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Alert 2006-29
Description: Alaska First Bank & Trust, N.A.

Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks Drawn on Alaska First Bank & Trust, N.A., Anchorage, AK

To: Chief Executive Officers of All National Banks; All State Banking Authorities; Chairman, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; Chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; Director, Office of Thrift Supervision; Conference of State Bank Supervisors; Deputy Comptrollers (districts); Assistant Deputy Comptrollers; District Counsel; and All Examining Personnel

The above-named bank has reported that counterfeit cashier’s checks issued in the bank’s name and using a correct routing number of 125200905 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with a lottery scam.

The counterfeit checks can be identified by the following: printed on blue standard check stock paper and contains a logo in the upper-left corner of the check. The logo is similar to that of the authentic item, as it contains the lowercase letters “ak”; however, the name “Alaska First Community Bank & Trust” appears to the right of the logo, and the address “Anchorage AK 99509-2360 appears below the logo. The words, “CASHIER’S CHECK,” are located in the upper-right corner of the check directly beneath the check number. The payment-amount line is located under the logo, which is then followed by the payee information. The statement “THIS DOCUMENT HAS A COLORED BACKGROUND AND MICROPRINTING. THE REVERSE SIDE INCLUDES AN ARTIFICIAL WATERMARK” is contained within the top border of the check. The account number of 152100015162 appearing in the MICR line is incorrect. All checks presented to date have been made payable in amounts varying from $4,800.00 – $25,000.00, are dated 05/24/2006, and include a remitter name of “RICHARD OWENS.”

The counterfeit items have been mailed to potential victims accompanied by a letter from “Optimal Strategy Inc., 329 Victoria Ave., London, Ontario,” which is signed by Kevin Gray. The letter notifies the recipient that he or she has won a cash prize in a lottery drawing. The potential victim is instructed by the counterfeiters to contact North American foreign agent representative Robert Clark immediately to arrange a wire transfer of taxes in the amount of $2,800 in order to have the remaining funds released. The agent’s telephone number is listed as (519) 694-5127.

Authentic cashier’s checks are gray in color and contain a gray strip with silver leaves across the top of the instrument. Unlike the counterfeit items, the bank’s name is located below the logo, and the full address of “C Street Office 001, 3301 C Street, Anchorage, Alaska 99503” appears to the right. The words “Cashier’s Check” are located in the upper-center portion of the instrument followed by a branch identification section and date area. The words “CARB-OUT Deluxe” are located along the left border of the check, and a padlock logo with a security statement is located along the right border.

For additional information and guidance or to verify the authenticity of Alaska First Bank & Trust, N.A.’s cashier’s checks, please contact either Robin Bettisworth, security officer, 3301 C Street, Anchorage, Alaska 99503 by telephone at (907) 644-1222, by fax at (907) 561-7684, or via e-mail at [robin@fibank.com] or Barbara Brock, BIS manager, by telephone at (907) 929-9229, by fax at (907) 929-9240, or via e-mail at [Barbara@fibank.com]. The bank’s Web site is [www.akfirstbank.com].

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

E-mail: occalertresponses@occ.treas.gov
Mail: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Special Supervision Division, MS 6-4
250 E Street, SW, Washington, DC 20219
Fax: (202) 874-5214
Internet: http://www.occ.gov

For additional information regarding other types of financial fraud, please visit the OCC's anti-fraud resource at:
http://www.occ.gov/topics/consumer-protection/fraud-resources/index-fraud-resources.html.

/signed/

Daniel P. Stipano
Deputy Chief Counsel