Peoples Bank of Marietta, Ohio has reported that counterfeit cashier’s checks issued in the bank’s name and using a correct routing number of 044202505 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with scams targeting law offices.
Counterfeit items closely resemble the bank’s authentic cashier’s checks but may be identified by the following: The checks do not include the bank’s toll-free telephone number of (800) 374-6123; they do, however, include a security statement along the top border of the instrument as well as a heat sensor lock in the bottom-center portion of the check. Items presented to date have been made payable in varying amounts between $100,000 and $500,000. The items also include various remitter names but most commonly Abbott Laboratories, Inc.
Potential victims are initially being contacted by e-mail in a scam to open broker/dealer accounts. Upon the fraudster’s refusal to sign an agreement with the law firm, the fraudster has demanded ransom from particular employees of these law offices informing the victim that his or her family member has been kidnapped. As far as all parties are aware, the kidnapping threat has been a scam as well.
For additional information and guidance and to verify the authenticity of Peoples Bank N.A.’s cashier’s checks, please contact Susan Hornbeck, BSA Compliance, by mail at 138 Putnam St., Marietta, OH 45750; by telephone at (740) 374-6117; by fax at (740) 376-2064; or by e-mail at [[email protected]].