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Alert 2017-8
Description: Mascoma Savings Bank

Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks and Official Checks of Mascoma Savings Bank, Lebanon, NH

To: Chief Executive Officers of All National Banks and Federal Savings Associations; All State Banking Authorities; Chair, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; Chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; Conference of State Bank Supervisors; Deputy Comptrollers (Districts); Assistant Deputy Comptrollers; District Counsels; and All Examining Personnel

The above-named bank has reported that at least five variations of counterfeit official checks and one variation of cashier’s checks using a correct routing number of 211770213 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with unknown scams.

The counterfeit official checks are of unknown color, but may be identified by the following traits:

Variation No. 1

  • The check contains a dark top border with the following security statement: “FOR SECURITY PURPOSES, THE FACE OF THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS A COLORED BACKGROUND AND MICROPRINTING IN THE BORDER.”
  • The date, payee, and payment amounts are handwritten.
  • The authorized signature appears as Nancy Taylor.

Variation No. 2

  • The check contains the following security statement along the top border: “WARNING. THIS DOCUMENT HAS SECURITY FEATURES IN THE PAPER.”
  • A padlock icon is located along the right edge.
  • A thumbprint heat-sensitive shield may be printed between the remitter and signature.
  • The authorized signature appears as Nancy Taylor.

Variation No. 3

  • The check contains a dark top border with the following security statement: “THIS DOCUMENT HAS A COLORED BACKGROUND AND MICROPRINITING. REVERSE SIDE INCLUDES AN ARTIFICIAL WATERMARK.”FOR SECURITY PURPOSES, THE BORDER OF THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS MICROPRINTING.” 
  • The authorized signature appears as Nancy Taylor.

Variation No. 4

  • The check contains a dark top border with the following security statement between two padlock icons: “FOR SECURITY PURPOSES, THE BORDER OF THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS MICROPRINTING.”
  • The date, payee, and payment amounts are handwritten.
  • There are two authorized signatures. One appears as Nancy Taylor; the other is indistinguishable.

Variation No. 5

  • The check contains a dark top border with the following security statement: “THIS CHECK IS VOID WITHOUT A COLORED BACKGROUND AND SECURE DOCUMENT WATERMARK ON THE BACK. HOLD AT ANGLE TO VIEW.”
  • The abbreviation of “No.” appears to the left of the check number in the upper-right corner.
  • The abbreviated routing number of 67-76890 appears directly beneath the date.
  • A Memo line appears in the bottom left corner with the words “Instant cash.”
  • The authorized signature is indistinguishable.

The counterfeit cashier’s checks are of unknown color, but may be identified by the following traits:

  • The check contains a dark top border with the following security statement: “TO VERIFY AUTHENTICITY, SEE REVERSE SIDE FOR DESCRIPTION OF THE 13 SECURITY FEATURES.”
  • The authorized signature appears as Nancy Taylor.
  • A heat-sensitive shield may appear between the remitter and authorized signature areas.

All checks presented to date have been made payable in varying amounts and have contained remitter names of Daniel J. Albenese, Tad M. Blair, or Andie McCarthy.

For additional information and to verify the authenticity of cashier’s checks drawn on Mascoma Savings Bank, please contact Cindy Paulhus, Financial Accounting Officer, by mail at 243 Sykes Mountain Avenue, White River Junction, VT 05001, by telephone at (802) 291-6395, by fax at (802) 291-6318, or by e-mail at cindy.paulhus@mascomabank.com.

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

  • U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Inspector General (OIG): by telephone at (800) 359‑3898 or by visiting the OIG website.
  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC): by telephone at (877) FTC-HELP or, for filing a complaint electronically, via the FTC’s website.
  • National Consumers League (NCL): by telephone at (202) 835-3323 or by e-mail. To file a fraud complaint, visit the NCL fraud website.
  • 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 website offers contact information for local BBBs, objective reports on more than 2 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 Internet Crime Complaint Center (to report scams that may have originated via the Internet).
  • If correspondence is received via the U.S. Postal Service, contact the U.S. Postal Inspection Service by telephone at (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 the online complaint form.

Additional information concerning this matter that should be brought to the attention of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) may be forwarded to

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Special Supervision Division
400 7th St. SW, Suite 3E-218; MS 8E-12
Washington, DC 20219
Phone: (202) 649-6450
Fax: (571) 293-4925
www.occ.gov
occalertresponses@occ.treas.gov

For additional information regarding other types of financial fraud, please visit the OCC’s anti-fraud resources page.

Charles M. Steele
Deputy Chief Counsel