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Financial Institution Letters

O ALERT 2001-5


Comptroller of the Currency
Administrator of National Banks

Subject: Fictitious Regulatory
Agency Issuances
Description: Fictitious Financial Programs
Attributed To the Office of the
Comptroller of the Currency

TO: Chief Executive Officers of All National Banks; All State Banking Authorities; Chairman, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; Chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; Conference of State Bank Supervisors; Deputy Comptrollers (Districts); Assistant Deputy Comptrollers; District Counsel and Examining Personnel


Proposals to individuals regarding the receipt of international payments or the release of payments under the control of federal bank regulatory authorities.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has become aware of the circulation of fictitious documents containing proposals for individuals to claim certain international payments reportedly being held by the OCC. The OCC does not have any involvement in the private transfer of funds, nationally or internationally, nor does it maintain any type of deposit account for or in the name of any individual(s). Any documents stating that the OCC is holding, or has placed a hold on, funds for the benefit of an individual or for an individual's account should be viewed as not genuine.

Attached are two samples of bogus proposals forwarded to this office. Please be advised that:

  1. These documents are fictitious and the statements contained in them are completely false.

  2. The headings on the documents are not used or authorized for use by the OCC.

  3. The phone numbers contained in the documents are not those of any OCC office.

  4. The Direct Satellite number is not an OCC telephone number. This 873 international area code is for telephones located in the geographical area of the Indian Ocean.

  5. The signatures on both documents are fictitious. While John D. Hawke is the Comptroller of the Currency, the signature appearing above Mr. Hawke's name is not his signature nor is it authorized by him. In addition, there is no position of Director General Financial Stability within the OCC, and the OCC does not employ Robertson J. Scott, nor has the agency authorized anyone by that name to act on behalf of the OCC.

We strongly suggest that prior to responding in any manner to a similar type of proposal that requests personal information or personal account information, or the payment of any fees in connection with such proposals, you exercise extreme caution to ensure that the proposal presented to you is legitimate. At a minimum, we recommend that you:

  1. Obtain direct verification of the facts presented to you by contacting your financial institution; or

  2. Contact the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

Any information which you may have concerning this matter should be brought to the attention of


Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Enforcement & Compliance Division
250 E Street, SW, Washington, DC 20219

Fax (202) 874-5301

Brian C. McCormally
Enforcement & Compliance Division

Last Updated 10/24/2011

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