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January 15, 2015
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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:
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 email 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 email at email@example.com.
Consumers who receive counterfeit or fictitious items and associated material should file complaints with the following agencies, as appropriate:
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