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Special Alerts

June 20, 2007

TO: CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (also of interest to Security Officer)
SUBJECT: Counterfeit Official Checks
Summary: Counterfeit official checks bearing the name Sandy Spring Bank, Olney, Maryland, are reportedly in circulation.

Sandy Spring Bank, Olney, Maryland, 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 involving "Mega Lotto Link, Las Vegas, Nevada."

The counterfeit items display the routing number 102000979, which is assigned to JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., Denver, Colorado. Sandy Spring Bank issues official checks through an Integrated Payment System Inc. account held at JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. The counterfeit items are dissimilar to authentic official checks. The counterfeit items are green and have the following security feature description printed across the top: "THIS DOCUMENT HAS A GRADUATED BACKGROUND. DARK TO LIGHT. THE REVERSE SIDE INCLUDES AN ARTIFICIAL WATERMARK."

Authentic checks are blue/gray in color and have ornate borders. The words "OFFICIAL CHECK" are encapsulated in a rectangle with rounded corners in the top center. The following security statement is printed above the bank's logo in the top-left corner: "HOLD DOCUMENT UP TO THE LIGHT TO VIEW THE WATERMARK." Authentic checks display a padlock key icon above the word "DOLLARS" to the right side of the written dollar line.

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:

Sandy Arrowood
Fraud Prevention Investigator
Sandy Spring Bank
17801 Georgia Avenue
Olney, Maryland 20832
Telephone: (301) 570-8385
Fax: (301) 260-0638
E-mail: sarrowood@sandyspringbank.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 website 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 6/20/2007 communications@fdic.gov