for this entity originates from Kitchener, Ontario, while the fax number listed is a wireless telephone with a New York provider. The offer has an expiration date to further entice potential victims to act quickly, and the letter may be signed by David Rainbolt, Director Human Resources.

For additional information and guidance or to verify the authenticity of Carlinville National Bank’s cashier’s checks, please contact David D. Hurley, Security Officer, at P.O. Box 350, Carlinville, IL 62626, by telephone at (217) 854-2674, by fax at (217) 854-3512, or via email at [dhurley@cnbil.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
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