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Alert 2009-13
Description: Cayuga Lake National Bank

Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks of Cayuga Lake National Bank, Union Springs, N.Y.

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 021306547 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with a mystery shopping scam.

The counterfeit checks do not resemble the bank's authentic items and may be identified by the following traits: the instruments are of unknown color, and include the bank's Internet logo in the upper left corner followed by the telephone number 1-888-300-8633. Please note that this telephone number is not associated with the bank. The words "Cashier's Check" are located in the top-center section of the check. The following notice is either positioned in the top-center or lower-left corner of the check followed by the notice: "Notice to Purchaser – In the event this check is lost, misplaced or stolen, a sworn statement and 90 day waiting period will be required prior to replacement. This check should be renegotiated within 90 days." A remitter line is located in the lower-left section, the statement "DRAWER: Cayuga Lake National Bank" appears above the signature line in the lower-right corner, and the words "Authorized Signature" appear beneath the signature line.

Items presented to date have been made payable in the amount of $4,995 and contain a remitter name of C.I. Inc.

Due to possible variations between the appearance of the bank's authentic items and the counterfeit items associated with the scam, officials of Cayuga Lake National Bank suggest they be contacted to verify authenticity of the bank's cashier's checks if received by an unknown entity.

Correspondence accompanying the counterfeit checks may contain the letterhead of "Customer Inquiry Inc., 212-844 Main Street, Cohoes, NY 12047; 1-866-228-7501." The correspondence informs the recipient that he or she has been selected to represent the company as a mystery shopper. It is explained that the enclosed cashier's check is to be used during the assignment to make purchases at various merchants and to transfer money using a nationally known wire service. Recipients are instructed to "contact a coordinator at 1-866-228-7501 Ext. 100, 1-905-606-0150, x102, or 1-647-890-2785." The letter may be signed by Mark H. Allen or Jack Dill.

For additional information and guidance, and to verify the authenticity of Cayuga Lake National Bank's cashier's checks, please contact Jacquilyn A. Dmytrenko, Vice President, Fraud, Cayuga Lake National Bank, 3 Cayuga Street, Union Springs, N.Y. 13160, by telephone at (315) 889-7358, by fax at (315) 889-7351, or via e-mail at [cayuga@rochester.rr.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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