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Special Alerts

SA-120-2008
June 13, 2008


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 lottery scam and are included with correspondence from a "Consumer's Reward Program Lottery."

Elsa State Bank and Trust Company does not issue official checks. It does, however, issue cashier's checks. 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 following security feature statement is centered and embedded in a darkened top border: "FOR SECURITY PURPOSES THE FACE OF THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS A COLORED BACKGROUND AND MICROPRINTING IN THE BORDER." A security statement is also shown along the bottom border between two padlocks. The words "OFFICIAL CHECK" appear in the top center. The bank's name is shown as "ELSA STATE BANK & TRUST" in the top-left corner. The word "COMPANY" is missing from the name. The bank's name is repeated in the lower-left corner. The following statements are above the signature and are in the lower-right corner: "NOT VALID AFTER 90 DAYS (3 MONTHS)" and "NOT VALID OVER $10,000 UNLESS COUNTERSIGNED."

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 its cashier's checks through an account at BB&T. The following security feature statement is 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 words "CASHIER'S CHECK" are in the top-right corner. A "NOTICE TO CUSTOMERS" regarding an indemnity bond statement is shown in the top-left corner. The bank's name ("ELSA STATE BANK & TRUST COMPANY") and address are in the top center. The following branch locations are listed on the lower-left side: "ELSA, TX; RIO GRANDE CITY, TX; ROMA, TX; EDCOULCH, TX." "PAYABLE THROUGH BB&T, CHARLESTON, WV" is shown in the lower-left corner. The statements "TWO SIGNATURES REQUIRED OVER $10,000" and "ISSUER ACCEPTS AS DRAWER/DRAWEE" appear 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
Bookkeeper
Elsa State Bank & 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/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 6/13/2008 communications@fdic.gov