Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

Bank Alert

Alert Number: SA-317-2006

DATE: November 17, 2006

TO: Chief Executive Officer/President

SUBJECT: Counterfeit Money Orders

Counterfeit money orders bearing the name Columbia Bank, Seattle, Washington, are reportedly in circulation.

Columbia State Bank (doing business as Columbia Bank), Tacoma, Washington, has contacted the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to report that counterfeit money orders bearing the institution's name are in circulation.

The counterfeit items include the routing number 022000868, which is assigned to Citibank, N.A., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. The counterfeit items are dissimilar to authentic money orders. The counterfeit items display the bank's logo, name, address and a phone number, which is not associated with the bank, in the upper-right corner. The wording "PAYABLE AT CITIBANK, N.A., NEW YORK" is displayed in the lower-left corner and "MONEY ORDER" is displayed in the top center of the items.

Authentic money orders display the bank's logo and name with the following restriction statement underneath in the upper-left corner: "NOT VALID FOR MORE THAN ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS ($1,000.00)." The words "MONEY ORDER" are displayed in the lower-left corner; underneath are the bank name, city and state. Authentic money orders display the bank logo "CB" in a green tiled pattern as background. The following statement is embedded within the top border: "THE FACE OF THIS DOCUMENT HAS A COLORED BACKGROUND AND MICRO PRINTING." Embedded within the bottom border is the statement: "THE REVERSE SIDE OF THIS DOCUMENT HAS AN ARTIFICIAL WATERMARK."

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

Michelle Hill
Fraud Investigation Officer
Columbia Bank
P O Box 2156, MS OP-2119
Tacoma, Washington 98401-2156
Telephone: (253) 471-4081
Fax: (253) 471-5030
E-mail: mhill@columbiabank.com

Information about counterfeit items, cyber-fraud incidents and other fraudulent activity may be forwarded to the FDIC's Cyber-Fraud and Financial Crimes Section, 550 17th Street, N.W., Room F-4004, Washington, D.C. 20429, or transmitted electronically to alert@fdic.gov. Information related to federal deposit insurance or consumer issues should be submitted to the FDIC using an online form that can be accessed at http://www2.fdic.gov/starsmail/index.asp.

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