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Special Alerts

October 31, 2005

TO: CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (also of interest to Security Officer)
SUBJECT: Counterfeit Cashier's Checks
Summary: Counterfeit cashier's checks drawn on Union Bank of California, National Association, San Francisco, California, are reportedly in circulation.

Union Bank of California, National Association, San Francisco, California, has contacted the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to report that counterfeit checks bearing the institution's name are in circulation.

The counterfeit items display the routing number 121000497, which is assigned to Union Bank of California, National Association, San Francisco, California. The counterfeit items are markedly dissimilar to authentic checks. Authentic checks display a telephone number below the bank address, have a logo that appears to be a square box, and have a rectangular box surrounding the printed dollar amount. Authentic checks also have a protectograph feature following the arrows across the top portion of the check. Within this feature, the dollar amount of the check is displayed. The counterfeit items do not display a telephone number, nor do they have a box surrounding the printed dollar amount. In addition, the counterfeit items display a logo that is more rectangular in shape. While the counterfeit items display arrows across the top portion of the check, a protectograph feature is not included. Therefore, the dollar amount is not displayed to the right of the arrows. A copy 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:

Debra Kaplan
Assistant Vice President - Risk Services
Union Bank of California, National Association
400 California Street 1-001-14
San Francisco, California 94104
Telephone: (415) 765-3426
Fax: (415) 765-3522

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/2005/index.html. To learn how to automatically receive FDIC Special Alerts through e-mail, please visit www.fdic.gov/about/subscriptions/index.html.

Christopher J. Spoth
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, 801 17th Street, NW, Room 100, Washington, DC 20434 (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 10/31/2005 communications@fdic.gov