Alert 2014-13| February 20, 2014
Counterfeit Official Checks: Counterfeit Official Checks of The First National Bank of Bellevue, Bellevue, Ohio
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 official checks using a correct routing number of 041204726 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with a mystery shopping scam.
The counterfeit checks do not resemble the bank’s authentic checks; counterfeit items may be identified by several traits:
- The check is blue with a marbled background and dark-blue top border.
- The bank's name appears in the top-left portion of the check, enclosed in a dark-blue box.
- A remitter line appears beneath the bank address.
- The following security statement is located in the top border: "TO VERIFY AUTHENTICITY SEE REVERSE SIDE FOR DESCRIPTIONOF THE 13 SECURITY FEATURES."
- A heat-sensitive seal is located in the bottom-center portion of the check.
- The bottom-center portion of the check contains an oval security feature with a padlock icon and the following statement: "HEAT SENSITIVE LOCK, FADES WITH HEAT ON TOUCH."
Counterfeit checks presented to date have been made payable in the amounts of $1,980 and $2,350 and contain remitter names of Daniel Bloomberg, David Wilson, or Alex Brown.
Potential victims are contacted by mail with a letter signed by Daniel Bloomberg. The correspondence accompanying the counterfeit check appears to be typed on a typewriter and does not include any letterhead. The letter states that the recipient has been chosen for the mystery shopping assignment for which he or she had previously applied. Recipients are instructed to immediately deposit the accompanying check and wire-transfer the majority of funds to a third party. Recipients are to contact Daniel Bloomberg at (832) 800-3607 or [firstname.lastname@example.org].
For additional information and to verify the authenticity of The First National Bank of Bellevue’s official checks, please contact Compliance Officer Lisa Ramey by mail at 120 North St., Bellevue, OH 44811; by telephone at (419) 483-7340; by fax at (419) 483-0006; or by email at RameyL@fnblifetime.com.
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