Alert 2008-11| February 20, 2008

Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks: Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks of The First National Bank of Suffield, Suffield, CT

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 the bank’s correct routing number of 011102353 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with a mystery shopping scam.

Counterfeit items may be identified by the following traits: checks are of unknown color but contain the following security statement within a darkened top border: "FOR SECURITY PURPOSES, THE FACE OF THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS A COLORED BACKGROUND AND MICROPRINTING IN THE BORDER." The bank’s logo is printed in the upper-left corner followed by the bank’s name and following information: "Payable Through FNB of Suffield, Suffield, CT. For inquiries, call (886) 262-0398." Note that this telephone number does not belong to the bank. The words "CASHIER’S CHECK" are located in the top center portion of the instrument followed by a security statement, and a remitter section is printed in the lower-left corner. The bottom border contains the following security statement between two padlock icons: "SECURITY FEATURES INCLUDED. DETAILS ON BACK."

Items presented to date have been made payable in the amount of $4,985, contain an 8-digit serial number, an incorrect account number of "8978013581," lack the appropriate underscoring, include an abbreviated routing number of 39-514/9241, and use a remitter name of "S n' C Inc." Due to possible variations in appearance of the bank’s cashier’s checks and scams, it is suggested that officials of The First National Bank of Suffield be contacted to verify the authenticity of any of the bank’s official items, if received from an unknown or questionable source.

The mystery shopper correspondence may contain the letterhead of "SHOP N’ CHEK INC., The Worldwide Leader in Mystery Shopping, TEL/FAX# 1-905-599-7501, Suite 1200, 575 Ilalo Street, Honolulu, HI 96813." Note that the telephone number provided originates out of Oakville, Ontario. The correspondence informs the recipient that he or she has been selected to be a secret shopper for the company. It explains 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 shopper being allotted the remaining funds as payment for their mystery shopper service. The letter may be signed by Kristy Hudson.

For additional information and guidance and to verify the authenticity of The First National Bank of Suffield’s cashier’s checks, please contact Carrie LeBlanc, Vice President/Operations, 30 Bridge Street, Suffield, CT 06078, by telephone at (860) 668-3950, by fax at (860) 668-3954, or via email at [CarrieL@fnbanksuffield.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