Alert 2008-39| September 9, 2008
Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks: Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks of National Iron Bank, Salisbury, CT
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 011102638 are being presented for payment in the Eastern United States in connection with a mystery shopping scam.
The counterfeit checks do not resemble the authentic items and may be identified by the following traits: the instruments are blue in color with a darker blue logo in the upper-left corner. The words “CASHIER’S CHECK” are printed in the top-center portion of the check and are followed by an indemnity bond statement. The following security statement is located within the top border of the instrument: “FOR SECURITY PURPOSES THE FACE OF THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS A COLORED BACKGROUND AND MICROPRINTING IN THE BORDER.” The following security statement is located within the bottom border surrounded by padlock icons: “SECURITY FEATURES INCLUDED. DETAILS ON BACK.” The check includes one signature line in the bottom-right section followed by the statement: “Countersigned if Amount is over $5,000.00.” The bottom-left portion of the item contains the following information: “Issued by National Iron Bank, Salisbury, CT. For Inquiries, call: 1-866-322-3899.” Please note that this telephone number is not associated with National Iron Bank.
Items presented to date have been made payable in the amount of $4,998, may include a remitter name of S.I. Inc, and include a 9-digit check serial number.
Due to possible variations in the appearance of the bank’s official items and differing scams associated with the counterfeit items, officials of National Iron Bank suggest they be contacted to verify authenticity of the bank’s cashier’s checks if received from an unknown or questionable source.
Correspondence accompanying the counterfeit checks may contain the letterhead of “Shoppers Instincts Inc., Suite #151 – 108 Cedar St., Hitchcock, SD 57348, Tel/Fax # 1-289-218-8555 or 1-905-617-4858.” The letter may be signed by Susan Hutchins, although the name appearing under the signature is that of Daniel Haskins, Chief Assignment Coordinator. The correspondence informs the recipient that he or she has been selected to represent the company as a mystery shopper. It is explained that the enclosed cashier’s check is to be used during the assignment to make purchases at various merchants and to transfer money using a nationally known wire service. Recipients are instructed to contact 1-289-218-8555 Ext 100 or 1-905-617-4858 Ext 100 and then press 1 to connect to a coordinator for details. Note that these telephone numbers originate from Ontario, Canada. Participants are required to keep the assignment confidential in accordance with the Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, which is enclosed with the check.
For additional information and guidance and to verify the authenticity of National Iron Bank’s cashier’s checks, please contact JoAnn M. Cahill, VP Operations, 195 Main Street, Salisbury, CT 06068, by telephone at (860) 435-2581, by fax at (860) 435-9105, or via email at [email@example.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
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