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Special Alerts

SA-157-2006
May 31, 2006


TO: CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (also of interest to Security Officer)
SUBJECT: Counterfeit Official Checks
Summary: Counterfeit official checks bearing the name California Bank and Trust, Palmdale, California, are reportedly in circulation.

California Bank & Trust, San Diego, California, 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 routing number 122043149, which is assigned to Integrated Payment Systems, Englewood, Colorado, but are dissimilar to authentic checks. The counterfeit items state in the lower-left corner that they are "Issued by Integrated Payment Systems, Inc, Englewood, Colorado," through "America Bank, Los Angeles, CA." The bank's Palmdale Branch address is printed in the top-center portion of the item. A large "CB" logo appears as a watermark on the right side of the counterfeit item, and "SIGNATURE HAS A COLORED BACKGROUND" is printed in the lower-right corner. The following statement is embedded in the top border: "THIS CHECK IS VOID WITHOUT A COLORED BACKGROUND AND AN ARTIFICIAL WATERMARK CERTIFICATION SEAL ON THE BACK – HOLD AT AN ANGLE TO VIEW SEAL." The counterfeit items have printed borders along all sides.

Authentic checks state in the lower-left corner that they are issued by "Integrated Payment Systems, Inc., Englewood, California," through "Comerica Bank, Los Angeles, CA." "HOLD DOCUMENT UP TO THE LIGHT TO VIEW TRUE WATERMARK" is printed along the top center. Authentic checks do not include printed borders or an address.

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:

Charles R. Ott
Vice President & Corporate Security Manager
California Bank & Trust
300 Lakeside Drive 3rd Floor
Oakland, California 94612
Telephone: (510) 808-1643
Fax: (510) 808-1649
Email: cott@calbt.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 5/31/2006 communications@fdic.gov