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Alert 2014-8
Description: The First National Bank of Wellston

Counterfeit Cashier's Checks of The First National Bank of Wellston, Wellston, Ohio

To: Chief Executive Officers of All National Banks and Federal Savings Associations; All State Banking Authorities; Chairman, 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 two different versions of counterfeit cashier’s checks, both using a correct routing number of 044203850, are being presented for payment nationwide. These payments are being made in connection with a variety of Internet overpayment scams, including but not limited to online auctions and fictitious job opportunities.

While the counterfeit checks resemble the bank’s authentic checks, counterfeit items may be identified by several traits:

  • The following security statement is located in the top border: “WARNING: THIS DOCUMENT HAS SECURITY FEATURES IN THE PAPER.”
  • The following security statements may be printed in the right-hand border, separated by a padlock icon: “Security Features Included” and “Details on Back.”
  • The words “AUTHORIZED SIGNATURE” may appear both above and below the signature line in the lower-right section.
  • The authorized signature line may contain a double underscore.

Counterfeit cashier’s checks presented to date have been made payable in varying amounts between $1,900 and $3,150 and contain a remitter name of Christina Minton. 

Potential victims of the job opportunity scam may be contacted via e-mail by Sartaij Bal [] and informed that they will receive a check by USPS Priority Mail. Once the checks are received, the recipients are instructed to deposit them into their bank accounts and contact Sartaij Bal for further instructions.

Potential victims of the Internet auction scam have been contacted via text messaging by John Grey with questions regarding the sale of goods that the potential victims have posted online. Once a price has been established, the potential victim is sent a check for a much greater amount than the agreed price. The potential victim is then instructed to wire the balance to a third-party individual.  

For additional information and to verify the authenticity of The First National Bank of Wellston’s cashier’s checks, please contact Brenda Branscom by mail at 101 East A Street, Wellston, OH 45692, by telephone at (740) 384-2146, by fax at (740) 384-6925, or by e-mail at

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 (877) FTC-HELP or, for filing a complaint electronically, via the FTC’s Web site at
  • 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 Web site 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). Its Web site is
  • 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 at

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
 Mail: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 resource at


Ellen M. Warwick
Director for Enforcement and Compliance