Alert 2008-51| December 12, 2008

Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks: Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks of First Dakota National Bank, Yankton, SD

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 091400486 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with a lottery scam.

The counterfeit checks do not resemble the authentic items and may be identified by the following traits: the instruments are of unknown color, contain a dark scrolling border, and include the words “CASHIER’S CHECK” enclosed within a box in the top center portion of the check. The following security statement is contained within the top border: “HOLD DOCUMENT UP TO THE LIGHT TO VIEW TRUE WATERMARK.” The bank’s name and logo are printed in the lower-left portion of the check.

Items presented to date have been made payable in the amount of $4,150 and contain a remitter name of “Steven Kreycik.”

The prize award winner notification correspondence accompanying the checks may contain the letterhead of “Hallmark Finance, Inc., 1290 Finch Ave., W., Suite 312, North York, Ontario, M3J 3K3.” The recipient is informed of his or her winning status of a large dollar amount in the North American lottery sweepstakes drawing. The recipient is informed further that the enclosed check will be used to pay a one-time tax fee in order to release the money across the Canadian border and is further instructed to contact claim agent Peter White at (647) 830-4081 for additional instructions. Please note that this telephone number originates from Toronto, Ontario. The letter may be signed by Brian Ray, CEO Hallmark Finance, Inc.

Due to possible variations in the appearance of the bank’s official items and differing scams associated with the counterfeit items, officials of First Dakota National Bank suggest they be contacted to verify authenticity of the bank’s cashier’s checks if received from an unknown or questionable source.

For additional information and guidance and to verify the authenticity of First Dakota National Bank’s cashier’s checks, please contact Laurie Wiedmeier, CDS Supervisor, First Dakota National Bank, PO Box 156, 225 Cedar, Yankton, SD 57078, by telephone at (605) 665-4931, or by fax at (605) 665-6403. In Laurie’s absence, please contact Jack Steiner, Senior Vice President/Audit, at (605) 665-7529, by fax at (605) 665-4983, or via email at [jsteiner@firstdakota.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