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Special Alerts

SA-105-2008
May 13, 2008


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

Sovereign Bank, Dallas, Texas, 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 display the routing number 011007092, which is assigned to Boston Safe Deposit & Trust Company, Boston, Massachusetts. Sovereign Bank issues official checks through Moneygram Payment Systems, Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota, payable through Boston Safe Deposit & Trust Company. The counterfeit items are dissimilar to authentic official checks.

Counterfeit items are light blue and display the following security statement embedded in a darkened top border: "FOR SECURITY PURPOSES, THE FACE OF THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS A COLORFUL BACKGROUND AND MICROPRINTING IN THE BORDER." A security statement is also shown along the bottom border between two padlocks. Counterfeit items display a "VOID" background when copied.

Authentic official checks are light green and display the following security statement within 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 logo (a horseman with a sword icon encircled by the bank's name) is to the left of the bank's name and location in the top-center area.

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:

Melody Marshall
Branch Support Coordinator
17950 Preston Road, Suite 500
Dallas, Texas 75252
Telephone: (972) 713-1113
Fax: (214) 234-1974
E-mail: mmarshall@banksov.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
Director
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 5/13/2008 communications@fdic.gov