Alert 2013-21| November 1, 2013
Counterfeit Cashier's Checks: Universal Bank, West Covina, Calif.
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 cashier’s checks are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with various mystery-shopping scams.
The counterfeit checks resemble the authentic items but may be identified by the following: Counterfeit items are blue in color with a marbled background and contain all black font. One of the following security warnings may be located in a dark blue border along the top of the check:
- “TO VERIFY AUTHENTICITY SEE REVERSE SIDE FOR DESCRIPTION OF THE SECURITY FEATURES”
- “WARNING. THIS DOCUMENT HAS SECURITY FEATURES IN THE PAPER”
- “THE DOCUMENT HAS A GRADUATED BACKGROUND. DARK TO LIGHT. THE REVERSE SIDE INCLUDES AN ARTIFICIAL WATERMARK.”
Counterfeit items presented to date have been made payable in the amounts of $1,680, $1,870, and $1,980 and have contained remitter names of “Dr. Robert Walton,” Scott Young Sr.,” or “Dennis Garner.” The checks are being mailed to potential victims along with correspondence containing the letterhead “Precision Research Inc., U.S. Office: 1215 6th Avenue, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10020; Phone: (518) 531-8615; SMS# (646) 583-5895” or “Nichole Best Retail Security System, Inc., 6035 North Dale Mabry, Tampa, FL 33614, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Office Phone: (813) 408-7721, Text Phone: (872) 222-9571.” The letters explain that the recipient is to use the majority of the funds to send wire transfers to various individuals. The letters may be signed by Dennis Garner and contain an email contact of email@example.com.
For additional information and guidance and to verify the authenticity of Universal Bank’s cashier’s checks, please contact Irma Sanchez, Branch Administration, by mail at 3455 Nogales St., West Covina, CA 91792, by telephone at (626) 854-2818, ext. 194, by fax at (626) 854-5377, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Ellen M. Warwick
Director for Enforcement and Compliance