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Alert 2007-11
Description: AMCORE Bank, N.A.

Counterfeit Official Checks of AMCORE Bank, N.A., Rockford, IL

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 at least two variations of counterfeit official checks issued in the bank's name and using a correct routing number of 022000868 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with various lottery and Internet purchase overpayment scams.

The first variation of counterfeit items may be identified by the following traits: the checks are blue and white in color with a blue border. The following statement is located in the top border of the item: "THE FACE OF THIS DOCUMENT HAS A BLUE GRADUATING TINT (BLUE-WHITE-BLUE) BACKGROUND ON WHITE PAPER." An abbreviated routing number of 19-86/220 is printed in the top-center portion of the check, the words "Official Check" are located in the upper-right portion of the instrument, and the following statement may be printed in the lower-left section of the check: "Issued by Integrated Payment System Inc, Englewood, Colorado Citibank (New York State) Buffalo, NY." The bottom border of the item contains the following security statement: "THE BACK OF THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS A REFLECTIVE SECURITY MARK – HOLD AT AN ANGLE TO VIEW."

The second version of counterfeits received to date may be identified by the following traits: the checks are blue in color with a marbled background and contain a dark blue border. The following statement is located in the top border of the item: "THE FACE OF THIS DOCUMENT HAS A COLORED BACKGROUND ON WHITE PAPER AND ORIGINAL DOCUMENT SECURITY SCREEN ON BACK WITH PADLOCK SECURITY ICON." The bottom border contains a Web site address of: "[www.LaserPrinterChecks.com]," and the right border contains a Padlock icon along with a security statement of: "Security Features are Included. Details on back." These items contain an abbreviated routing number of 16-86/220 in the top-center portion of the check directly beneath the words "OFFICIAL CHECK."

Items presented to date have been made payable in various amounts and may contain remitter names of Suzanne Freeman or John Sprader.

One example of lottery correspondence accompanying the checks may contain the letterhead of "Citadel Financial Trust Services, P.O. Box N-4093, Nassau, N.P., The Bahamas, Sponsor: Lotto, Reader's Digest, Publisher's Clearing House, Sweepstakes." The letter alerts the recipient that he or she is the winner of an unclaimed prize and should contact the office immediately. The recipient is advised to keep all information confidential and is encouraged to act by a specific date or the winnings will be forfeited. Recipients are to contact claims agents Mr. Henry Diop at 1-613-255-3295 (Canadian telephone number) for further instruction. The correspondence may be signed by Andrea Klein, Director Claims & Credit Control.

Due to the constant variation of appearance, it is suggested that AMCORE Bank officials be contacted to verify authenticity of the bank's official items.

For additional information and guidance and to verify the authenticity of AMCORE Bank, N.A.'s official checks, please contact Wendell Craft, Security Manager, AMCORE Bank, N.A., 501 Seventh Street, PO Box 1537, Rockford, IL 61110-0037, by telephone at (815) 961-4990, by fax at (866) 237-4287, or via e-mail at [wendell.craft@amcore.com].

Consumers who receive a counterfeit item and associated material should file complaints with the following agencies:

  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC): by telephone at 1-877-FTC-HELP or, for filing a complaint electronically, via the FTC’s Internet site at www.ftc.gov.

  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police (Canadian Scams): by telephone at 1-888-495-8501 or via e-mail at [info@phonebusters.com]. Their Web site, www.phonebusters.com, provides additional contact numbers.

  • Better Business Bureau – The BBB system serves markets throughout Canada, Puerto Rico, and the United States, and is the marketplace leader in advancing trust between businesses and consumers. The international Web site www.bbb.org offers contact information for local BBBs, objective reports on more than two million businesses, consumer scam alerts, and tips on a wide variety of topics that help consumers find trustworthy businesses and make wise purchasing decisions.

  • If correspondence is received via the U.S. Postal Service, contact the U.S. Postal Inspector Service by telephone at 1-888-877-7644, by mail at U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Office of Inspector General, Operations Support Group, 222 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 1250, Chicago, IL  60606-6100, or via e-mail at http://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/forms/MailFraudComplaint.aspx.

Consumers who receive a counterfeit item associated with scams originating via the Internet should also file complaints with:

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Internet Fraud Complaint Center:
www.ic3.gov

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/

Richard C. Stearns
Director for Enforcement & Compliance