Alert 2007-7| February 7, 2007

Counterfeit Money Orders; Counterfeit Cashier's Checks: Counterfeit Money Orders and Cashier’s Checks of Peoples National Bank, Hallstead, PA

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 money orders and cashier’s checks issued in the bank’s name and using a correct routing number 031311807 are being presented nationwide for payment in connection with an Internet purchase overpayment scam

Neither the counterfeit money orders nor the counterfeit cashier’s checks resemble authentic items.

The counterfeit money orders may be identified by the following: a standard check stock of unknown color with a security strip in the top border which states: "THIS DOCUMENT HAS A COLORED BACKGROUND AND MICROPRINTING. THE REVERSE SIDE INCLUDES AN ARTIFICIAL WATERMARK." The bank name and address appear in the lower-left portion of the instrument. The items do not include the bank’s logo nor any security verbiage under the payee line.

The counterfeit cashier’s checks have a strong resemblance to the counterfeit money orders and can be identified by the following: a standard check stock, possibly light blue in color with a marbled background. The words "CASHIER’S CHECK" are located in the upper-left portion of the item followed by a remitter line. The serial number and date are located in the upper-right corner of the check, and the bank name and address appear in the lower-left portion of the instrument. Items may be presented with a remitter name of "KESER MEGAN."

Victims of this overpayment scheme have received the counterfeit items via UPS as payment for merchandise they had personally advertised on CraigsList.com. The counterfeit items are made payable for amounts greater than the sale price of the items being purchased. The con-artist requests the victims to deposit the items into their bank accounts and immediately wire the excess funds to a third party via Western Union.

For additional information and guidance or to verify the authenticity of Peoples National Bank’s money orders, please contact Dawn Price, Bank Secrecy Act Officer, PO Box A, Hallstead, PA 18822, by telephone at (570) 879-2175, by fax at (570) 879-5113, or via email at [dawnp@peoplesnatbank.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