IL bank reports counterfeit official checks, fictitious cashier’s checks bearing its routing number

First Federal Savings Bank of Ottawa, Ill., reported that counterfeit official checks and fictitious cashier’s checks using its routing number of 271972912 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with a variety of online auction overpayment and job opportunity scams, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) said in an alert late Monday.

The OCC Alert (2019-9) states that First Federal Savings Bank does not issue cashier’s checks, so any check drawn on the bank that is marked as a “cashier’s check” is fictitious. Counterfeit and fictitious checks presented to date, it said, have been made payable in varying amounts from $950 to $37,600 and may contain additional remitter names of Lawry Barker, Milana Bash, Daniel Jenkins, Manual Jenkins, Gacqui Mese, Jacquelin Neff, Danielle Reese, Danielle Reeves, or Lisa Touris.

There are several variations of counterfeit official checks, which may be identified by the following traits:

Variation #1

  • The checks may be light blue/gray in color and contain a wreath watermark and heat-sensitive security inlay within the center of the check.
  • The following security statement is located within the top border: “SECURITY FEATURES INCLUDE TRUE WATERMARK PAPER, MICROPRINT BORDER, HEAT SENSITIVE ICON, AND FOIL HOLOGRAM.”
  • The ABA number appears as 70-2912/271.
  • The address located under the bank’s name appears as “8 Dannys Drive, Streator, IL 61364”.
  • The following security statement is along the right border: “Security Features Included. Details on Back.”
  • The authorized signature appears as Laurence E. Bartman.
  • The remitter name may be Marion Gross.

Variation #2

  • The checks may be light blue/gray in color and contain the following security statement within the top border: “ORIGINAL CHECK HAS MULTIPLE SECURITY FEATURES. SEE BACK FOR DETAILS.”
  • The address located under the bank’s name appears as “A DannyC Drive, Streator, IL 81364.”
  • A heat-sensitive shield is included in the bottom center portion of the check.
  • The authorized signature appears as Laurence E. Bartman.
  • The remitter name may be Maria Moffa.

Variation #3

  • The checks are of unknown color and contain the following security statement within the top border: “WARNING: THIS DOCUMENT HAS SECURITY FEATURES IN THE PAPER.”
  • The ABA number appears as 70-2912/271.
  • The address located under the bank’s name appears as “8 DannyS Drive, Streator, IL 61364”.
  • The following security statement is along the right border: “Security Features.”
  • The authorized signature appears as Laurence E. Bartman.
  • The remitter name may be Austin Hernandez.

For additional information and to verify the authenticity of checks drawn on First Federal Savings Bank, contact the bank’s Check Verification Department by telephone at (815) 672-0550 or by mail at 633 LaSalle St., Ottawa, IL 61350.

OCC Alert 2019-9

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