Alert 2007-31| June 6, 2007
Fraudulent Regulatory Agency Issuances: Fraudulent correspondence regarding the release of funds supposedly under the control of Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) officials
Chief Executive Officers of All National Banks; All State Banking Authorities; Chairman, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; Chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; Director, Office of Thrift Supervision; Conference of State Bank Supervisors; Deputy Comptrollers (districts); Assistant Deputy Comptrollers; District Counsel; and All Examining Personnel
Please be advised that correspondence in the form of emails, faxes, and postal mail allegedly issued by the OCC regarding restricted funds supposedly under its control continue to circulate. Any documents claiming that the OCC is holding, or has placed a hold on, any funds for the benefit of any individual or entity are fraudulent. The OCC does not participate in the transfer of funds for, or on behalf of, individuals, business enterprises, or governmental entities. Additionally, the OCC does not establish, maintain, or control any deposit accounts for, or in the name of, any individuals, businesses, or governments.
The correspondence in question, which contain forged signatures of actual OCC officials, falsely claim that the OCC or other federal bank regulatory agency is holding payments owed by foreign governments or foreign organizations. The correspondence encourages the recipient to reply by telephone or email so that the funds can be released, warning that a delay in responding might cause the OCC to cancel the obligations due to the recipient. Of course, the email address, telephone and facsimile numbers contained in the correspondence, are not those of any OCC office or official.
These emails are originating from many sources throughout the world. They appear similar to documents referenced in previous OCC alerts. See also OCC Alerts: 2006-68, 2005-12, 2004-3, 2004-11, and 2001-5 and their attachments.
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.
Richard C. Stearns
Director for Enforcement & Compliance