Alert 2013-18| September 20, 2013

Counterfeit Official Checks: Savings Institute Bank and Trust, Willimantic, CT

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 counterfeit official checks using a correct routing number of 211174181 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with an international sweepstakes.

The counterfeit checks do not resemble the authentic items and may be identified by the following: Counterfeit items are of unknown color and contain one of the following security warnings in the top border: “FOR SECURITY PURPOSES, THE FACE OF THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS A COLORED BACKGROUND AND MICROPRINTING IN THE BORDER” or “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS A TRUE WATERMARK – HOLD TO LIGHT TO VIEW.” The words “Savings Institute Bank & Trust” are typewritten in the top-left corner of the item, and the checks do not contain any logos or underscoring. The following statement appears above two signature lines on the right side of the check: “DRAWER: Savings Institute Bank & Trust.”

Counterfeit items presented to date have been made payable in the amount of: $9,450.29 and contain the dates of either August 21, 2013, or August 27, 2013.

Correspondence accompanying the counterfeit items contains the letterhead of Publishers Clearing House, 1010 Notebook Blvd, Barrie, Ontario M5G 2B2 Canada; and the top portion of the letter contains the stamp of “International Lotto Commission 08-21-2013 Int’l Lottery Board.” The correspondence informs the recipient that he or she is a winner of the $1,500,000.00 grand prize, and recipients are instructed to contact claim agent Robert Garcia at 1-705-500-4291 or 1-780-904-9733 within either five or seven days and to keep the notification confidential. The enclosed counterfeit item is referred to as a sponsorship check, which is purportedly sent to assist the recipient in paying the necessary international taxes and processing fees.

For additional information and guidance and to verify the authenticity of Savings Institute Bank & Trust’s official checks, please contact the bank’s customer service center at (800) 423-0142 or by email at customerservice@banksi.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