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Special Alerts

SA-317-2006
November 17, 2006


TO: CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (also of interest to Security Officer)
SUBJECT: Counterfeit Money Orders
Summary: Counterfeit money orders bearing the name Columbia Bank, Seattle, Washington, are reportedly in circulation.

Columbia State Bank (doing business as Columbia Bank), Tacoma, Washington, has contacted the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to report that counterfeit money orders bearing the institution's name are in circulation.

The counterfeit items include the routing number 022000868, which is assigned to Citibank, N.A., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. The counterfeit items are dissimilar to authentic money orders. The counterfeit items display the bank's logo, name, address and a phone number, which is not associated with the bank, in the upper-right corner. The wording "PAYABLE AT CITIBANK, N.A., NEW YORK" is displayed in the lower-left corner and "MONEY ORDER" is displayed in the top center of the items.

Authentic money orders display the bank's logo and name with the following restriction statement underneath in the upper-left corner: "NOT VALID FOR MORE THAN ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS ($1,000.00)." The words "MONEY ORDER" are displayed in the lower-left corner; underneath are the bank name, city and state. Authentic money orders display the bank logo "CB" in a green tiled pattern as background. The following statement is embedded within the top border: "THE FACE OF THIS DOCUMENT HAS A COLORED BACKGROUND AND MICRO PRINTING." Embedded within the bottom border is the statement: "THE REVERSE SIDE OF THIS DOCUMENT HAS AN ARTIFICIAL WATERMARK."

Copies of a counterfeit item and an authentic check (VOID) are attached for your review. Be aware that the appearance of counterfeit items can be modified and that additional variations may be presented.

Any information you have concerning this matter should be brought to the attention of:

Michelle Hill
Fraud Investigation Officer
Columbia Bank
P O Box 2156, MS OP-2119
Tacoma, Washington 98401-2156
Telephone: (253) 471-4081
Fax: (253) 471-5030
E-mail: mhill@columbiabank.com

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 website 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
Director
Division of Supervision and Consumer Protection

Attachment (not available electronically)

NOTE: As a security precaution, the FDIC does not post to its Web site electronic images of fraudulent items or authentic checks that have been counterfeited. This is to avoid attempts by others to use these instruments to facilitate additional fraud. Financial institutions can view images of the fraudulent items and authentic checks (marked as VOID) using the FDIC's free, secure Web site, FDICconnect. (See more information about FDICconnect at http://www.fdic.gov/news/news/financial/2006/fil06032.html.) Printed copies of each Special Alert and its attachment(s) may also be obtained from the FDIC's Public Information Center (telephone: 1-877-275-3342 or 703-562-2200; fax: 703-562-2296; or e-mail: publicinfo@fdic.gov).

Distribution: FDIC-Supervised Banks (Commercial and Savings)




Last Updated 11/17/2006 communications@fdic.gov