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Alert 2009-2
Description: Harbor National Bank

Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks of Harbor National Bank, Charleston, SC

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 053208176 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with a mystery shopping scam.

The counterfeit checks bear little resemblance to the authentic items and may be identified by the following traits: the instruments are of unknown color, contain the words "CASHIER'S CHECK" in the upper-center portion of the check followed by an indemnity statement, and include the following security statement in the top border: "For security purposes, the face of this check contains a colored background and microprinting in the border." The bottom-left section of the item contains the following statement: "HARBOR NATIONAL BANK; Issued by Harbor National Bank, Charleston, SC 29407, For Inquiries, Call: 1-866-475-8028." Please note that this telephone number is not associated with the bank. The following security statement is printed between two padlock icons in the bottom-center section: "Security Features Included. Details on Back." and the statement: "Countersigned if Amount is Over $5,000" appears beneath the signature line.

Items presented to date have been made payable in the amount of $4,996, include a remitter name of C.S.R. Inc, contain a 9-digit serial number, and are signed by Thomas W. Casey.

Due to possible variations in the appearance of the bank's official items and differing scams associated with the counterfeit items, officials of Harbor National Bank suggest they be contacted to verify authenticity of the bank's cashier's checks if received from an unknown or questionable source.

Correspondence accompanying the counterfeit checks may contain the letterhead of "Consumer Service Research Inc., 304 SD Highway 38, Suite 124, Hartford, SD 57093, Tel/Fax #: 1-289-888-1687 OR 1-289-888-1841" and may be signed by Pam Davids, Head Assignment Co-ordinator. The correspondence informs the recipient that he or she has been selected to represent the company as a mystery shopper. It is explained that the enclosed cashier's check is to be used during the assignment to make purchases at various merchants and to transfer money using a nationally known wire service. Recipients are instructed to telephone 1-289-888-1687 Ext 100 or 1-289-888-1841 Ext 100 and then press 1 to connect to a coordinator for detailed instructions.

For additional information and guidance and to verify the authenticity of Harbor National Bank's cashier's checks, please contact Kathy M. Hall, Vice President/Retail Bank Administrator, 1503 Old Towne Road, Charleston, SC 29407, by telephone at (843) 852-6401, by fax at (843) 852-6409, or via e-mail at [khall@harborbankgroup.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 Web 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 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 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.

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