Alert 2014-19| April 18, 2014

Counterfeit Official Checks: Counterfeit Official Checks of Security National Bank, a Branch of Park National Bank, Newark, Ohio

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 official checks using a correct routing number of 044101305 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with a secret shopper scam.

The counterfeit checks do not resemble the bank’s authentic checks. Counterfeit items may be identified by several traits:

  • The checks are green in color.
  • A padlock security icon and the words “Security Features Included. Details on Back” appear along the bottom border of the check.
  • The following security statement appears in the top border: “FOR SECURITY PURPOSES, THE FACE OF THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS A COLORED BACKGROUND AND MICROPRINTING IN THE BORDER.”

Counterfeit checks presented to date have been made payable in the amount of $1,996 and contain a remitter name of Fowler Grillo.

Correspondence accompanying the counterfeit checks is purportedly from Christopher Green, Head of Recruitment, MS Recruitment, (860) 469-2142. The correspondence explains that the recipient is to use the majority of the funds to purchase an international money transfer. Details of the transfer are to be sent via email to Christopher Green at [mssagency101@gmail.com].

For additional information and to verify the authenticity of official checks drawn on Security National Bank, a Branch of Park National Bank, please contact Jullene Barnes, Administrative Manager, Loss Prevention Department, 50 North Third St., PO Box 3500, Newark, OH 43058; by telephone at (740) 322-6836; or by email at jbarnes@parknationalbank.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
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