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Alert 2002-6 | May 7, 2002

Identity Theft: Fictitious Bank Correspondence and Fraud Reporting Forms


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

Some of your customers may be the unwitting subjects of another recently discovered fraud scheme that uses fictitious bank forms and fraudulent bank correspondence. Attached are samples of fictitious documents (addressed to a bank customer) that purport to be from the fraud control department of the customer's bank. Documents like these are being circulated in an attempt to steal the identity and money of bank customers by having the customers disclose personal and banking information.

This scheme has the potential to be very effective because the bank correspondence and questionnaire appear to be from a bank's fraud control division, including a toll-free number for the customer to use and the enclosure of a postage-paid, pre-addressed envelope for use in returning the completed form.

You should advise any of your customers who have completed and returned the fictitious form to the address listed on the pre-addressed envelope, or who provided any personal or banking information via the toll-free number, to promptly notify all financial institutions with whom they do business. We also suggest that you advise your customers to immediately do the following:

  1. Contact the fraud department of each of the three major credit bureaus and report that his/her identity has been stolen. Also, consider placing a "fraud alert" on your file and request that no new credit be granted without prior approval.

      Equifax Experian Trans Union
    Address P.O. Box 740241
    Atlanta, GA
    P.O. Box 2104
    Allen, TX
    760 Sproul Road
    P.O. Box 390
    Springfield, PA
    Order Credit Report 1 (800) 685-1111 1 (888) EXPERIA
    1 (800) 916-8800
    Report Fraud 1 (800) 525-6285 1 (888) EXPERIA
    1 (800) 680-7289
  2. For any accounts that have been fraudulently accessed or opened, contact the security department of each affected creditor or financial institution. Consider closing these accounts. Also, on any new accounts you open, consider using a password, but do not use your mother’s maiden name or previously used passwords.
  3. File a report with your local police department or the police where the identity theft took place. Retain a copy of the police report in case your bank, credit card company, or others need proof of the crime at a later date.

If a customer has received this fictitious form but did not complete and return it, the documents and any relevant information should be brought to the attention of the proper law enforcement agency.

Additional sources of information for your customers on what to do if they are a victim of identity theft, and the precautions to take to prevent becoming a victim, can be found at the

If you have additional questions, please contact the supervisory office responsible for your bank or:

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

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