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Alert 2011-5
Description: Fraudulent Correspondence Attributed to Officials of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Fraudulent Correspondence Regarding an Outstanding Payment Transaction Supposedly Reviewed by the Comptroller of the Currency

To: Chief Executive Officers of All National Banks; All State Banking Authorities; Chairman, 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 Counsel; and All Examining Personnel

A fictitious letter, allegedly issued by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) regarding a payment transaction purportedly reviewed and discussed by employees of the OCC and by other employees within the U.S. Department of the Treasury, is in circulation. The fictitious letter and related correspondence could potentially be distributed via e-mail, fax, or postal mail.

Any document claiming that the OCC is involved in directing the release of outstanding contractual payments is fraudulent. The OCC does not direct, via letter, the transfer of funds to individuals, business enterprises, or governmental entities.

The letter indicates that a payment transaction was reviewed by the Acting Comptroller of the Currency, as well as a number of employees and divisions purportedly within the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The letter directs the recipient to contact the Director of the Wire Transfer Department at Halifax Bank in London, England, regarding the receipt of an overdue payment.

Attached is a copy of this fraudulent letter, which is being circulated in an attempt to elicit funds and gather personal information for use in possible future identification theft.

The correspondence in question references the actual Acting Comptroller, John Walsh, and it contains the forged signature of a former OCC employee. The correspondence also includes, next to the forged signature, the seal of the Office of Thrift Supervision.

Before responding in any manner to any proposal supposedly issued by the OCC that involves the release of personal information or that requires the payment of any fee in connection with the proposal, you should verify that the proposal is legitimate. At a minimum, the OCC recommends that you do the following:

  • Contact the OCC directly to verify the legitimacy of the proposal (1) via e-mail at occalertresponses@occ.treas.gov; (2) by mail to the OCC’s Special Supervision Division, 250 E Street, SW, Mail Stop 7-4, Washington, DC 20219; (3) via fax to (202) 874-5214; or (4) by calling the Special Supervision Division at (202) 874-4450.
  • Contact state and/or local law enforcement.
  • If the proposal appears to be fraudulent and was received via e-mail or the Internet, please file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at http://www.ic3.gov.
  • If the proposal appears to be fraudulent and was delivered through the U.S. Postal Service, please file a complaint with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service by telephone at 1-888-877-7644; by mail at U.S. Postal Inspection Service, 222 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 1250, Chicago, IL 60606-6100; or via e-mail at https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/forms/MailFraudComplaint.aspx

Any information regarding the subject of this or any other alert that you wish to bring to the attention of the OCC may be sent to occalertresponses@occ.treas.gov.

Richard C. Stearns
Director for Enforcement & Compliance

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