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Special Alerts

April 9, 2007

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

Partners Trust Bank, Utica, New York, 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 are reportedly associated with a Canadian sweepstakes and/or lottery scam.

The counterfeit items display the routing number 051900353, which is assigned to Branch Banking and Trust Company (BB&T), Charleston, West Virginia. Partners Trust Bank issues official bank checks through a BB&T account. The counterfeit items have security feature descriptions embedded in the top border and "CASHIER'S CHECK" is printed near the top center. The bank's logo, name, street address, city (misspelled "UTCA"), state and zip code appear in the upper-left corner. The signature area in the lower-right corner contains watermarks of a knight and the wording "FINGERPRINT CHECK." Beneath the signature line, the wording "SIGNATURE AREA CONTAINS A KNIGHT AND FINGERPRINT CHEQUE WORDING" is displayed.

Partners Trust Bank, Utica, New York, does not issue cashier's checks. Authentic checks display "OFFICIAL BANK CHECK" centered near the top, and security feature descriptions are printed below the top border. Displayed on three lines in the lower-left corner is: "PAYABLE THROUGH BB&T, CHARLESTON, WV." The bank's logo, name, street address, city, state and zip code appear in the upper-left corner. Near the lower-right corner, above two micro-print signature lines, is the statement "TWO SIGNATURES REQUIRED ON AMOUNTS OVER $10,000." Beneath the dollar amount line is the statement "VOID IF NOT CASHED WITHIN 6 MONTHS."

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:

Thomas J. Lamphere
Vice President, Security
Partners Trust Bank
58-68 Exchange Street
Binghamton, New York 13901
Telephone: (607) 779-3530
Fax: (607) 779-2438
E-mail: tlamphere@partnerstrust.com

To report this scam or any other scam based in or mailed from Canada, please contact Phonebusters, which is a joint partnership between the Ontario Provincial Police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Phonebusters is interested in receiving copies of scam letters, particularly those involving Canadian mailing addresses or telephone numbers. Records relating to the payment of advance fees should also be forwarded to Phonebusters. This information is used to assist in the strategic targeting of would-be fraudsters. Scam letters should be forwarded to the Phonebusters National Call Center (PNCC) as follows:

Mail: Box 686
North Bay, Ontario, Canada
P1B 8J8
Web site: www.phonebusters.com
Telephone: +1 (888) 495-8501 (toll-free in Canada and the USA)
Fax: +1 (888) 654-9426 (toll-free in Canada and the USA)
E-mail: info@phonebusters.com
Advance fee fraud (including Nigerian and lottery letters): wafl@phonebusters.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 Web site at www.fdic.gov/news/news/SpecialAlert/2007/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 4/9/2007 communications@fdic.gov