Alert 2018-4| April 24, 2018
Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks: Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks of American Bank and Trust Company, NA, Davenport, Iowa
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 the bank’s vendor routing number of 071108834 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with various online employment opportunity scams involving mystery shopping and automobile advertising wraps.
The counterfeit checks resemble the bank’s authentic items but may be identified by the following traits:
- The checks are blue in color, and some are known to contain a marbled background and a dark top border with the following security statement: “TO VERIFY AUTHENTICITY, SEE REVERSE SIDE FOR DESCRIPTION OF THE 11 SECURITY FEATURES.”
Checks presented to date have been made payable in amounts ranging from $995 to $3,450 with various remitter names.
Potential victims of the mystery shopping scam have received correspondence accompanying the check, which contains the name of a nationally known retail store within the letterhead. The correspondence instructs the potential victims to confirm receipt of the packet by sending either an email to [email@example.com] or a text message to (469) 575-5396. The recipient is further instructed to either cash or deposit the funds at his or her financial institution. The letter informs the recipient to retain $450 for commission and fees. The remaining amount is to be used to conduct two wire transfers to the perpetrators at a well-known retail store for the purported purpose of the victim surveying the services of the money transfer center located within the retail store. The following statement is contained within the letter: “You must not disclose for any reason that you are a mystery shopper or let anyone know you are evaluating the store during this process as this would defeat your purpose.” The correspondence contains a point-of-contact name of Coleman Jacobs of GFK Research.
Potential victims of the car wrap scam have received correspondence accompanying the check, which contains the name of a nationally known brewing company within the letterhead. The potential victims are told to deposit the check into his or her bank account. The letter instructs the recipient to retain $400 for his or her service providing automobile wrap advertising for the company. The victim is instructed to visit a well-known money transmitter to conduct two wire transfers to the perpetrators for the purported purpose of paying decal specialists who will be in contact with details on performing the automobile wrap. Contact information contained within this correspondence includes the name of Thomas Karter, an email address of [firstname.lastname@example.org], and a text-only telephone number of (561) 231-8311.
For additional information and to verify the authenticity of cashier’s checks drawn on American Bank and Trust Company, NA, please contact Catherine L. Cliff, Vice President of Operations, by mail at 4301 E. 53rd St., Davenport, IA 52807; by telephone at (563) 441-6586; by fax at (563) 359-2915; or by email at email@example.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
For additional information regarding other types of financial fraud, please visit the OCC's anti-fraud resources page.
Monica A. Freas
Director for Enforcement and Compliance