Alert 2015-11| August 4, 2015
Counterfeit Cashier's Checks: Counterfeit Cashier's Checks of First Federal Bank, Dickson, Tenn.
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 cashier’s checks using a correct routing number of 264171270 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with on-line auction scams and a secret shopping scam.
The counterfeit checks resemble the bank’s authentic checks; the counterfeit checks, however, may be identified by the following traits:
- The checks contain a blue and white deeply marbled background.
- The check number is printed in black ink.
- The checks contain a dark blue top border, which includes the following security statement: “FOR SECURITY PURPOSES, THE FACE OF THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS A COLORED BACKGROUND AND MICROPRINTING IN THE BORDER.”
- The written dollar amount is not underscored.
- The numerical dollar amount is enclosed in a black box.
- The following security statement appears at the bottom of the check between two padlock icons: “SECURITY FEATURES INCLUDED. DETAILS ON BACK.”
Counterfeit checks presented to date have been made payable in varying amounts from $1,300 to $10,500 and contain a remitter name of Donovan Newton.
Potential victims of the secret shopping scam are initially contacted regarding a job offer as a secret shopper via email by Matt Cox using an email address of [email@example.com]. Subsequent email correspondence is sent from Jeremy Davis using an email address of [Jeremy.firstname.lastname@example.org]. All email correspondence is poorly written.
Once the offer is accepted, potential victims receive a correspondence package in the mail. Letters accompanying the checks instruct the potential victim to immediately deposit the check into his or her bank account. The potential victim is further instructed to retain $270 as a commission payment and transportation allowance, use $100 to purchase items from a well-known chain store, and wire transfer the balance of the funds to a third party. The potential victim is incented to perform the transactions on the day the package is received with the offer of retaining an additional $150 as commission. The letters ask for transfer details and evaluation forms to be emailed to [email@example.com] and [firstname.lastname@example.org].
For additional information and to verify the authenticity of cashier’s checks drawn on First Federal Bank, please contact BSA Officer Sharon Blair by mail at 611 E. College St., Dickson, TN 37055; by telephone at (615) 446-2822; by fax at (615) 446-3200; or by email at email@example.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
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