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Special Alerts

November 15, 2007

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

Bank of the West, San Francisco, California, has contacted the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to report that counterfeit cashier's checks bearing the institution's name are in circulation. The counterfeit items are reportedly associated with a fraudulent "SWEEPSTAKES BONANZA DRAW NOTIFICATION" and are included with correspondence from "Enterprise rent-a-car" of Saskatoon, SK, Canada.

The counterfeit items display the routing number 121100782, which is assigned to Bank of the West, but are markedly dissimilar to authentic cashier's checks. The counterfeit items display the security feature statement "THE FACE OF THIS DOCUMENT HAS A COLORED BACKGROUND ON WHITE PAPER" embedded in the top border and the statement "THE BACK OF THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS AN ARTIFICIAL WATERMARK-HOLD AT AN ANGLE TO VIEW" in the bottom border. The words "CASHIER'S CHECK," or in some versions "OFFICIAL CHECK," are printed in the top center. A walking bear logo and the bank's name are in the top-left corner. The words "Kearny Branch," a Kearny, Nebraska, address, and a toll-free telephone number and fax number ("1 866 724 9029" and "308 210 9073"), which are not associated with the bank, appear to the right of the bear logo. A "NOTICE TO CUSTOMERS" is printed on the left side below the written dollar amount line. The bank's name is repeated as "DRAWER" above the signature line. An empty vertical box is displayed in the lower-right corner. The word "PURCHASER" appears on the lower-left side.

Authentic checks are light gray and display a bear watermark. The security feature statement "WARNING: ORIGINAL DOCUMENT HAS AN ARTIFICIAL WATERMARK ON REVERSE SIDE" is centered inside a darkened box and embedded in the top border. The words "CASHIER'S CHECK" appear in the lower-left corner. The bank name and an Omaha, Nebraska, address appear in the top-left corner. The word "PURCHASER" is printed directly below the name and address.

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:

Elizabeth Kizzier
Bank of the West
13505 California Street
Omaha, Nebraska 68154
Telephone: (402) 918-5556
Fax: (402) 918-6488
E-mail: Elizabeth.kizzier@bankofthewest.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. 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 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

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 11/15/2007 communications@fdic.gov