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Special Alerts

SA-122-2008
June 16, 2008


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

Bank of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, 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 121301028, which is assigned to Bank of Hawaii. Bank of Hawaii does not issue official checks; however, it does issue cashier's checks. The counterfeit items are beige and have ornate-patterned top and side borders. The words "OFFICIAL CHECK" are displayed inside a rectangle with rounded corners in the top center and the security statement "HOLD DOCUMENT UP TO THE LIGHT TO VIEW WATERMARK" is printed on each side. The bank's name, city and state are shown in the top-left corner and repeated in the lower-left corner. "NOT VALID AFTER 90 DAYS (3 MONTHS)" and "NOT VALID OVER $100,000 UNLESS COUNTERSIGNED" are shown above the signature line.

Authentic cashier's checks have a blue and white background showing the word "VOID" when copied. The security feature statements "VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY OF THIS MULTI-TONE SECURITY DOCUMENT" and "CHECK BACKGROUND AREA CHANGES COLOR GRADUALY FROM TOP TO BOTTOM" are contained in boxes embedded in the top border. The following security statements are embedded in the bottom border: "THE ORIGINAL DOCUMENT HAS A WHITE REFLECTIVE WATERMARK ON THE BACK" and "HOLD AT AN ANGLE TO SEE THE MARK WHEN CHECKING THE ENDORSEMENTS." The bank's logo and name are in the top-left corner and the words "CASHIER'S CHECK" are in the top-right corner. The numeric dollar amount is preceded by eight arrows pointing toward the amount. The statement "Subject to terms and conditions contained in the Agreement on revere side" is shown to the left of the computer-generated signature.

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:

Mike Kawamoto
Deposit Operations Process & Compliance Officer
Bank of Hawaii
909 Dillingham Blvd, Suite 275
Honolulu, Hawaii 96817
Telephone: (808) 694-5712
Fax: (808) 694-5830
E-mail: Mike.Kawamoto@boh.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 6/16/2008 communications@fdic.gov