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The Richland Trust Company (doing business as Richland Bank), Mansfield, Ohio, has contacted the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to report that counterfeit official checks bearing the institution's name are in circulation. The items are reportedly associated with a "secret shopper" employment scam.
The counterfeit items display the routing number 044101305, which is assigned to Richland Bank, but are dissimilar to authentic official checks. The counterfeit items are tan or green, and display a security feature statement embedded in the top border and along the bottom border between two padlocks. The words "OFFICIAL CHECK" are inside a rectangle centered just below the top border. The back of the items display a bordered security box at the bottom.
Authentic official checks are grey and have a scroll border on the top and sides with solid squares in the top corners. The words "OFFICIAL CHECK" are inside a rectangle incorporated in the top border. The following security feature statements appear just below the top border on either side of the rectangle: "THIS DOCUMENT HAS AN ARTIFICIAL WATERMARK PRINTED ON THE BACK. THE FRONT OF THE DOCUMENT HAS A MICRO-PRINT SIGNATURE LINE AND BORDER. ABSENCE OF THESE FEATURES WILL INDICATE A COPY." The following statement is embedded in the bottom border: "THE VARIABLE TONE BACKGROUND AREA OF THIS DOCUMENT CHANGES COLOR GRADUALLY AND SMOOTHLY FROM DARKER TONES AT THE TOP TO THE LIGHTEST TONE AT THE BOTTOM." Authentic checks display a patterned "VOID" background when copied and "FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD OF GOVERNORS, REG. CC" is printed on the back at the bottom.
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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: email@example.com).
Distribution: FDIC-Supervised Banks (Commercial and Savings)
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