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Special Alerts

November 12, 2004

TO: CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (also of interest to Security Officer)
SUBJECT: Counterfeit Official Checks
Summary: Counterfeit official checks drawn on Sovereign Bank, Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, are reportedly in circulation.

Sovereign Bank, Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, has contacted the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to report that counterfeit official checks bearing the institution's name are in circulation.

The counterfeit items display the proper routing number of 096016765 for Sovereign Bank. The counterfeit items and the authentic checks are almost identical. To date, the check numbers on the counterfeit items have been seven digits with the first four digits being "3555." Also, the wording "Branch: 240" is included near the left center of the counterfeit item. Both the counterfeit items and the authentic checks are pink in color. However, the counterfeit items are a pale pink color, while the authentic checks are a brighter pink. A copy of a counterfeit item is attached for your review.

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

Carolyn McFadden
Fraud Investigator
Sovereign Bank
P.O. Box 608
Villanova, Pennsylvania 19085
Telephone: (610) 526-6254
Fax: (610) 526-6485

Information about these instruments may be forwarded to the FDIC's Special Activities Section, 550 17th Street, N.W., Room F-4040, 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/2004/index.html. To learn how to automatically receive FDIC Special Alerts through e-mail, please visit www.fdic.gov/about/subscriptions/index.html.

Michael J. Zamorski
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, 801 17th Street, NW, Room 100, Washington, DC 20434 (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 11/12/2004 communications@fdic.gov