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Special Alerts

SA-241-2007
August 27, 2007


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

First Western Bank, Wall, South Dakota, has contacted the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to report that counterfeit cashier's checks bearing the institution's name are in circulation. The items are reportedly associated with an "Award Claim Final Notification" scam and accompanied by correspondence from Canada and the Virgin Islands.

The counterfeit items display the routing number 091409186, which is assigned to First Western Bank. The items are dissimilar to authentic cashier's checks. The counterfeit items display a security feature statement embedded within a darkened top border. The statements "SECURITY FEATURES INCLUDED. DETAILS ON BACK" are centered along the bottom border between two padlock icons. The bank's branch names appear below the bank's logo and name in the top center.

Authentic checks have ornate borders. A security feature statement is displayed below the written dollar amount line. A security padlock icon and statement are printed to the right of "DOLLARS." The bank's address ("P.O Box 402, 418 Main Street, Wall, SD 57790") appears below the bank's logo and name in the top center.

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:

Melanie Shull
Vice President and Cashier
First Western Bank
P.O. Box 402
Wall, South Dakota 57790
Telephone: (605) 279-2141
Fax: (605) 279-2250
E-mail: mshull@firstwesternbank.com

To report this scam or any other scam based in or mailed from Canada, please contact Phonebusters, which is a joint partnership between the Ontario Provincial Police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Phonebusters is interested in receiving copies of scam letters, particularly those involving Canadian mailing addresses or telephone numbers. Records relating to the payment of advance fees should also be forwarded to Phonebusters. This information is used to assist in the strategic targeting of would-be fraudsters. Scam letters should be forwarded to the Phonebusters National Call Center (PNCC) as follows:

Mail: Box 686
North Bay, Ontario, Canada
P1B 8J8
Web site: www.phonebusters.com
Telephone: +1 (888) 495-8501 (toll-free in Canada and the USA)
Fax: +1 (888) 654-9426 (toll-free in Canada and the USA)
E-mail: info@phonebusters.com
Advance fee fraud (including Nigerian and lottery letters): wafl@phonebusters.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 Web site 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 8/29/2007 communications@fdic.gov