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Alert 2017-1 | February 6, 2017

Fictitious Regulatory Agency Notification: Fictitious Notification Regarding the Release of Funds Supposedly Under the Control of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency


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

Consumers have reported fictitious text messages and telephone calls, allegedly initiated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) or other government entities, regarding funds purportedly under the control of the OCC.

Any communication claiming that the OCC is involved in holding any funds for the benefit of any individual or entity is fraudulent. The OCC does not participate in the transfer of funds for, or on behalf of, individuals, business enterprises, or governmental entities.

Consumers have reported receiving communications that the OCC is holding $11,000 on their behalf as a refund for illegal fees charged by their financial institutions. The callers have been identified as both males and females with heavy accents who are using various names, including Alex, Miley, and Deborah Howells. The callers have the personal information of the potential victim including address, date of birth, and Social Security number. The potential victim is asked to confirm this information and to provide his or her bank routing number and account number so that a transfer may be made.

The telephone numbers involved in this scam include, but are not limited to, (218) 585-9128, (202) 649-6700, and (202) 649-8580, which are all Google Voice telephone numbers. When dialing these numbers, the potential victims are greeted by the Google Voice recording and required to speak their names. The service then attempts to forward the call to the telephone number associated with the established Google Voice account, where the call will be answered by the scammer.

Before responding in any manner to any proposal supposedly issued by the OCC that requests personal account information, or that requires the payment of any fee in connection with the proposal, the OCC recommends that consumers take the following steps:

  • contact the OCC directly to verify the legitimacy of the proposal (1) via email at; (2) by mail to the OCC’s Special Supervision Division, 400 7th St. SW, Suite 3E-218, MS 8E-12, Washington, DC 20219; (3) via fax to (571) 293-4925; or (4) by calling the Special Supervision Division at (202) 649-6450.
  • contact state or local law enforcement.
  • file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center if the proposal appears to be fraudulent and was received via email or the Internet.
  • file a complaint with 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 at, if the proposal appears to be fraudulent and was delivered through the U.S. Postal Service.

Consumers who have provided bank account information should contact their financial institutions immediately to report the issue and to discuss options to protect their account assets. Consumers who have had their personal information compromised should visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website at and follow the guidance for identify theft.

Information regarding the subject of this or any other alert that you wish to bring to the attention of the OCC may be sent to

Monica Freas
Acting Director for Enforcement and Compliance