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Northmark Bank, North Andover, Massachusetts, 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 secret shopper scam and are included with correspondence from The Apex Evaluation and Marketing Services supposedly based in Ontario, Canada.
The counterfeit items display the routing number 011302603, which is assigned to Northmark Bank, but are markedly dissimilar to authentic treasurer's checks. Northmark Bank issues treasurer's checks, not cashier's checks. The counterfeit items display the words "CASHIER'S CHECK" near the lower-left corner. The bank's name and address are in the top center. The bank's name is repeated above the signature line. "REMITTER:" is printed near the top-left corner.
Authentic treasurer's checks display a reflective foil security bar across the top of the check, and only the bank's name is printed in the top-center area. A security feature statement, printed in italics, is displayed directly below the written dollar amount line. The bank's name, city, state, zip code and the words "TREASURER'S CHECK" are displayed in the lower-left corner. A padlock icon and security statements are printed on the right side.
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:
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
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 email@example.com. 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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Distribution: FDIC-Supervised Banks (Commercial and Savings)
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