Fictitious correspondence, allegedly issued by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) regarding funds purportedly under the control of the OCC and other government entities, is in circulation. Correspondence may be distributed via e-mail, fax, or postal mail.
Any document claiming that the OCC is involved in holding any funds for the benefit of any individual or entity is fraudulent. The OCC does not participate in the transfer of funds for, or on behalf of, individuals, business enterprises, or governmental entities.
The letters may indicate that funds are being held by Bank of America and that the recipient will be required to pay a mandatory express service charge to have the funds released.
A sample copy of this fraudulent correspondence can be found here, which is being sent to consumers in an attempt to elicit funds from them and to gather personal information to be used in possible future identification theft.
The correspondence in question contains forged signatures of former OCC officials. In addition, the material contains a fictitious e-mail address that is not associated with the OCC.
Before responding in any manner to any proposal supposedly issued by the OCC that requests personal information or personal account information or that requires the payment of any fee in connection with the proposal, the recipient should take steps to verify that the proposal is legitimate. At a minimum, the OCC recommends that consumers
- contact the OCC directly to verify the legitimacy of the proposal (1) via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; (2) by mail to the OCC’s Special Supervision Division, 250 E St. SW, Mail Stop 8E-12, Washington, D.C. 20219; (3) via fax to (571) 293-4925; or (4) by calling the Special Supervision Division at (202) 649-6450.
- contact state or local law enforcement.
- file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov if the proposal appears to be fraudulent and was received via e-mail or the Internet.
- file a complaint with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service by telephone at (888) 877 7644; by mail at U.S. Postal Inspection Service, 222 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 1250, Chicago, IL 60606-6100; or via the online complaint form at https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/forms/MailFraudComplaint.aspx, if the proposal appears to be fraudulent and was delivered through the U.S. Postal Service.
Any information regarding the subject of this or any other alert that you wish to bring to the attention of the OCC may be sent to email@example.com.
We have received reports of phone calls from an unknown telephone number in which an automated message claims that the customer’s debit card has been deactivated, and they are instructed to enter their card number in order to reactivate the card. This is a vishing scam, and customers are advised to hang up the phone immediately. Central National Bank does not use automated messages to contact customers about their accounts. If you have any questions, please call us at 1-888-262-5456.
We’ve had a number of questions from customers lately who’ve noticed a message circulating Facebook regarding the ability to send out an emergency signal from an ATM. Specifically, being able to punch in your PIN backwards which then alerts the police. This message is not new, in fact, it started circulating the Internet in 2006.
So the big question… Is it true? Without a doubt… NO. At least not at any Central National Bank ATM in the state of Kansas or Nebraska. Trust us. We know what we’re talking about.
So how about all of the other hundreds of thousands of ATMs in our country? Well… the next time your friend posts something like that as their status update, or forwards you an email, feel free to send them to
This site is great for debunking all Internet circulated myths. In fact, if you read far enough down the page it will tell you the origin of the myth. What we didn’t know, is that this myth is rooted in some truths. Over the last few years, there have been several attempts to make this myth a reality; including a bill to the Kansas state senate’s Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee. The bill died in 2004.
Now I KNOW you’re asking yourself why. Why, would something that seems like such a good idea get shut down? Why, would banks not put an emergency signal into all ATMs?
Well, the answer is simple. Do you think you could remember your PIN with a gun to your head/back? I can hardly remember my PIN when I am in line at the store. The pressure is just too much. Especially if everyone behind u me has two items and I’m trying to stuff all 112 items back into my cart so the bread and eggs don’t get squished. I don’t know about you, but I can’t imagine trying to remember my PIN BACKWARDS if my life depended on it!
The article on Snopes points this scenario out as well as a few others. But, the one that makes the most sense to me is that triggering an emergency signal could put the ATM user in more danger than simply withdrawing the money and reporting the crime later. Not every criminal is dumb – so they’re likely to notice that something strange is going on.
Do yourself a favor and set people straight when the myth starts circulating again.