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Special Alerts

March 17, 2006

TO: CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (also of interest to Security Officer)
SUBJECT: Counterfeit Treasury Checks
Summary: Counterfeit treasury checks drawn on Mercantile-Safe Deposit and Trust Company, Baltimore, Maryland, are reportedly in circulation.

Mercantile-Safe Deposit and Trust Company, Baltimore, Maryland, has contacted the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to report that counterfeit checks bearing the institution's name are in circulation.

The counterfeit items display the routing number 052000618, which is assigned to Mercantile-Safe Deposit and Trust Company. The counterfeit items are not similar to authentic treasurer's checks in appearance.

The counterfeit items bear the name "Mercantile Bank and Trust," an address, and a telephone number not associated with the bank in the lower-left corner. The words "TREASURY CHECK" are in a solid box in the top center, and a logo is displayed in the upper-left corner. The words "PAY EXACTLY" are displayed on the left side and a padlock symbol on the far right side. Printed above the signature lines in the lower-right corner is the following statement: "CHECKS OVER $25,000 MUST HAVE TWO SIGNATURES." Printed in the bottom border is the following statement: "THE VARIABLE TONE BACKGROUND AREA OF THIS DOCUMENT CHANGES COLOR GRADUALLY AND SMOOTHLY AT BOTH TOP AND BOTTOM TO THE LIGHTEST TONE IN THE MIDDLE."

Authentic treasurer's checks display the bank's logo next to the name "Mercantile Bank and Trust," the city, and the state in the upper-left corner. The words "TREASURER'S CHECK" appear in the lower-left corner. "TWO SIGNATURES REQUIRED IF $10,000 OR GREATER" is printed below the top signature line, and "AUTHORIZED SIGNATURE" is printed below the second signature line on the lower-right side. Authentic checks have a medium grey background.

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

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

J. C. Swinson
Security Officer
Mercantile-Safe Deposit and Trust Company
Two Hopkins Plaza
Baltimore, MD 21203-1477
Telephone (410) 347-8319
FAX: (410) 347-8263
E-mail: jc.swinson@mercantile.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

Distribution: FDIC-Supervised Banks (Commercial and Savings)

Last Updated 03/17/2006 communications@fdic.gov