Each depositor insured to at least $250,000 per insured bank

Home > News & Events > Special Alerts

Special Alerts

September 19, 2006

TO: CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (also of interest to Security Officer)
SUBJECT: Counterfeit Official Checks
Summary: Counterfeit official checks bearing the name Sterling Savings Bank, Bellevue, Washington, are reportedly in circulation.

Sterling Savings Bank, Spokane, Washington, has contacted the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to report that counterfeit official checks bearing the institution's name are in circulation. The counterfeit items are reportedly associated with a lottery scam. The counterfeit items are accompanied by correspondence purported to be from "OZ Lotteries," "OZ Lotto," or "OZL Incorporated." The letters include a Seattle, Washington, address and refer to "processing or insurance fees." Recipients are directed to call 1-403-389-6481 to activate the "claim."

The counterfeit items display the routing number 022000868, which is assigned to the account of Integrated Payment Systems, Inc., Englewood, Colorado, at Citibank, N.A., Buffalo, New York. Sterling Savings Bank issues official checks through this account. The counterfeit items also display a Bellevue, Washington, mailing address below the bank's name and logo in the top-left corner. Security wording is not shown on the face of the counterfeit items.

Authentic official checks have a patterned border, with security wording beneath the pattern along the top edge. The words "OFFICIAL CHECK" are printed within a box that is incorporated into the top border. Ornate designs are displayed to the right and left sides of the box. The wording "All The Bank You'll Ever Need" appears below the bank's name in the top-left corner.

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:

Deposit Operations
Telephone: (509) 227-6987
Linda Barksdale
AVP/Fraud Investigation Manager
Sterling Savings Bank
(425) 869-8350 office
(425) 241-5893 cell
E-mail: linda.barksdale@sterlingsavings.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 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 1/4/2007 communications@fdic.gov