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Special Alerts

SA-291-2007
November 15, 2007


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

Center Bank, Los Angeles, California, 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 display the routing number 122042205, which is assigned to Preferred Bank, Los Angeles, California. Center Bank issues cashier's checks through a payable account at Preferred Bank. The counterfeit items are similar to authentic checks. However, the counterfeit items display a security statement embedded within a darkened top border with rounded corners. A security statement is centered in the bottom border with a padlock icon on each side. A globe watermark appears in the middle of the counterfeit items.

Authentic checks display the following statements 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 AND THERMOCHROMIC. ABSENCE OF THESE FEATURES WILL INDICATE A COPY." A pink heat-sensitive octagon with "RUB HERE" printed above and "COLOR FADES WITH HEAT" below is in the lower-right corner.

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:

Paul Kim
First Vice President, Operations Administrator and Security Officer
Center Bank
Operations Administration
3435 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 700
Los Angeles, California 90010
Telephone: (888) 699-7788
Fax: (213) 386-7847
E-mail: PaulK@centerbank.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 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.

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 11/15/2007 communications@fdic.gov