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Southern Bank & Trust, Aiken, South Carolina, has contacted the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to report that counterfeit cashier's checks bearing the institution's name are in circulation. The counterfeit items are reportedly associated with a mystery shopping scam.
The counterfeit items display the routing number 053274139, which is assigned to Southern Bank & Trust. However, Southern Bank & Trust issues official checks through an account at U.S. Bank, St. Paul, Minnesota. The counterfeit items are dissimilar to authentic official checks. Centered at the top of the counterfeit items are the words "CASHIER'S CHECK." In the upper-left corner are the bank's logo, name, city, state and a toll-free telephone number, which is not associated with the bank. The counterfeit items display the following security statement embedded within the top border: "THE FACE OF THIS DOCUMENT HAS A COLORED BACKGROUND ON WHITE PAPER." Embedded within the bottom border are the following statements: "THE BACK OF THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS AN ARTIFICIAL WATERMARK - HOLD AT AN ANGLE TO VIEW." On the right side of the items, the bank is listed as the "DRAWER." The word "REMITTER" is printed in the lower-left corner.
Authentic checks display the wording "OFFICIAL CHECK" in the upper-right corner and include "PAYABLE THROUGH, U.S. BANK, ST. PAUL, MN" on three lines in the lower-left corner. The following statements are printed directly below the top border: "THIS DOCUMENT HAS AN ARTIFICIAL WATERMARK PRINTED ON THE BACK. THE FRONT OF THE DOCUMENT HAS A MICRO- PRINT SIGNATURE LINE. ABSENCE OF THESE FEATURES WILL INDICATE A COPY." The phrase "MEMBER FDIC" and the word "REMITTER" appear below the bank's logo in the upper-left corner. To the right of the logo are the bank's name, address, city, state and zip code.
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:
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 email@example.com. 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 website 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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Distribution: FDIC-Supervised Banks (Commercial and Savings)
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