Counterfeit checks delivered to potential scam victims via U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail are reportedly circulating with the routing number of Powell Valley National Bank, Big Stone Gap, Va., the national bank regulator said in an alert Monday.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) said the checks, bearing the routing number 051403818, were reported by the bank and appear to be part of “potentially various” job opportunity scams, including car wrapping.
The OCC said the counterfeit checks resemble the bank’s authentic item but may be identified by the following:
- The checks contain a straight thin dark blue border with a thicker top border containing the following security statement: “THE FACE OF THIS DOCUMENT HAS A COLORED BACKGROUND ON WHITE PAPER.”
- A separate security statement including a padlock icon is printed along the right border.
- A heat-sensitive security feature with a key icon is located in the lower-center portion of the check.
- The words “CASHIER’S CHECK” appear in the left border using a bold standard font.
Made payable in amounts between $1,490 and $200,000, the OCC said, the checks may contain one of the following remitter names: Kelvin Michael, Dennis Stoffer, Charrlyn Turner, Mark Walters, Jack Wilson, or Powell Valley National Bank.
It said the checks have been sent to potential victims via United States Postal Service’s Priority Mail with an employment scam letter purporting to be from a well-known organic dairy company. It said the letter fraudulently informs the recipient of being selected to participate in a 10-week car wrapping campaign to advertise for this company, and it instructs the recipient to deposit the check into his or her bank account and immediately email and text the scammers a copy of the deposit slip. Recipients are told that $500 of the funds are to be considered the first week’s salary and that the rest should be used to send to the decal installers.
The OCC noted that contact information provided by the scammers is a text-only cell phone number of (424) 888-3690 and an email address of [firstname.lastname@example.org].