Alert 2018-3| January 31, 2018
Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks: Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks of Hatboro Federal Savings, Hatboro, Pa.
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 the bank’s vendor routing number of 103100551 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with secret shopper and online purchase scams.
The counterfeit checks may be identified by the following traits:
- The check is light-blue in color with a marbled background.
- The check contains a dark top border with the following security statement: “TO VERIFY AUTHENTICITY, SEE REVERSE SIDE FOR DESCRIPTION OF THE 13 SECURITY FEATURES.”
- A heat-sensitive shield is located in the bottom-center portion of the check.
- The check does not contain the bank’s telephone number of (215) 675-4000.
- The remitter account number above the signature line appears as “110045721.”
All checks presented to date have been made payable in varying amounts from $900 to $67,990.
Potential victims of the secret shopping scam have received correspondence accompanying the check, which contains the letterhead of “SECRETSHOPPERS.” The correspondence instructs the potential victims to either deposit the funds into his or her bank account or to cash the check at his or her financial institution. The letter further instructs the recipient to retain a small portion of the funds as payment and transportation allowance. The remaining amount is to be used for a small purchase at a well-known department store with the majority of funds wired to the perpetrators for the purported purpose of the victim surveying the services of a money transfer service. Contact information pertaining to this scam may be [firstname.lastname@example.org] or [email@example.com]. The following statement appears at the bottom of the letter: “Remember, you are a mystery shopper. You are EXPRESSLY FORBIDDEN to disclose the information to anyone.”
For additional information and to verify the authenticity of cashier’s checks drawn on Hatboro Federal Savings, please contact Customer Service by mail at 221 South York Road, Hatboro, PA 19040; by telephone at (215) 675-4000; by fax at (267) 803-0062; 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
- Sample Fictitious Letter (PDF)