Alert 2014-18| April 18, 2014

Counterfeit Official Checks: Counterfeit Official Checks of Savings Institute Bank and Trust Company, Willimantic, Conn.


Chief Executive Officers of All National Banks and Federal Savings Associations; All State Banking Authorities; Chair, 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 lottery scam.

The counterfeit official checks do not resemble the bank’s authentic checks. The counterfeit items may be identified by the following traits on the front of the checks:

  • The bank’s name appears on one single line in the top-left portion of the check followed by the following address: “9 Prouix, Brooklyn, CT 06239.”
  • The words “OFFICIAL CHECK” appear in all capital letters.
  • The following security statement is located within the top border of the check: “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS A TRUE WATERMARK – HOLD TO LIGHT TO VIEW.”
  • The right border contains a padlock icon and the following security statement: “Security Features Included. Details on Back.”
  • The check’s serial number is located in the top-right corner. The abbreviated routing number is located beneath the serial number and to the left.

The counterfeit items presented to date have been made payable in the amounts of $8,237.47 and $10,237.47 and contain serial numbers in the 910000 series.

Letters accompanying the counterfeit checks contain the following information in the letterhead: “Publishers Clearing House, From the Desk of the Vice President, International Promotions/Prize Award Department, 1010 Notebook Blvd, Barrie Ontario M5G 2B2 Canada.”

The letters inform recipients of their winning status in an international lottery. Recipients are instructed to contact claim agent Robert Garcia at (705) 500-1039 or (604) 375-3558 to arrange for payment of their $500,000 prizes. The letters explain that the enclosed checks are to be used to pay taxes and processing fees.

For additional information and to verify the authenticity of Savings Institute Bank & Trust Company official checks, please contact the Bank’s Customer Service Center at 803 Main St., Willimantic, CT 06226, by telephone at (800) 423-0142, or by email at

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