Alert 2015-8| June 29, 2015
Counterfeit Cashier's Checks: Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks of CenterState Bank of Florida, N.A., Winter Haven, Fla.
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 063114030 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with various Internet-based employment and overpayment scams.
Four variations of counterfeit checks currently in circulation resemble the bank’s authentic checks. The counterfeit checks may be identified, however, by the following traits:
- The background of the checks has an interlocking circle pattern and contains, from left to right, a fading coloration of blue, pink, blue.
- The top border is dark blue and red and contains the following security statement: “THIS CHECK IS VOID WITHOUT A COLORED BORDER AND WATERMARK ON THE BACK. HOLD AT ANGLE TO VIEW.”
- The word “BANK” is missing from the bank’s logo in the upper left corner.
- The numerical dollar amount is encoded into a darkened box within the check.
- The checks contain a blue and white marbled pattern background.
- The top border is dark blue and contains the following security statement: “THIS DOCUMENT HAS A COLORED BACKGROUND AND MICROPRINTING. THE REVERSE SIDE INCLUDES AN ARTIFICIAL WATERMARK.”
- The checks contain a blue and white linen patterned background.
- The top border is blue and contains the following security statement: “WARNING: THIS DOCUMENT HAS SECURITY FEATURES IN THE PAPER.”
Counterfeit checks presented to date have been made payable in varying amounts from $1,900 to $2,830, have contained a remitter name of Helen Judith, reference “Branch: 52” in the bottom left portion of the check, and contain an authorized signature of “Jankie Tikaprasad.”
Potential victims of this mystery shopping scam are contacted via email by an individual using the following identity: Mark T. Sancho of Customer Survey Inc., Human Resources Department, 2300 Nevada Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55427, [email@example.com]. Once the assignment is accepted, the potential victim receives a letter in the mail along with payment in the form of a counterfeit check.
Letters accompanying the checks instruct the potential victim to immediately deposit the check into his or her bank account and to retain $300 as a commission. The potential victim is then to use $15 to make a purchase at a well-known chain store and to use the balance to purchase Reloadit pack prepaid cards at any store. Once purchased, the PIN numbers are to be sent by email along with an evaluation form to Mark Sancho. Photographs of the PIN numbers may be sent to him by texting (763) 691-7315.
For additional information and to verify the authenticity of cashier’s checks drawn on CenterState Bank of Florida, N.A., please contact BSA Officer and Fraud Investigator Sherry Root by mail at 1101 First St. South, Winter Haven, FL 33880; by telephone at (863) 678-6620; 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