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Special Alerts

SA-104-2008
May 13, 2008


TO: CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (also of interest to Security Officer)
SUBJECT: Counterfeit Cashier's Checks
Summary: Counterfeit cashier's checks bearing the name Firstbank –Alma, Alma, Michigan, are reportedly in circulation.

Firstbank – Alma, Alma, Michigan, has contacted the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to report that counterfeit cashier's checks bearing the institution's name are in circulation. The items are reportedly associated with a fraudulent "class action settlement" scam and are accompanied by a letter purportedly from Bergman, Kutinsky Law Group with addresses shown in Michigan and Canada.

The counterfeit items display the routing number 096016765, which is assigned to U.S. Bank, Saint Paul, Minnesota. Firstbank - Alma issues its cashier's checks through U.S. Bank. The counterfeit items are similar to authentic cashier's checks.

Authentic cashier's checks have a double-lined border and burgundy lettering. The bank's logo (one white diamond between two burgundy diamonds) appears as a watermark in the middle and on the back. The following security statements are displayed 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 "VOID AFTER 90 DAYS" is centered just above the bottom border.

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:

Dianne Stilson
Vice President and Security Officer
Firstbank – Alma
311 Woodworth Avenue
Alma, Michigan 48801
Telephone: (989) 352-7272, extension 2209
Fax: (989) 352-7809
E-mail: dstilson@firstbankmi.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/2008/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 5/13/2008 communications@fdic.gov