Alert 2008-23| May 28, 2008

Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks: Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks of Comanche National Bank, Comanche, 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 counterfeit cashier's checks issued in the bank's name and using a correct routing number of 111903407 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with a mystery shopping scam.

The counterfeit checks bear little resemblance to the authentic items and may be identified by the following: the instruments are blue in color, contain the words "CASHIER'S CHECK" in the upper-center portion of the item, and include the following security statement in the top border: "FOR SECURITY PURPOSES, THE FACE OF THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS A COLORED BACKGROUND AND MICROPRINTING IN THE BORDER." The words "AUTHORIZED SIGNATURE" and "COUNTERSIGNED" are located beneath signature lines in the lower-right corner of the check, and the bottom border includes two padlock icons and the following statement: "SECURITY FEATURES INCLUDED. DETAILS ON BACK."

Items presented to date have been made payable in the amount of $4,998, include the name of "S. F. INC." as the remitter, and contain a 9-digit check serial number. Additionally, the checks contain a fictitious bank telephone number of (888) 715-6635, which is not associated with Comanche National Bank, but rather with the fraudster.

Correspondence accompanying the counterfeit checks may contain the letterhead of "SHOPPING FEEDBACK INC., Suite #105, 160 Main Street, Winfred, SD 57076, Tel/Fax #1-905-699-3915." Note that the telephone number originates in Milton, Ontario. The letter may be signed by Daniel Haskins, Chief Assignment Co-ordinator. The correspondence informs the recipient that he or she has been pre-selected to represent the company as a secret shopper. It is explained that the enclosed cashier's 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 with a specific dollar amount, with the shopper being allotted the remaining funds as payment for his or her mystery-shopper service. Recipients are instructed to immediately call 1-905-699-3915 (Ext. 102 and then Press 1) to obtain detailed instructions from a coordinator; otherwise, a "stop payment" will be placed on the check.

Due to possible variations in the appearance of the bank's official items and differing scams associated with the counterfeit or fictitious items, officials of Comanche National Bank recommend that any recipient who receives any of the bank's official items from an unknown or questionable source should contact the bank to verify the item's authenticity.

For additional information and guidance, please contact Vicki Tackett, Assistant Vice President/Internal Auditor, Comanche National Bank, 100 E. Central, Comanche, TX 76442, by telephone at (325) 356-7491, by fax at (325) 356-2750, or via email at [vtackett@comanchenational.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