Home > News & Events > Special Alerts




Special Alerts

SA-181-2007
July 3, 2007


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

Fitchburg Savings Bank, FSB, Fitchburg, Massachusetts, 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 are reportedly associated with a secret shopper scam and are included with correspondence from "The Apex Evaluation and Marketing Services" based in Ontario, Canada.

The counterfeit items display the routing number 211370736, which is assigned to Fitchburg Savings Bank, FSB, but are markedly dissimilar to authentic personal money orders. The counterfeit items have ornate borders on three sides and display the words "OFFICIAL CHECK" inside a rectangle with rounded corners centered within the top border. The following security statement appears on each side of the rectangle: "HOLD THIS DOCUMENT UP TO THE LIGHT TO VIEW TRUE WATERMARK." The bank's "FSB" logo, name and branch address ("9 Sack Blvd., Leominster, MA 01453") appear in the lower-left corner. The bank's name is repeated as "DRAWER" above the signature line.

Fitchburg Savings Bank, FSB issues personal money orders, rather than official checks. Authentic items display "PERSONAL MONEY ORDER" in the top center and are not valid for more than $1,000.

Copies of a counterfeit item and authentic personal money order (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:

John E. Flores
Manager, Main Office
Fitchburg Savings Bank, FSB
Telephone: (978) 345-1061, extension 2324
Fax: (978) 343-2240
E-mail: jflores@fsbfsb.com
Alternate contact:
Mary Largey
Retail Administrative Coordinator
Fitchburg Savings Bank, FSB
780 Main Street
Fitchburg, Massachusetts 01420
Telephone: (978) 665-2320
Fax: (978) 343-2240
E-mail: mlargey@fsbfsb.com

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 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

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/2007/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 7/3/2007 communications@fdic.gov