Alert 2014-8| February 5, 2014

Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks: 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 email by Sartaij Bal [sartaij.bal@gmail.com] 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 email at bbranscom@fnbwellston.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