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Alert 2015-2
Description: First National Bank

Counterfeit Cashier's Checks of First National Bank, Fort Pierre, South Dakota

To: 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 091400525 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with a mystery shopping scam.

The counterfeit checks resemble the bank’s authentic checks and may be identified by the following traits:

  • The checks contain the following security statement in the top border: “WARNING: THIS DOCUMENT HAS SECURITY FEATURES IN THE PAPER.”
  • A padlock icon along with the words “Security features” appears in the right-hand border of the check.
  • The numerical dollar amount of the check is enclosed in a box.
  • The bank’s Web site does not appear on the check.

Counterfeit checks presented to date have contained a remitter name of Taylor Andrew and have been made payable in the following amounts: $1,985, $2,485, $2,890, or $2,985.

Potential victims of this mystery shopping scam are contacted via e-mail to complete an online form to register for a mystery shopping assignment. After they have registered, potential victims receive the attached letter in the mail along with a counterfeit check. The correspondence contains the letterhead of “Ace Mystery Shoppers, 4324 Beltline Rd, Suite C105, Irving, TX 75038” and is signed by “Mr. Louis Garret, Head of Operations, (813) 602-2848.” The letter indicates that the recipient is to evaluate his or her own financial institution, one store from the list provided in the letter, and an overnight mail service while purchasing money orders. The potential victim is to deposit the check into his or her bank account and immediately withdraw the full amount. During this transaction, he or she is to secretly evaluate the clerk and institution, ensuring they are unaware of this assignment. He or she is to retain $200 as his or her salary, spend $50 to make a merchandise purchase for a charity of his or her choice, and then use the balance to purchase two money orders to be sent to a third party, using an overnight mail service.

For additional information and to verify the authenticity of cashier’s checks drawn on First National Bank, please contact Vice President and Cashier Anita Brehe by mail at 125 W. Sioux Avenue, P.O. Box 730, Pierre, SD 57501; by telephone at (605) 945-3900; by fax at (605) 945-3914; or by e-mail at anita.brehe@firstnationalbanks.com.

Consumers who receive counterfeit or fictitious items and associated material should file complaints with the following agencies, as appropriate:

  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC): by telephone at (877) FTC-HELP or, for filing a complaint electronically, via the FTC’s Web site.
  • National Consumers League (NCL): by telephone at (202) 835-3323 or by e-mail. To file a fraud complaint, visit the NCL fraud Web site.
  • 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 Web site 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

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