Alert 2008-4| January 28, 2008

Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks: Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks of First Keystone National Bank, Berwick, PA

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 031307125 are being presented nationwide in connection with both a lottery scam and a mystery shopping scam.

While counterfeit items strongly resemble the authentic items, they may be identified by the following traits: checks may be pink in color and contain 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 bank’s logo is navy blue in color, and the check number is printed in black. The bottom center portion of the check contains the following statement printed between two padlock icons: “SECURITY FEATURES INCLUDED. DETAILS ON BACK.”

Items presented to date have been made payable in the amounts of $3,850 and $4,850 and may be dated January 4, 2008, or January 14, 2008.

Correspondence accompanying the lottery scam checks may contain the letterhead of “Security Capital Trust Financial, P.O. Box 266, Jersey City, NJ 07307-0226, 1-905-462-1363; fax: 1-866-544-7540.” The letter alerts the recipient that he or she is the winner of an unclaimed lottery prize. The letter further states that the enclosed check is to be used to pay the local taxes and administrative fees. The recipient is instructed to contact, by a specific date, claim agent Robert Elliot at 1-905-462-1363 for further instructions. Note that this telephone number originates in Milton, Ontario. The letter may be signed by David Abrams, Reward Claims Specialist.

Correspondence accompanying the mystery shopping scam checks may contain the letterhead of “Money-Op Marketing Corporation, www.money-op.com, 3595 Rider Trail, South Earth City, MO 63045, tel: 1-905-598-1213, Fax: 1-866-291-4199.” The letter may be signed by Patrick Logan, Director Human Resources. The correspondence informs the recipient that he or she has been pre-qualified to be a secret shopper for the company. 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 fax a completed acceptance form before depositing the check. The letter states that the recipient will then be instructed to wire money to one of several persons located in various cities, including one in Canada.

For additional information and guidance and to verify the authenticity of First Keystone National Bank’s cashier’s checks, please contact Lee A. Hess, Security Officer, 111 West Front Street, Berwick, PA 18603, by telephone at (570) 752-3671, x141, by fax at (570) 752-4022, or via email at [lhess@fknbank.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.

/signed/

Richard C. Stearns
Director for Enforcement & Compliance