Home > News & Events > Special Alerts

Special Alerts

December 20, 2007

TO: CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (also of interest to Security Officer)
SUBJECT: Counterfeit Official Checks
Summary: Counterfeit official checks bearing the name Elsa State Bank & Trust, Elsa, Texas, are reportedly in circulation.

Elsa State Bank and Trust Company, Elsa, Texas, has contacted the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to report that counterfeit official checks bearing the institution's name are in circulation. The items are reportedly associated with a Canadian lottery scam.

The counterfeit items display the routing number 114922142, which is assigned to Elsa State Bank and Trust Company. The items are markedly dissimilar to authentic cashier's checks. The counterfeit items display the security feature statement "THE FACE OF THE DOCUMENT HAS COLORED BACKGROUND ON WHITE PAPER" centered within the top border. The security statement "THE BACK OF THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS AN ARTIFICIAL WATERMARK-HOLD AT AN ANGLE TO VIEW" is centered within the bottom border. The words "OFFICIAL CHECK" appear in the top center. The bank's name is centered below the signature line in the bottom-right corner. A security padlock icon is within the right border.

Elsa State Bank and Trust Company does not issue official checks; however, it does issue expense checks, interest checks and cashier's checks.

Authentic expense checks are light green, and they display the routing number 114922142 and the words "EXPENSE CHECK" above two signature lines in the lower-right corner.

Authentic interest checks are burgundy, and they display the routing number 114922142 and the words "INTEREST CHECK" near the top center. They also display a columned "VOID" background when copied.

Authentic cashier's checks display the routing number 051900353, which is assigned to Branch Banking and Trust Company (BB&T), Charleston, West Virginia. Elsa State Bank and Trust Company issues cashier's checks through a BB&T account. The words "CASHIER'S CHECK" are below the check number in the top-right corner. The following security feature statements are centered below the top border: "THIS DOCUMENT HAS AN ARTIFICIAL WATERMARK PRINTED ON THE BACK. THE FRONT OF THE DOCUMENT HAS A MICRO-PRINT SIGNATURE LINE. ABSENCE OF THESE FEATURES WILL INDICATE A COPY." The bank's name and address appear in the top center. An indemnity bond statement is displayed in the top-left corner and branch locations are listed on the left side. "PAYABLE THROUGH BB&T, CHARLESTON, WV" is shown in the bottom-left corner. The statements "TWO SIGNATURES REQUIRED OVER $10,000" and "ISSUER ACCEPTS AS DRAWER/DRAWEE" are displayed below two signature lines in the lower-right 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:

Irma Solis
Elsa State Bank and Trust Company
300 West Edinburg Avenue
P.O. Box 397
Elsa, Texas 78543-0397
Telephone: (956) 262-1391
Fax: (956) 262-4768
E-mail: irmasolis@elsastatebank.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 12/20/2007 communications@fdic.gov