Alert 2014-15| March 5, 2014

Counterfeit Cashier's Checks: Counterfeit Cashier's Checks of Urban Trust Bank, Lake Mary, Fla.

To

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 a correct routing number of 263184815 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with a secret-shopper scam.

The counterfeit checks are very similar to the bank’s authentic checks and cannot be easily identified. Counterfeit checks presented to date have been made payable in the amounts of $1,760.02, $2,325.10, $2,365.12, $2,800, and $2,950. Remitter names have included Billy Frank Robinson, Dena M. Woolweaver, Danny W. Cooper, and Walters Lucy.

Correspondence accompanying the counterfeit items, purportedly written by Thompson Gills, contains the letterhead of “Thompson Market Research Ltd., 1630 Fulton Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95825.” The letter informs the potential victims of their secret-shopper tasks and instructs them to deposit the accompanying checks into their bank accounts and retain a small amount of the money as their salaries. The letter states that within 24 hours of the deposits, the potential victims are to split the remaining money to use in two separate wire transfer transactions. The transactions are to be completed using two different wire transfer agents and two different third-party recipients. The potential victims are instructed to email the money transfer details to [thompsongills1@gmail.com] or [thompsongills@gmail.com].

For additional information and to verify the authenticity of Urban Trust Bank’s cashier's checks, please contact Operations Support by mail at 400 Colonial Center Parkway, Suite 150, Lake Mary, FL 32746, by telephone at (800) 584-0015, or by fax at (407) 732-5675.

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
www.occ.gov
occalertresponses@occ.treas.gov

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