Alert 2008-1| January 15, 2008

Fictitious Official Checks: Fictitious Official Checks of First National Bank, Spearman, TX

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 two varieties of fictitious official checks are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with a lottery scam. The first version appears to be issued in the bank’s name and uses a correct routing number of 111315794. The second version appears to be issued in the name of Compass Bank, but uses the routing number of First National Bank, 111315794.

These items are fictitious, as First National Bank does not issue official checks. Checks presented to date have been made payable in the amount of $3,700, are dated 12/20-22/07, and use a 6-digit serial number beginning within the "620000" series. Due to possible variations in appearance of the counterfeit items and scams, it is suggested that officials of First National Bank be contacted to verify authenticity of any of the bank’s official items, if received from an unknown or questionable source.

Correspondence accompanying the fictitious instruments may be dated "20/18/2007" and contain the letterhead of "Royalty Financial Investment Services, 4900 Royal Lane, Suite 301, Niagara Falls, ON L5X3H7." The letter alerts the recipient that he or she is the winner of an unclaimed prize associated with a lottery sponsored by Readers Digest and Publishers Clearing. The letter further states that the enclosed check is to be used to pay the applicable insurance process fees. Once the check is deposited into the recipient’s bank account, the recipient is instructed to contact, by a specific date, various claim agents, including Paul Martin, Nicole Wallace, Daniel Smith, Nancy Jones, Lisa Johnson, Frank Simmons, and Sharron Wunston. The contact telephone numbers provided may include 1-905-598-3471 or 1-905-598-3187, both of which originate in Brampton, Ontario. The letter may be signed by Lawrence Atkinson, International Claim "Cordinator."

For additional information and guidance or to verify the authenticity of First National Bank’s official items, please contact Bill Pittman, Chairman, 729 W 7th Street, Spearman, TX 79081, by telephone at (806) 659-5544, by fax at (806) 659-5040, or via email at [execnotice@fnbspearman.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