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Counterfeit official checks on Ohio bank

First Federal Bank of Ohio

Galion, OH

Contact: 
Sally Petrie
First Federal Bank of Ohio
140 N. Columbus Street
Galion, OH 44833 United States of America
Voice (419) 468-1518
Fax (419) 468-2973

The above-named bank has reported that counterfeit official bank checks using the bank’s routing number of 042000314 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with a variety of online auction and job opportunity scams.

There are at least two variations of counterfeit checks in circulation. While the counterfeit checks resemble the bank’s authentic items, they may be identified by the following traits:

  • Variation #1
    • The checks are unknown in color and contain a darkened top border with the following security statement: “THE FACE OF THIS DOCUMENT HAS A COLORED BACKGROUND ON WHITE PAPER”.
    • The bank’s logo letters of “FF” in the upper left corner appears either white or light in color.
    • The branch offices are not listed under the bank’s logo.
    • A heat shield security feature is located in the bottom center portion of the check.
    • A reference line contains the name of “Donald Sawyer”.
    • The following security statement appears in the bottom border between two padlock icons: “SECURITY FEATURES INCLUDED. DETAILS ON BACK.”
    • The checks are signed by “Leiann Waddell.”
  • Variation #2
    • The checks are unknown in color and contain a darkened top border with the following security statement: “THE FACE OF THIS DOCUMENT HAS A COLORED BACKGROUND ON WHITE PAPER”.
    • The branch offices are not listed under the bank’s logo.
    • The following appears in the top center portion of the check: “DRAWEE Fifth Third Bank (Cincinnati)”. The statement lacks punctuation.
    • The following statement appears directly above the signature line: “TWO SIGNATURES REQUIRED OVER &5,000.00”. The statement includes a typographical error.
    • A heat shield security feature is located in the bottom center portion of the check.
    • A reference line contains the name of “Matthew Newsom”.
    • The following security statement appears in the bottom border between two padlock icons: “SECURITY FEATURES INCLUDED. DETAILS ON BACK.”
    • The checks are signed by “Leiann Waddell.”

Checks presented to date have been made payable in amounts between $2,455 and $10,000.

Victims receiving checks in regard to the job opportunity scam have received correspondence from “Rick Allen, Survey Evaluation Co-ordinator of Blink Research and Services.” Recipients are instructed to deposit the check, retain $308 as compensation, and use the remaining balance to purchase gift cards under the guise of secretly surveying the store where the purchase is transacted. A telephone number of (973) 531-7814 is provided for recipients to submit text messages in order to receive further guidance. The guidance provided includes instructions to send pictures of the gift card numbers to the perpetrator of this scam.

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