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Special Alerts

April 28, 2006

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

Sterling Savings Bank, Spokane, Washington, 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 display the routing number 325171740, which is assigned to Sterling Savings Bank. Authentic checks are issued through Integrated Payment Systems and bear the routing number 022000868, which is a payable-through account at Citibank, Buffalo, New York.

The counterfeit items are dissimilar to authentic checks. The counterfeit items display the bank's name and address in the top-left corner above a telephone number, which is not associated with the bank. The words "CASHIER'S CHECK" and "Remitter" appear in the top center. A statement describing security features, including reference to a watermark on the reverse side, is embedded in the top border.

Authentic checks display the words "OFFICIAL CHECK" in the top-center portion of the check. The bank's name and logo are in the upper-left corner. Authentic official checks have ornate borders on the sides and top, with reference to security features printed below the top border.

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

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

Linda Barksdale
AVP/Fraud Investigation Manager
Sterling Savings Bank
(425) 869-8350 office
(425) 241-5893 cell
E-mail: linda.barksdale@sterlingsavings.com


Deposit Operations
Telephone: (509) 227-6987

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 1/4/2007 communications@fdic.gov