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Alert 2004-11
Description: Fraudulent E-mails Attributed to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Fraudulent Regulatory Agency Issuances

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 Examining Personnel

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has become aware that fictitious e-mails claiming to be issued by the OCC are circulating on the Internet. The e-mails falsely state that international payments are being held by the OCC. These items are electronic versions of, or are similar to, the fraudulent documents referenced in OCC Alert 2004-3. They purport to offer a mechanism for obtaining the release of certain non-existent restricted funds. Please be advised that these e-mails are originating from many sources around the world. (See also, OCC Alert 2001-5 and attachments issued on May 29, 2001.)

The OCC does not participate in the transfer of funds for, or on behalf of, private enterprises or governmental entities, domestic or international. Further, the OCC does not maintain or control any type of deposit account for, or in the name of, any individuals or corporations, domestic or international.

Any e-mails stating that the OCC is holding, or has placed a hold on, funds for the benefit of any entity, or for an entity’s account, are fraudulent.

Prior to responding in any manner to any proposal that requests personal information or personal account information, or the payment of any fees in connection with such proposals, you should verify that the proposal is legitimate. At a minimum, the OCC recommends that you:

  • Obtain direct verification of the facts presented to you by contacting the OCC directly–do not use the contact information contained in the e-mail;
  • Review the OCC alerts and related information available under the topic "Issuances" on the OCC's Web site at; and
  • If the proposal is fraudulent and the document was received through e-mail or the Internet, please report the incident to the Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC). You should access the IFCC Web site at and follow the instructions for filing a complaint.

Any additional information that you wish to bring to the attention of the OCC may be sent to:

Mail: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Enforcement & Compliance Division,
MS 8-10
250 E Street, SW,
Washington, DC 20219
Fax: (202) 874-5301

Brian C. McCormally
Enforcement & Compliance Division