Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

Bank Alert

Alert Number: FDIC SA-280-2006

DATE: September 21, 2006

TO: Chief Executive Officer (also of interest to Security Officer)

SUBJECT: Counterfeit Checks

Counterfeit checks bearing the name Horizon Bank, Bellingham, Washington, are reportedly in circulation.

Horizon Bank, Bellingham, Washington, has contacted the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to report that counterfeit checks bearing the institution's name are in circulation. The counterfeit items are reportedly associated with a lottery scam based in Canada.

Presently, there are five versions of counterfeit items, each displaying the routing number 325170631, which is assigned to Horizon Bank. The colors and styles vary, but the common characteristics include an incorrect or incomplete bank address and security wording embedded within the top border. Since there are currently five known variations, please be aware that the common characteristics may be modified and that additional variations may be presented.

Authentic cashier's checks include the following security statement directly beneath the top border: "HOLD DOCUMENT UP TO LIGHT TO VIEW TRUE WATERMARK." Additionally, on the reverse side of authentic checks is the following watermark printed in large italicized font: "ORIGINAL DOCUMENT."

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

Donald A. Wolf
Security Officer
Horizon Bank
P. O. Box 32150
Bellingham, Washington 98228
Telephone: (360) 756-6311
Fax: (360) 756-6399
E-mail: don.wolf@horizonbank.com

To report this scam or any other scam based in or mailed from Canada, please contact Phonebusters, which is a joint partnership between the Ontario Provincial Police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Phonebusters is interested in receiving copies of scam letters, particularly those involving Canadian mailing addresses or telephone numbers. Records relating to the payment of advance fees should also be forwarded to Phonebusters. This information is used to assist in the strategic targeting of would-be fraudsters.

Scam letters should be forwarded to the Phonebusters National Call Center (PNCC) as follows:

Mail: Box 686
North Bay, Ontario, Canada
P1B 8J8

Telephone: +1 (888) 495-8501 (toll-free in Canada and the USA)
Fax: +1 (888) 654-9426 (toll-free in Canada and the USA)
E-mail: info@phonebusters.com

Advance fee fraud (including Nigerian and lottery letters): wafl@phonebusters.com