Alert 2021-3| May 19, 2021
Fictitious Regulatory Agency Notifications: Fictitious Notification Regarding the Use of Bitcoin Wallet for Release of Funds Supposedly Under the Control of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Chief Executive Officers of All National Banks and Federal Savings Associations; All State Banking Authorities; Chair, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; Chair, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; Conference of State Bank Supervisors; Deputy Comptrollers (Districts); Assistant Deputy Comptrollers; District Counsels; and All Examining Personnel
Consumers have reported receiving fictitious email messages, which allege to be initiated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) or senior officials of the agency regarding funds purportedly under the control of the OCC. The notification informs the recipient that a “Bitcoin Wallet Address ID NO” is required to allow for a purported transfer of funds. The email contains typographical errors and reads as follows:
“US COMPTROLLER OF THE CURRENCY
Your fund $10.5M is ready to be paid to you.Note your fund can only be
paid to you VIA a Bitcoin Wallet Address ID NO:Due to too much
charges/fees been demanded by the banks and government officials befoe
they can sign for the release of funds belonging to foreigners,the
IMF.UNITED NATIONS and WORLD BANK have made a new policy that any debt
or payment belonging to an individual above $1M should be paid through
a bitcoin wallet address.
You are instructed to provide with immediate effect a bitcoin wallet
address id no,for your fund to be credited on the wallet for you now.
Signed NAME REMOVED
Director US COMPTROLLER OF THE CURRENCYC”
Potential victims may be instructed to contact one of the following individuals:
Any communication claiming that the OCC is involved in holding any funds for the benefit of any individual or entity is fraudulent. The OCC does not participate in the transfer of funds for, or on behalf of, individuals, business enterprises, or governmental entities.
Do not respond in any manner to any proposal purported to be issued by the OCC that requests personal account information or requires the payment of any fee in connection with the proposal, or that suggests the OCC is a participant in the transfer of funds for or on behalf of others. The OCC recommends that consumers file complaints with the following agencies, as appropriate:
- OCC: by email at email@example.com; by fax to (571) 293-4925; or by calling the Special Supervision Division at (202) 649-6450.
- 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.
Monica A. Freas
Director of Enforcement