Alert 2008-43| October 30, 2008

Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks: Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks of Rabobank, N.A., El Centro, CA

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; 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 122238420 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with a lottery scam.

The counterfeit checks bear little resemblance to the authentic items and may be identified by the following: the instruments are of unknown color, contain a “Notice to Customers” statement in the top-center portion of the item under the words “CASHIER’S CHECK.” The following security statement appears in the top border: “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS SECURITY FEATURES. SEE REVERSE.”

Items presented to date have included the name of “Luz M. Maldonado” as the remitter and have been made payable in the amount of $3,985. Additionally, the checks are missing the bank’s telephone number of (800) 942-6222.

The prize award winner notification correspondence accompanying the checks may contain the letterhead of “Equifinance Int. Group, 645 Howe Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, V6C2Y9.” The recipient is informed of his or her winning status of a large dollar amount in the “North American Sweepstakes Lottery” and is instructed to contact Stan Johnson at 1-866-371-4342, Ext 84. The letter states that the enclosed check is to be used to pay for the applicable underwriter charges and nonresident tax on the winnings. The letter may be signed by Dr. Kathy Stanton, Promotion Manager.

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 Rabobank, N.A., 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 Jon Machado, Vice President, Operational Risk/Security & Fraud, P.O. Box 6002, Arroyo Grande, CA 93421, by telephone at (805) 474-6805, or via email at [Jon.Machado@Rabobank.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