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Special Alerts

August 29, 2006

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

Columbia State Bank (also known as Columbia Bank), Tacoma, Washington, 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 125108272, which is assigned to Columbia State Bank, but are dissimilar to authentic checks. The words "CASHIER'S CHECK" and the FDIC logo are centered at the top of the counterfeit items. The counterfeit items have a marbled blue background. They display the address "6202 Mount Tacoma Drive, Lakewood, WA 98499" and a telephone number, which is not associated with the bank, in the upper-left corner. Embedded in the top border is the statement: "THIS DOCUMENT HAS A COLORED BACKGROUND AND MICROPRINTING. THE REVERSE SIDE INCLUDES AN ARTIFICIAL WATERMARK." Two signature lines appear in the lower-right corner.

Authentic checks display "Cashier's Check" in the lower-left corner above the words "Columbia State Bank, Tacoma, Washington." The check background consists of a watermark with white and blue "CB" logos in a tiled formation. The statement "THE REVERSE SIDE OF THIS DOCUMENT HAS AN ARTIFICIAL WATERMARK" is embedded within the bottom border. Authentic checks have one signature line in the bottom-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 may be modified and that additional variations are possible.

Any information you have concerning this matter should be brought to the attention of:

Michelle Hill
Fraud Investigation Officer
Columbia State Bank
Post Office Box 2156, MS OP-2119
Tacoma, Washington 98401-2156
Phone: (253) 471-4081
Fax: (253) 471-5030
E-mail: mhill@columbiabank.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. 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/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

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 8/29/2006 communications@fdic.gov