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Special Alerts


SA-70-2003
October 29, 2003

TO: CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (also of interest to Security Officer)
SUBJECT: Counterfeit Official Checks
Summary: Counterfeit checks drawn on Farmers and Merchants State Bank of Springfield, Springfield, Minnesota; First Citizens National Bank, Mansfield, Pennsylvania; and First Commerce Bank, Corpus Christi, Texas, are in circulation.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has been informed by Farmers and Merchants State Bank of Springfield, Springfield, Minnesota, that counterfeit cashier's checks are in circulation. These instruments are drawn upon the bank and display the bank's routing number of 091214339. The checks are being delivered to individuals at their personal residences along with a letter stating that the recipient "has won a ruffle draw," rather than a raffle drawing. The amount printed on these counterfeit checks appears to be the same in all cases and is stated as "SUM OF $5,906.34" on the checks. The counterfeit items resemble the bank's genuine cashier's checks; however, the authentic checks have a security statement underneath the printed amount line and a small security icon on the far right-hand side of the check. The lettering font size and the check paper quality also vary from the authentic checks. A copy of a genuine cashier's check (void) and a counterfeit check are attached for your review.

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

Ms. Julie Smith
Vice President
Farmers and Merchants State Bank of Springfield
101 North Marshall Avenue
Springfield, Minnesota 56087
Telephone: (507) 723-4800
FAX: (507) 723-4228

First Citizens National Bank, Mansfield, Pennsylvania, has also reported to the FDIC that counterfeit cashier's checks are in circulation. The counterfeit instruments appear to be altered copies of an authentic check, and the bank's routing number of 031309589 is displayed. However, the counterfeit check has a less pronounced bank logo, and a small security icon is missing from the upper left corner. In addition, the layout of the counterfeit item is significantly compressed. A copy of a genuine cashier's check (void) and a copy of a counterfeit check are attached for your review.

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

Ms. Joanne Marvin
Deposit Operations Manager
First Citizens National Bank
1163 S. Main Street
Mansfield, Pennsylvania 16933
Telephone: (570) 662-0421
FAX: (570) 662-0485

Further, First Commerce Bank, Corpus Christi, Texas, has reported to the FDIC that counterfeit cashier's checks are in circulation. The counterfeit checks display the bank's routing number of 051900353, and the layout closely resembles that of the authentic cashier's checks. However, the printed font on the counterfeit item is smaller than that of an authentic cashier's check, and the paper quality is different from an authentic item. In addition, security features on the signature line are not evident on the counterfeit item.

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

Mr. Emmett Harris
Executive Vice President
First Commerce Bank
4211 Ayers Street
Corpus Christi, Texas 78415
Telephone: (361) 850-6800
FAX: (361) 850-6865

Information about these financial institutions or instruments may be forwarded to the FDIC's Special Activities Section, 550 17th Street, NW, Room F-4040, Washington, DC 20429, or transmitted electronically to alert@fdic.gov.

For your reference, FDIC Special Alerts may be accessed from the FDIC's Web site at www.fdic.gov/news/news/SpecialAlert/2003/index.html. To learn how to automatically receive FDIC Special Alerts, Financial Institution Letters and other announcements through e-mail, please visit www.fdic.gov/news/news/announcements/index.html.

Michael J. Zamorski
Director

Attachments (not available electronically)

Distribution: FDIC-Supervised Banks (Commercial and Savings)

NOTE: Paper copies of FDIC Special Alerts may be obtained through the FDIC's Public Information Center, 801 17th Street, NW, Room 100, Washington, DC 20434 (1-877-275-3342, option 5, or (703) 562-2200).

Last Updated 10/29/2003 communications@fdic.gov