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Alert 2007-36
Description: Sonabank, N.A.

Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks of Sonabank, N.A., Clifton Forge, VA

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 051409278 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with a lottery scam.

The counterfeit checks do not resemble the authentic items and may be identified by the following: the instruments are of unknown color, include the bank's name and address under the bank logo in the upper-left corner of the instrument, and contain a 4-digit serial number in the upper-right corner. The words "CASHIER'S CHECK" are located in the top center portion of the check and are enclosed in a box. Similarly, the date information and numerical dollar amount are also enclosed in boxes.

Items presented to date have been made payable in the amount of $2,500.00 and have been dated 05/29/2007. Due to possible variations of appearance, it is suggested that officials of Sonabank, N.A. be contacted to verify authenticity of the bank's cashier's checks if received from an unknown or questionable source.

Correspondence accompanying the counterfeit checks may contain the letterhead of "Heritage Lottery Fund, 28 Vincent Close, Westminster, London, SW1 10BT, UK, Tel: 011447788431299." The letter alerts the recipient that he or she is the winner of an unclaimed prize and instructs the recipient to contact agent Mr. Anthony Wright at 011-44-7908848115 within 14 days to remain eligible to claim the winnings. The letter further states that the enclosed check is to be used "for the payment of tax clearance fees" and that the recipient is to keep all winning information confidential. The letter may be signed by Dame Liz Forgan (Chairperson Heritage Lottery Fund).

For additional information and guidance and to verify the authenticity of Sonabank, N.A.'s cashier's checks, please contact Diane Wilcher, Compliance Officer, 511 Main Street, Clifton Forge, VA 24422, by telephone at (540) 862-4782, by fax at (540) 862-4255, or via e-mail at [dwilcher@sonabank.com].

Consumers who receive a counterfeit or fictitious item and associated material should file complaints with the following agencies, as appropriate:

  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC): by telephone at 1-877-FTC-HELP or, for filing a complaint electronically, via the FTC's Web 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 (BBB) – 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.

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Internet Fraud Complaint Center (scams that may have originated via the Internet) at www.ic3.gov.

  • 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.

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

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