Alert 2013-17| September 4, 2013

Fictitious Official Checks: Fictitious Official Checks of Meridian Bank, N.A., Phoenix, Ariz.

To

Chief Executive Officers of All National Banks and Federal Savings Associations; 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 Counsels; and All Examining Personnel

The above-named bank has reported that fictitious official checks using an incorrect routing number of 114000119 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with a lottery scam. The bank does not issue official checks.

The fictitious checks may be identified by the following: The bank’s logo is located in the upper-left corner along with the words “Meridian Bank - Phoenix Arizona,” with the words “OFFICIAL CHECK” located in the top-center portion of the item.

Fictitious checks presented to date have been made payable in the amount of $2,700.90 and are being mailed to potential victims along with correspondence containing the letterhead of “Trust Financier, 400 Orange Street, Bloomingdale, NY 07211; Tel: 1-905-781-0357.” The letter informs the recipient that he or she is the winner of a lottery drawing in the amount of $55,000. The letter states that the check is being provided to the winner to pay the taxes due of $1,750. Recipients are further instructed to keep their winning status confidential and to contact Jason Sight at 1-905-781-0357 for additional information.

For additional information regarding Meridian Bank, N.A.’s checks and further guidance, please contact Rebecca Marchel, BSA/Security Officer, 2198 E. Camelback Road, Ste. 100, Phoenix, AZ 85016, by telephone at (602) 636-5021, or by email at rebecca.marchel@meridianbank.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.

Ellen M. Warwick
Director for Enforcement and Compliance