Alert 2018-11| September 5, 2018
Counterfeit Official Bank Checks: Counterfeit Official Bank Checks of Sterling National Bank, Montebello, N.Y.
Chief Executive Officers of All National Banks and Federal Savings Associations; All State Banking Authorities; Chair, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; Chair, 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 official bank checks using the bank's routing number of 221472815 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with a variety of overpayment scams involving online purchases.
There are at least three variations of counterfeit checks in circulation. While the counterfeit checks resemble the bank's authentic items, they may be identified by the following traits:
- The checks are light blue in color with a marbled background.
- One of the following security statements appears in the top border:
- "WARNING: THIS DOCUMENT HAS SECURITY FEATURES IN THE PAPER."
- "THIS DOCUMENT HAS A COLORED BACKGROUND AND MICROPRINTING. THE REVERSE SIDE INCLUDES AN ARTIFICIAL WATERMARK."
- "TO VERIFY AUTHENTICITY, SEE REVERSE SIDE FOR DESCRIPTION OF THE 11 SECURITY FEATURES."
- The reference line ("Ref") has been left blank.
- The following coding appears beneath the payable dollar amount: "BR: 52; CDR: 15298; 343052."
Checks presented to date have been made payable in amounts between $700 and $20,380, with the majority being under $3,000.
For additional information and to verify the authenticity of official bank checks drawn on Sterling National Bank, please contact Director of FCIU Catherine Manzione by mail at 400 Rella Boulevard, Montebello, NY 10901, by telephone at (845) 918-5704, 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.
Monica A. Freas
Director for Enforcement and Compliance