Home > News & Events > Special Alerts

Special Alerts

January 8, 2008

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

East West Bank, Pasadena, California, 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 are reportedly associated with a lottery scam.

The counterfeit items display the routing number 091900533, which is payable through WF National Bank South Central, Faribault, Minnesota. The items are similar to authentic money orders. The counterfeit items display security feature statements embedded within the top border and also between two security padlock icons along the bottom border.

Authentic money orders display the following security feature statement in the top-left corner: "THE FRONT OF THE DOCUMENT HAS A MICRO-PRINT DATA LINE AND THERMOCHROMIC ABSENCE OF THESE FEATURE WILL INDICATE A COPY." The statement "TO AUTHENTICATE RUB HEAR" is printed around a circle in the top-center area. The statement "BY SIGNING YOU AGREE TO THE SERVICE CHARGE AND OTHER TERMS ON THE REVERSE SIDE" is printed along the bottom of the money order.

Copies of a counterfeit item and an authentic money order (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:

Mr. Krishan Sirimane
Vice President Bank Operations and Risk Management
East West Bank
135 North Los Robles Avenue 7th Floor
Pasadena, California 91101
Phone: (626) 293-3853
Cell: (626) 222-2801
Fax: (626) 284-8746

Mr. James Martinez
Assistant Vice President Assistant Risk Manager
Phone: (626) 293-3854
Cell: (626) 590-7115

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/2008/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 1/8/2008 communications@fdic.gov