Each depositor insured to at least $250,000 per insured bank

Home > News & Events > Special Alerts

Special Alerts

May 1, 2006

TO: CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (also of interest to Security Officer)
SUBJECT: Counterfeit Official Checks
Summary: Counterfeit official checks bearing the name KeyBank National Association, East Syracuse, New York, are reportedly in circulation.

KeyBank National Association, East Syracuse, New York, has contacted the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to report that counterfeit official checks bearing the institution 's name are in circulation.

The counterfeit items display the proper routing number 102003918, and are associated with both lottery and Internet purchase scams. One group of counterfeit items is accompanied by a letter from "Hanson Public Relations, 20 St - Margaret's Bay, Halifax, Nova Scotia H3H IJ4," which notifies recipients of being the grand prize winner of an international promotion program. The recipients are instructed to call 1-902-412-0370 for further information.

The counterfeit items are printed on versa check paper in various colors. The following address appears in the upper-left portion of the counterfeit items, directly beneath the KeyBank logo: "KEY BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, 121 W MANLIUS ST., EAST SYRACUSE, NY 13057." Along the top border, the following statement is displayed: "THIS CHECK IS VOID WITHOUT A COLORED BORDER AND BACKGROUND PLUS A KIGHT & FINGERPRINT WATERMARK ON THE BACK – HOLD AT ANGLE TO VIEW." Below the signature line is the following statement: "SIGNATURE AREA CONTAINS A KNIGHT & FINGERPRINT CHECK WORDING."

Authentic official checks are printed on blue check stock, with a blue scroll border printed on both sides and on the top of the check. The body of the checks contains light blue-lined cubes. In the top center portion of the check, "OFFICIAL CHECK" is displayed in black block lettering, inside of a contrasting blue-colored box. The following statement is displayed below the top border on each side of the box: "OFFICIAL CHECK: HOLD DOCUMENT UP TO THE LIGHT TO VIEW TRUE WATERMARK." A black key is printed in the top-left portion of the check, followed by "KeyBank National Association" and the address of the issuing branch. The following statement appears under the memo line: "Issued by Integrated Payment Systems, Inc. Englewood, Colorado," and is followed by "KeyBank National Association, Denver Colorado." The correct verification telephone number of 1-800- 223-7520 appears of the reverse side of the check.

To verify the authenticity of an official check, please use the following contact information:

Corporate Security Division
KeyBank National Association
127 Public Square
Cleveland, Ohio 44144
Telephone: (800) 433-0124

To report this scam or any other scam based in or mailed from Canada, please contact Phonebusters, which is a joint partnership between the Ontario Provincial Police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Phonebusters is interested in receiving copies of scam letters, particularly those involving Canadian mailing addresses or telephone numbers. Records relating to the payment of advance fees should also be forwarded to Phonebusters. This intelligence information is used to assist in the strategic targeting of would-be fraudsters. Scam letters should be forwarded to the Phonebusters National Call Center (PNCC) as follows:

Mail: Box 686
North Bay, Ontario, Canada
P1B 8J8
Web site: www.phonebusters.com
Telephone: +1 (888) 495-8501 (toll-free in Canada and the USA)
Fax: +1 (888) 654-9426 (toll-free in Canada and the USA)
E-mail: info@phonebusters.com
Advance fee fraud (including Nigerian and lottery letters): wafl@phonebusters.com

Additional information concerning this matter that you believe should be brought to the OCC's attention may be forwarded to:

Mail: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Enforcement & Compliance Division, MS 8-10
250 E Street, SW
Washington, DC 20219
Fax: (202) 874-5301
E-mail: occalertresponses@occ.treas.gov
Internet: http://www.occ.gov

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 website at www.fdic.gov/news/news/SpecialAlert/2006/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
  Acting Director
Division of Supervision and Consumer Protection

Distribution: FDIC-Supervised Banks (Commercial and Savings)

NOTE: Paper copies of FDIC Special Alerts may be obtained through the FDIC's Public Information (1-877-275-3342).

Last Updated 05/01/2006 communications@fdic.gov