Alert 2008-2| January 15, 2008

Fictitious Cashier's Checks: Fictitious Cashier's Checks of Simmons First National Bank, Pine Bluff, Arkansas

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 fictitious cashier's checks issued in the bank's name but using the routing number of Citibank, 022000868 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with various Internet purchase or overpayment schemes.

These items are fictitious, as Simmons First National Bank does not issue cashier's checks. Checks presented to date have been made payable in varying amounts from $2,000 to $180,000 and may include a bank identifying number on the MICR line of 565501 or 565602. Due to possible variations in appearance of the bank's official items and scams, it is suggested that officials of Simmons First National Bank be contacted to verify authenticity of any of the bank's official items, if received from an unknown or questionable source.

Some of the fictitious instruments are being distributed as payment for properties rented via the Internet. The potential victim will receive a counterfeit check in payment of an offer advertised on the Internet; however, the amount of the check will be for a greater amount than the agreed-upon price. The potential victim is instructed to cash the check at their bank and wire the difference out of the country. Other fictitious checks are being distributed as payment for large dollar items purchased via the Internet. These transactions are targeting companies such as large equipment and truck dealers.

For additional information and guidance and to verify the authenticity of Simmons First National Bank's official items, please contact Lulu Mitchell, Vice President, Branch Administration, 501 Main Street, Pine Bluff, AR 71601, by telephone at (870) 541-1191, by fax at (870) 850-1154, or via email at [lulu.mitchell@simmonsfirst.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