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Financial Institution Letter
Special Alert

SUBJECT: U.S. Secret Service Counterfeit Check Database

As a part of its financial crimes enforcement activity, the United States Secret Service investigates counterfeit corporate check activity. In 1997, the Secret Service piloted a project to create a database on the Internet with information on counterfeit corporate checks that could be shared by the banking industry and law enforcement agencies.

Based on the success of the pilot project, the database has been expanded for nationwide accessibility. The enhanced database allows the Secret Service to use the information to conduct comprehensive analyses of trends and patterns in financial crimes, while it facilitates proactive investigations of counterfeit corporate check activity. The database is located on the Web at [Web product is no longer available].

On the Web site, banks and other selected parties may enter information on counterfeit corporate checks, view information entered by other participants, and interact with others who use the site. Access is restricted, and participation in the program must be approved by the Secret Service. For more information about the database, including how to gain access (you may register for access on the Web site), please see the attached.

Please share this information with those within your institution who may be involved in the investigation and/or reporting of counterfeit corporate check activity. Use of the database is strictly voluntary and does not relieve banks of the obligation to report counterfeit checks or other check fraud activities to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network by filing Suspicious Activity Reports.

For more information, please contact the U.S. Secret Service Financial Crimes Division at (202) 406-5850. For your reference, all FDIC Financial Institution Letters published since January of 1995 may be found on the FDIC's Web site at under "News, Events & FOIA."

James L. Sexton

Attachment: (Electronic version not available)

Distribution: FDIC-Supervised Banks (Commercial and Savings)

NOTE: Paper copies of FDIC financial institution letters may be obtained through the FDIC's Public Information Center, 801 17th Street, NW, Room 100, Washington, DC 20434 (800-276-6003 or (703) 562-2200).

Last Updated: March 22, 2000