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Special Alerts

March 27, 2006

TO: CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (also of interest to Security Officer)
SUBJECT: Counterfeit Cashier's Checks
Summary: Counterfeit cashier's checks drawn on the former Woronoco Savings Bank, Westfield, Massachusetts, are reportedly in circulation. Woronoco Savings Bank merged into Berkshire Bank, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in 2005.

Berkshire Bank, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, on behalf of the former Woronoco Savings Bank, Westfield, Massachusetts, has contacted the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to report that counterfeit checks bearing the Woronoco Savings Bank name are in circulation.

The counterfeit items display the routing number 211872959, which was previously assigned to Woronoco Savings Bank and is now assigned to Berkshire Bank. Authentic official checks and money orders issued prior to Woronoco Savings Bank's merger display the routing number 091015224, which is assigned to U.S. Bank, National Association, St. Paul, Minnesota. Prior to the 2005 merger, Woronoco Savings Bank issued official checks and money orders through Travelers Express, which were drawn on U.S. Bank, National Association, St. Paul, Minnesota. The counterfeit items display a toll-free telephone number that is not associated with the bank and are referred to as "Cashier's Checks." The counterfeit items also display a branch location in Feeding Hills, Massachusetts.

Authentic official checks displayed "WORONOCO SAVINGS BANK, WESTFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS" adjacent to the bank's logo in the top-left corner of the check. In addition, authentic checks displayed the following security wording along the top border: "THIS DOCUMENT HAS AN ARTIFICIAL WATERMARK PRINTED ON THE BACK. THE FRONT OF THE DOCUMENT HAS A MICRO-PRINT SIGNATURE LINE. ABSENCE OF THESE FEATURES WILL INDICATE A COPY."

A copy of a counterfeit item and a copy of an authentic official check (VOID) are attached for your review.

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

Sally Angers
Corporate Security Officer- Fraud Management
Berkshire Bank
24 North Street
Pittsfield, MA 01201
Telephone: (413) 236-3256 (Pittsfield Office)
Telephone: (413) 413-564-6448 (Westfield Office)
Fax: (413) 448-2082
E-mail: sangers@berkshirebank.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. Information 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/2006/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
Acting Director
Division of Supervision and Consumer Protection

Attachment (not available electronically)

NOTE: As a security precaution, the FDIC does not post to its Web site online copies of fraudulent instruments or copies of the genuine instruments that have been counterfeited. This is to avoid attempts by others to use the electronic versions of these instruments to facilitate additional fraud. Printed copies of fraudulent instruments are mailed with the Special Alert letter to the financial institutions on the letter's distribution list (generally, FDIC-supervised banks – commercial and savings). Printed copies of the 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 03/27/2006 communications@fdic.gov