Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

Bank Alert

Alert Number: FDIC SA-274-2006

DATE: September 19, 2006

TO: Chief Executive Officer/President

SUBJECT: Counterfeit Cashier's Checks

Counterfeit official checks bearing the name Sterling Savings Bank, Bellevue, Washington, are reportedly in circulation.

Sterling Savings Bank, Spokane, Washington, has contacted the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to report that counterfeit official checks bearing the institution's name are in circulation. The counterfeit items are reportedly associated with a lottery scam. The counterfeit items are accompanied by correspondence purported to be from "OZ Lotteries," "OZ Lotto," or "OZL Incorporated." The letters include a Seattle, Washington, address and refer to "processing or insurance fees." Recipients are directed to call 1-403-389-6481 to activate the "claim."

The counterfeit items display the routing number 022000868, which is assigned to the account of Integrated Payment Systems, Inc., Englewood, Colorado, at Citibank, N.A., Buffalo, New York. Sterling Savings Bank issues official checks through this account. The counterfeit items also display a Bellevue, Washington, mailing address below the bank's name and logo in the top-left corner. Security wording is not shown on the face of the counterfeit items.

Authentic official checks have a patterned border, with security wording beneath the pattern along the top edge. The words "OFFICIAL CHECK" are printed within a box that is incorporated into the top border. Ornate designs are displayed to the right and left sides of the box. The wording "All The Bank You'll Ever Need" appears below the bank's name in the top-left corner.

Any information you have concerning this matter should be brought to the attention of:

Deposit Operations
Telephone: (509) 227-6987


Linda Barksdale
Assistant Vice President and Fraud Investigator
Sterling Savings Bank
111 North Wall Street
Spokane, Washington 99201
Telephone: (425) 452-8149
Fax: (425) 451-0940
E-mail: linda.barksdale@sterlingsavings.com