Officials from the Edgartown National Bank are warning customers to beware of counterfeit cashier’s checks being circulated that bear the institution’s name and logo. The fake checks are reportedly part of a nationwide scam in which someone receives a letter telling them they have been selected to participate in a mystery shopper program.
People are sent a bogus check worth just under $5,000 with the Edgartown National Bank logo and routing number. A letter included with the check tells people they have been chosen to serve as a “secret shopper” who should go out and make purchases at various retail outlets. They are told to keep a portion of the check but are asked to send a portion of the check, approximately $2,900, back to the sender.
Greg Berks, vice president and chief operating officer at Edgartown National Bank, said yesterday bank officials were first alerted to the scam on August 25. As of yesterday, no one on the Vineyard had fallen for the ruse. He did confirm several people here have received the letter and check with the bank logo.
“They [the scam artists] are good at what they do. If someone goes to their bank and asks if the check is real, there is a phone number for the [bank employee] to call to confirm . . . and when you call the number you press a button for customer service and you actually get someone on the line who tells you the check is real,” Mr. Berks said.
He emphasized there has been no security breach at the bank. All the information used in the scam, including the bank logo, is available on-line, he said.
“We take the privacy of our customers extremely seriously, and there is nothing for our customers to be worried about. We were simply targeted because we are a bank that most people across the country haven’t heard of,” he said.