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Special Alerts

March 31, 2008

TO: CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (also of interest to Security Officer)
SUBJECT: Counterfeit Cashier's Checks
Summary: Counterfeit cashier's checks bearing the name Freedom Bank, Columbia Falls, Montana, are reportedly in circulation.

Freedom Bank, Columbia Falls, Montana, has contacted the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to report that counterfeit cashier's checks bearing the institution's name are in circulation. The items are reportedly associated with a sweepstakes scam and are accompanied by correspondence purportedly sent by the Star Luck Casino in Canada.

The counterfeit items display the routing number 092905456, which is assigned to Freedom Bank, but are dissimilar to authentic cashier's checks. On the counterfeit items, the words "CASHIERS CHECK" (without an apostrophe) are centered inside a rectangle in the top-center area. The items are pink with rounded maroon top and bottom borders. A security feature statement is embedded in the top border and along the bottom border between two padlocks. The bank's logo, name and "P.O. Box 2076, Columbia Falls, MT 59912" are in the lower-left corner. The words "AUTHORIZED SIGNATURE" appear below the signature line.

Authentic cashier's checks are blue with ornate borders. The words "CASHIER'S CHECK" (with an apostrophe) are inside a rectangle with outward-pointing ornate arrows at each end in the top-center area. The words "NOTICE TO CUSTOMER" appear above an indemnity bond statement in the top-left corner. A security padlock icon and statement are below the numeric amount box on the right side. The bank's logo, name, street address, P.O. Box, and telephone number appear in the lower-left corner. The words "AUTHORIZED SIGNATURE" appear above the signature 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:

Jerry S. Burley
Loan Officer
Freedom Bank
530 9th Street West
P.O. Box 2076
Columbia Falls, Montana 59912
Telephone: (406) 892-6625
Fax: (406) 892-6620
E-mail: jburley@freedombankmt.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/2008/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 3/31/2008 communications@fdic.gov