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Special Alerts

SA-115-2006
April 21, 2006


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

The Pittsfield Cooperative Bank, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, has contacted the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to report that counterfeit cashier's checks bearing the institution's name are in circulation.

The fraudulent items display the routing number 211870142, which is assigned to The Pittsfield Cooperative Bank, but are dissimilar to authentic checks. The counterfeit items bear the words "Cashier's Check" in the top-center portion of the item. The bank's name, a branch address and a telephone number, not associated with the bank, are printed in the lower-left corner. A statement describing security features, including reference to a watermark on the reverse side, is printed within the top border. The counterfeit items have a light brown background and a dark brown border.

Authentic checks display a light blue background, a dark blue border and the routing number 011000536, which is assigned to the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston. Printed on the lower- left side are the words "FEDERAL HOME LOAN BANK OF BOSTON." Embedded within the bottom border are the instructions: "HOLD AT AN ANGLE TOWARD LIGHT TO VERIFY SAFETY FEATURES ON BACK."

Copies of a counterfeit item and an authentic check (VOID) are attached for review.

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

John J. Curley
Security Officer
The Pittsfield Cooperative Bank
70 South Street
Pittsfield, MA 01201
Phone: (413) 447-7304
Fax: (413) 448-2080
E-mail: jcurley@pittsfield-coop.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. Information 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 Web site at www.fdic.gov/news/news/SpecialAlert/2006/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
Acting 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 online copies of fraudulent instruments or copies of the genuine instruments that have been counterfeited. This is to avoid attempts by others to use the electronic versions of these instruments to facilitate additional fraud. Printed copies of fraudulent instruments are mailed with the Special Alert letter to the financial institutions on the letter's distribution list (generally, FDIC-supervised banks – commercial and savings). Printed copies of the 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 04/21/2006 communications@fdic.gov