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Special Alerts

August 30, 2007

TO: CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (also of interest to Security Officer)
SUBJECT: Fraudulent Letters Claiming to Be From the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Summary: Fraudulent letters claiming to be from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency are being sent to U.S. bank customers in an attempt to elicit funds.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has notified the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) that fraudulent letters are in circulation that concern the release of funds supposedly under the control of the International Monetary Unit (IMU) of the European Commission in Belgium. The letter is being sent to U.S. bank customers and indicates that in accordance with international monetary policy, monies are being held until the recipient can produce the necessary documents, which include a Money Laundering/Drug Free Clearance Certificate and an Anti-Terrorist Clearance and Capital Transfer Certificate. According to the European Commission's recent warning, victims are directed to pay approximately $25,000 (U.S. dollars) to obtain these bogus documents. The European Commission's warning can be viewed at http://www.eurunion.org/AntiTerrorCertScamWarn.htm.

Any documents claiming that the OCC is involved in holding any funds for the benefit of any individual or entity are fraudulent. The OCC does not participate in the transfer of funds for, or on behalf of, individuals, business enterprises or governmental entities.

The fraudulent correspondence contains forged signatures of actual OCC officials and fictitious telephone numbers that are not associated with the OCC. Before responding in any manner to any proposal supposedly issued by the OCC that requests personal information or personal account information, or that requires the payment of any fee in connection with the proposal, consumers should take steps to verify that the proposal is legitimate.

Consumers receiving the fraudulent correspondence may file complaints with the following agencies:

  • Contact the OCC directly to verify the legitimacy of the proposal via e-mail at occalertresponses@occ.treas.gov by mail to the OCC's Special Supervision Division, 250 E Street, SW, Mail Stop 6-4, Washington, DC 20219; via fax to (202) 874-5214; or by calling the Special Supervision Division at (202) 874-4450.
  • Contact state and/or local law enforcement.
  • If the proposal appears to be fraudulent and was received via e-mail or the Internet, consumers may file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at http://www.ic3.gov.
  • If the proposal appears to be fraudulent and was received via the U.S. Postal Service, consumers may file a complaint with the U.S. Postal Service at (888) 877-7644; by mail to U.S. Postal Inspection Service, 222 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 1250, Chicago, Illinois 60606-6100; or via e-mail at http://www.usps.com/postalinspectors/fraud/MailFraudComplaint.htm.

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. Questions 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 http://www.fdic.gov/news/news/SpecialAlert/2007/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
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 by calling 1-877-275-3342 or 703-562-2200.

Last Updated 8/30/2007 communications@fdic.gov