Request for US national bank guidelines for Nigerian 419
counterfeit check fraud
Letter from Fraud-Aid to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Subject: National Banks and Nigerian Counterfeit Check Fraud • Reply from the OCC: Redirection and instructions for correct email address
"annie mcguire" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Nigerian Counterfeit Check Fraud
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2004 12:46:07 -0800
Dear Customer Assistance:
My name is Annie McGuire. The name of my web site is Fraud-Aid.com (www.fraudaid.com), which has from 5,000 to 8,000+ page views per day. I am a free Fraud Victim Advocate.
Every day I receive email from victims of Nigerian Counterfeit Check Fraud. People who have been arrested (despite warnings sent to all law enforcement jurisdictions by the Secret Service), forced into bankruptcy, lost their jobs, lost their homes and more because of the action taken against them by their bank.
I have been given to understand that as of June, 2003, more than $25M had been lost by banks due to this fraud. I am sure that by now that amount has tripled or quadrupled.
And yet, banks post no warnings. Tellers are not trained. Bank officers are ignorant of the scam. It is far, far less expensive to have small warning signs posted at each teller window, and to train said tellers, than to lose massive amounts of money and create devastation in the community. Victim depositors are very angry. In fact, they are furious.
I have just read your online PDF, Check Fraud: A Guide to Avoiding Losses. This document does not deal with Nigerian Counterfeit Check Fraud. Banks have not been provided with any guidelines whatsoever.
Can you provide me with a statement of action on the part of the Comptroller designed to ameliorate the damage caused to victims of this fraud? A repayment guideline for victims and pro-active commitment on the part of national banks to train their tellers and warn their customers?
If you can provide me with a positive statement, I will post it on my web site in the Nigerian Counterfeit Fraud section:
If you cannot provide me with a positive statement, but can give me one that explains the challenges being faced by national banks, then I will post that. Any information is better than leaving people in the dark.
Thank you for your time, your consideration, and your courtesy in reviewing my request.
From: "OMBD Customer Assistance" <Customer.Assistance@occ.treas.gov>
To: "'annie mcguire'" <email@example.com> (old email address)
Subject: RE: Nigerian Counterfeit Check Fraud
Date:Fri, 13 Feb 2004 18:19:19 -0500
Dear Ms. McGuire,
This is in response to your Internet correspondence to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Customer Assistance Group (CAG). CAG answers questions and assists consumers in resolving complaints against national banks. The focus of the OCC's review of consumer complaints against national banks is to determine whether the banks' actions are consistent with banking statutes, regulations or any policies that are applicable to nationally chartered banking institutions.
Your email deals with issues that cannot be addressed by the Customer Assistance Group. It would be best for you to request assistance by going to the OCC website at www.occ.treas.gov and click on the "Contact the OCC" link at the top of the page. When that page loads, scroll down and click the "Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)/Public Affairs/Communications Division" link. You can then send a direct email with your questions and concerns to the proper departments and request their assistance.
I trust this is responsive to your inquiry.
Customer Assistance Group
Here is the email address indicated in the above letter: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please stand by for their response.