Alert 2008-47| December 3, 2008
Counterfeit Official Checks: Counterfeit Official Checks of Suffolk County National Bank, Riverhead, NY
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 official checks issued in the bank’s name and using a correct routing number of 021405464 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with a mystery shopping scam.
The counterfeit checks resemble the authentic items and may be identified by the following traits: the instruments are of unknown color and contain inconsistent font types throughout the item. The checks do not contain any security features, and items presented to date have been made payable in the amount of $4,989.
Due to possible variations in the appearance of the bank’s official items and differing scams associated with the counterfeit items, officials of Suffolk County National Bank suggest they be contacted to verify authenticity of the bank’s official checks if received from an unknown or questionable source.
Correspondence accompanying the counterfeit checks may contain the letterhead of “Mystery Shopping, 4357 Collins Drive, Miami Beach, FL USA 33140-3227.” The letter may be signed by Fran Mainella, Director of Operations. The correspondence informs the recipient that he or she has been selected to represent the company as a secret shopper. It is explained that the enclosed official 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 Wilson Douglas at (514) 574-7259 for detailed instructions. Note that this telephone number originates from Montreal, Quebec.
For additional information and guidance and to verify the authenticity of Suffolk County National Bank’s official checks, please contact Alex Doroski, Senior Vice President/Security, Suffolk County National Bank, 6 West Second Street, PO Box 9000, Riverhead, NY 11901, by telephone at (631) 208-2290, or via email at [email@example.com]. In Mr. Doroski’s absence, callers may contact the bank’s Risk Department at (631) 208-2291.
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