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Special Alerts

SA-207-2007
August 6, 2007


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

Bank of the Sierra, Porterville, California, has contacted the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to report that counterfeit cashier's checks bearing the institution's name are in circulation. The counterfeit items are reportedly associated with an Internet art scam.

The counterfeit items display the routing number 121137027, which is assigned to Bank of the Sierra. The items are markedly dissimilar to authentic cashier's checks and are tan to light brown in color. The counterfeit items contain the following security feature statement within the top border: "THIS CHECK IS VOID WITHOUT A COLORED BORDER AND BACKGROUND PLUS A KNIGHT & FINGERPRINT WATERMARK ON THE BACK - HOLD AT ANGLE TO VIEW." A security feature statement also appears along the bottom border. The following statements are displayed directly below a dotted signature line: "If this check is lost or stolen it will not be replaced for 90 days," and "SIGNATURE AREA CONTAINS A KNIGHT & FINGERPRINT CHECK WORDING." Patent numbers are printed in pink beneath the bottom border and disappear when touched or blown upon. The word "REMITTER" is printed in the lower left.

Authentic checks have ornate borders and a multi-colored background. The following security feature statement is centered within the top border: "NOTE: SEE REVERSE FOR SECURITY FEATURES." Displayed directly below the signature line is the statement "If this check is lost or stolen it will not be replaced for 90 days."

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:

Dina Wilson
Vice President and Assistant Director of Bank Operations
Bank of the Sierra
86 North Main Street
Porterville, California 93257-3712
Telephone: (559) 782-4900, extension 4943
Fax: (559) 791-4961
E-mail: Wilson@bankofthesierra.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/2007/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 8/6/2007 communications@fdic.gov