OCC warns of counterfeit cashier’s checks from Illinois bank

Counterfeit cashier’s checks using the routing number of Community National Bank in Monmouth, Monmouth, Ill., are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with an online secret survey analyst/store evaluator employment opportunity scam, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) said in an alert Monday. It said checks presented to date have been made payable in amounts ranging from $1,714 to $4,850.

According to the alert (2018-5), the bank reports that the counterfeit items bear the bank’s correct routing number of 071108290 and resemble the bank’s authentic items. They are gray with a blue border and contain the following security statement in the top border: “WARNING: THIS DOCUMENT HAS SECURITY FEATURES IN THE PAPER.”

Potential victims of this survey scam have received correspondence accompanying the check from Brian George, Co-Ordinator LIVE SHOPPER LLC. Contact information includes an email address of [brian.george@job4u.com], telephone numbers of (650) 300-2603, (650) 314-9093, and (650) 300-7721 as well as a mailing address of Shoppers’ View, 2905 Lucerne Drive, 102D N. Street, Sacramento, CA 94273. According to the alert, the correspondence instructs potential victims to confirm receipt of the material by sending a text message to one of the telephone numbers provided; to deposit the funds at his or her financial institution; and then to send a text message to one of the telephone numbers to confirm that this step is complete, under the guise that the sender will “authorize the issuing bank to release the funds into [the] account within 24 hours.” The letter informs the recipient to retain $320 as payment for the assignment and to use the remaining funds for the assignment.

The letter does not specify the details of the assignment but indicates that instructions will be provided following receipt of a text confirmation of the availability of funds. Victims have reported that the assignment includes conducting wire transfers to the perpetrators at a well-known retail store for the purported purpose of the victim’s surveying the services of the money transfer center located within the retail store.

For additional information and to verify the authenticity of cashier’s checks drawn on Community National Bank in Monmouth, the alert advises to contact Jennifer Rice, BSA Officer, by mail at 311 N. Main Street, Monmouth, IL 61462, by telephone at (309) 734-5131, by fax at (309) 734-4777 or by email at j.rice@cnbmonmouth.com.

The alert lists a number of federal agencies and other organizations where consumers can file complaints if they receive these items, and how to forward additional, pertinent information to the OCC.

OCC Alert 2018-5