Alert 2008-5| January 28, 2008

Fraudulent Regulatory Agency Issuances: Fraudulent letters claiming to be from the Florida Office of Financial Regulation

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 Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has been informed by the Florida Office of Financial Regulation that fraudulent letters appearing to be sent from that office to financial institutions are currently in circulation.

The fraudulent letter claims to provide authorization by the Florida Office of Financial Regulation for a financial transaction to take place at a particular institution. This correspondence bears a crude copy of a banner obtained from the Florida Office of Financial Regulation’s Internet Web page and also includes the names of three prominent regulatory agencies in a blatant attempt to imply legitimacy. The fraudulent letter contains the forged signatures of the Commissioner of the Office of Financial Regulation and the Director of the Division of Financial Institutions. Recipients of the letter are instructed to deposit an “instrument” into a specific account and to notify the beneficiary account holder that payment has been made.

Neither the Florida Office of Financial Regulation nor the OCC sends out instructions or authorizations to any financial institution to conduct specific transactions, including the transferring of funds.

Any information that you may have concerning this particular scam should be brought to the attention of the Florida Office of Financial Regulation, [ofr@fldfs.com] or via telephone at (850) 410-9800.

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