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Special Alerts

July 21, 2009

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

Westamerica Bank, San Rafael, California, has contacted the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to report that counterfeit cashier's checks bearing the name County Bank, Merced, California, are in circulation. County Bank was closed by the FDIC on February 6, 2009, and Westamerica Bank, San Rafael, California, assumed all of its deposits.

The counterfeit items display the routing number 121137001, which is assigned to County Bank. The items are similar to County Bank's authentic cashier's checks.

County Bank's outstanding authentic checks are still valid and they are accepted at Westamerica Bank. Authentic cashier's checks display the logo, name, P.O. Box address, and toll-free telephone number of Westamerica Bank in the top-center area of the check.

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:

Susan Estes
Vice President and Corporate Security Officer/BSA Officer
Westamerica Bank
P.O. Box 1200
Suisun City, California 94585-1200
Telephone: (707) 863-6154 or (800) 848-1088
FAX: (707) 863-6072
E-mail: susan.estes@westamerica.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/2009/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 7/21/2009 communications@fdic.gov