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Alert 2008-13
Description: Yoakum National Bank

Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks of Yoakum National Bank, Yoakum, TX

To: 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

The above-named bank has reported that counterfeit cashier’s checks issued in the bank’s name and using a correct routing number of 114902227 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with a money transfer agent scam.

Counterfeit items may bear no resemblance to the authentic checks and may be identified by the following traits: checks contain a dark blue border and a 7-digit serial number in both the upper-right corner and center-right area of the check. The bank’s name and address of "301 Grand Avenue, Yoakum, TX" appear in the upper-left corner of the instrument followed by a nonbank telephone number of 1-866-228-7063. The following security statement is printed within the top border: "THIS CHECK IS VOID WITHOUT A COLORED BORDER AND BACKGROUND PLUS A KNIGHT AND FINGERPRINT WATERMARK ON THE BACK. HOLD AT ANGLE TO VIEW." The words "CASHIER’S CHECK" are located in the top center portion of the check followed by an abbreviated routing number of 88-2227/1149. The words "YOAKUM NATIONAL BANK" are typed above the signature area in the bottom-right portion of the item, with the words "AUTHORIZED SIGNATURE" appearing beneath the signature area.

Items presented to date have been made payable in the amount of $2,666, contain a check serial number of "2997772," lack any underscoring and logos, and are dated 01/28/08. Due to possible variations in appearance of the bank’s cashier’s checks and scams, it is suggested that officials of Yoakum National Bank be contacted to verify the authenticity of any of the bank’s official items, if received from an unknown or questionable source.

Correspondence related to this scam has been received by potential victims via e-mail in response to a resume he or she has posted on-line. The scam artist solicits the innocent consumer for a job as a "Payment Officer/Book Keeper" for a major company. The purported job is to collect payments from numerous customers, process the payments by depositing the funds into the "employee’s" personal bank account, and then wire 90 percent of the deposited amount immediately to a third party. Victims are instructed to retain 10 percent of the amount as payment. The payments sent to the potential victims are actually counterfeit cashier’s checks, which will eventually be returned as uncollected. Thus, the “employee” will lose the money that he or she has wired out.

For additional information and guidance and to verify the authenticity of Yoakum National Bank’s cashier’s checks, please contact Judy Grubert, AVP/Security Officer, 301 W. Grand, Yoakum, TX 77995, by telephone at 361-293-5225, by fax at 361-293-7322, or via e-mail at [jgrubert@yoakumnationalbank.com].

Consumers who receive a counterfeit or fictitious item and associated material should file complaints with the following agencies, as appropriate:

  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC): by telephone at 1-877-FTC-HELP or, for filing a complaint electronically, via the FTC’s Internet site at www.ftc.gov.
  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police (Canadian scams): by telephone at 1-888-495-8501 or via e-mail at [info@phonebusters.com]. Their Web site, www.phonebusters.com, provides additional contact numbers.
  • 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 international Web site http://www.bbb.org offers contact information for local BBBs, objective reports on more than two 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 (FBI) Internet Fraud Complaint Center (scams that may have originated via the Internet) at http://www.ic3.gov.
  • If correspondence is received via the U.S. Postal Service, contact the U.S. Postal Inspector Service by telephone at 1-888-877-7644, 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 e-mail at https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/forms/MailFraudComplaint.aspx.

In addition, consumers who receive scam material via e-mail should forward the e-mail (with headers) to:

  • The scammer’s e-mail provider’s abuse center, alerting the provider that the e-mail address is being used to solicit illegal activities and that it should be shut down. Most e-mail providers have specific abuse mailboxes set up to handle such complaints. Examples include: [abuse@yahoo.com], [uk-mail-abuse@yahoo-inc.com], and [abuse@hotmail.com].
  • The FTC’s spam reporting mailbox at [spam@uce.gov].

Additional information concerning this matter that you believe should be brought to the attention of the OCC may be forwarded to:

E-mail:occalertresponses@occ.treas.gov
Mail:Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Special Supervision Division, MS 6-4
250 E Street, SW, Washington, DC 20219
Fax:(202) 874-5214
Internet:http://www.occ.gov

For additional information regarding other types of financial fraud, please visit the OCC’s anti-fraud resource at: http://www.occ.gov/topics/consumer-protection/fraud-resources/index-fraud-resources.html.

/signed/

Richard C. Stearns
Director for Enforcement & Compliance