Counterfeit checks from the Queensborough National Bank & Trust Co. of Louisville, Ga., are in circulation, and the regulator of national banks is urging all financial institutions to be on the lookout for the bogus drafts, the agency said Monday.
In a release, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) said counterfeit cashier’s checks using the bank’s routing number (061103975) are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with various internet scams involving mystery shopping opportunities and lottery winnings.
The OCC said at least two known variations of counterfeit items from the bank are in circulation, which the agency said resemble the bank’s authentic item.
According to the agency, the variations are:
- The checks are light blue in color and contain a marbled background and dark blue top border.
- The following security statement is located within the top border: “THIS DOCUMENT HAS A COLORED BACKGROUND AND MICROPRINTING. THE REVERSE SIDE INCLUDES AN ARTIFICIAL WATERMARK.”
- The bank’s logo is in the bottom left-hand portion of the check.
- The remitter line may contain one of the following names: Amracle Shecaniah Bostick–BR6, Adalyn McMurray–BR6, Right on Time Express, LLC–BR6, Cecil Waters, or Scott White-BR6.
- The checks are light blue in color.
- The following security statement is located within the top border: “WARNING: THIS DOCUMENT HAS SECURITY FEATURES IN THE PAPER.”
- A security feature is printed in blue ink along the right border.
- The remitter line may be blank or contain one of the following names: Tom Bruce, Alexei Calvo, Zakiyyah Rochelle Collins, Donielle Doughlas, Collis Maddox, Ally Mahler, Rhonda Shanafeit, or Carlos Smith.
“Checks presented to date have generally been made payable in amounts between $1,000 and $5,000; however, at least one item was presented in the amount of $44,000,” OCC said. “Mailings may appear to originate from either “Data Flow Systems, Inc., Melbourne, FL” or “Marketforce Inc., Santa Ana, CA.”
Potential victims of the mystery shopping gift card scam have received poorly written correspondence accompanying the phony check, OCC said. The letter, which contains the name of a nationally known retailer, instructs the potential victims to confirm receipt of the packet and the deposit of funds by sending an email to Blake Jones at [firstname.lastname@example.org] or a text message to (571) 267-2244. The letter further instructs the recipient to retain $300 of the deposited funds for payment and to purchase a $30 cashier’s check made payable to the “American Cancer Soceity. [sic]”
“The majority of the funds are to be used to purchase four gift cards at a well-known retail store for the purported purpose of the victim surveying the conduct of the sales representatives,” OCC said. “Following the purchase of the cards, the potential victim is told to scratch the cards to reveal the card numbers and to send photos of each card to the perpetrator. No further instruction is provided in regard to the $30 cashier’s check made payable to “American Cancer Soceity. [sic].”
In its release, the OCC attached a sample of the bogus draft.
To verify the authenticity of checks drawn on Queensborough National Bank & Trust Co., the OCC recommended the bank’s customer service department should be reached by telephone at (478) 625-2000, by email at CustomerCareCenter@qnbtrust.bank, or by mail at 113 East Broad Street, Louisville, Ga., 30434.
Complaints can be filed with the OCC, U.S. Treasury Department, Federal Trade Commission (FTC), U.S. Postal Service, the FBI and private business groups.