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Special Alerts

June 15, 2006

TO: CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (also of interest to Security Officer)
SUBJECT: Counterfeit Cashier's Checks
Summary: Counterfeit cashier's checks bearing the name The Citizens National Bank of Bluffton, Bluffton, Ohio, are reportedly in circulation.

The Citizens National Bank of Bluffton, Bluffton, Ohio, has contacted the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to report that counterfeit cashier's checks bearing the institution's name are in circulation. The counterfeit items are associated with an apparent lottery scam and are accompanied by a letter purportedly sent by "Emerging Financial Group" regarding the "USA Mega Millions Jackpot." Although the letters have a Tacoma, Washington, address, they are postmarked in Canada.

The counterfeit items display the routing number 041212983, which is assigned to The Citizens National Bank of Bluffton. The counterfeit items also display a fictitious "CNB" logo enclosed within a darkened box, followed by the bank name of "CITIZENS NATIONAL BANK" in a ribbon that is centered at the top of the item. The words "DOWNTOWN" and "UPTOWN" appear on either side of the logo. The word "PURCHASER" is located in the upper-left corner, and the statement "THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS SECURITY FEATURES–SEE REVERSE" is embedded in the top border. A "Notice to Customers" is located in the center, and "Payable Through BB&T, Charleston, WV" is printed in the lower-left corner. The words "CASHIER'S CHECK" are printed in the lower- center portion of the item, followed by a gold seal.

There are three styles of authentic cashier's checks. All checks contain italicized text under the legal line detailing the security features and have silver foil on the check's face. The words "Original Financial Instrument," "Original Document," or simply a line printed down the left side of the check may be embedded within the foil. All checks include a perforated left side;a logo in the center, followed by the city, state and zip code of the issuing office; and the bank's Web site (www.cnbohio.com). The following city, state and zip codes are legitimate:

  • Bluffton, Ohio 45817
  • Elida, Ohio 45807
  • Lima, Ohio 45802
  • Celina, Ohio 45822
  • Findlay, Ohio 45840
  • Van Wert, Ohio 45891
  • To report this scam or any other scam based in or mailed from Canada, please contact Phonebusters, which is a joint partnership between the Ontario Provincial Police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Phonebusters is interested in receiving copies of scam letters, particularly those involving Canadian mailing addresses or telephone numbers. Records relating to the payment of advance fees should also be forwarded to Phonebusters. This intelligence information is used to assist in the strategic targeting of would-be fraudsters. Scam letters should be forwarded to the Phonebusters National Call Center (PNCC) as follows:

    Mail:Box 686
    North Bay, Ontario, Canada
    P1B 8J8
    Web site: www.phonebusters.com
    Telephone:+1 (888) 495-8501 (toll-free in Canada and the USA)
    Fax:+1 (888) 654-9426 (toll-free in Canada and the USA)
    Advance fee fraud (including Nigerian and lottery letters): wafl@phonebusters.com

    For additional information or to verify the authenticity of the check, please contact:

    Andy Foust
    Assistant Vice President of Branch Operations
    The Citizens National Bank of Bluffton
    102 S. Main Street
    Bluffton, Ohio 45817
    Telephone: (419) 224-9495, extension 434
    Fax: (419) 369-4296
    E-mail: andyf@cnbohio.com

    Additional information concerning this matter that you believe should be brought to the OCC's attention may be forwarded to:

    Mail: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
    Enforcement & Compliance Division, MS 8-10
    250 E Street, SW
    Washington, DC 20219
    Fax: (202) 874-5301
    E-mail: occalertresponses@occ.treas.gov

    Information about counterfeit items, cyber-fraud incidents and other fraudulent activity may be forwarded to the FDIC's Cyber-Fraud and Financial Crimes Section, 550 17th Street, N.W., Room F-4004, Washington, D.C. 20429, or transmitted electronically to alert@fdic.gov. Information related to federal deposit insurance or consumer issues should be submitted to the FDIC using an online form that can be accessed at http://www2.fdic.gov/starsmail/index.asp.

    For your reference, FDIC Special Alerts may be accessed from the FDIC's Web site at www.fdic.gov/news/news/SpecialAlert/2006/index.html. To learn how to automatically receive FDIC Special Alerts through e-mail, please visit www.fdic.gov/about/subscriptions/index.html.

    Sandra L. Thompson
    Acting Director
    Division of Supervision and Consumer Protection

    Distribution: FDIC-Supervised Banks (Commercial and Savings)

    NOTE: Paper copies of FDIC Special Alerts may be obtained through the FDIC's Public Information Center (703-562-2200 or 1-877-275-3342).

    Last Updated 6/15/2006 communications@fdic.gov