min read

Scam Alert from the OCC

Written by
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Published on
May 30, 2024
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Fictitious Regulatory Notifications: Fictitious Notification Regarding the Release of Funds Supposedly Under the Control of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Consumers have reported receiving various forms of fictitious correspondence via email, Google Chat, and the U.S. Postal Service related to up-front fee scams involving fictitious inheritance or beneficiary payouts. The notifications appear to be initiated by senior officials of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) regarding funds purportedly held by the OCC. Scam correspondence may include the names of other governmental agencies who are purportedly involved in the fake transaction.

In all instances, victims are initially contacted regarding funds being held on their behalf by the OCC and are asked to provide the scammers general personal information including name, address, and telephone number.

Follow-up correspondence from the scammers includes requests for more specific personal information including, but not limited to Social Security number, bank account details, and copies of driver’s licenses and passports. Correspondence is generally poorly written with typographical and grammatical errors and may include instructions for the victim to pay thousands of dollars in required fees or taxes for the release of the supposedly held funds.

These scams not only involve the theft of victim funds, but also their identities. There are at least four known variations of this scam.

Variation #1

Victims are initially contacted via email regarding unclaimed assets being held on their behalf by the OCC. The correspondence further states that final payment will be made to the victim via bitcoin. Email addresses used in this scam include:

  • []
  • []

Refer to Sample Fictitious Correspondence Variation 1 for an example of the fictitious correspondence.

Variation #2

Following initial contact by the scammers, victims receive letters with the subject line of “Request for Currency Conversion Settlement,” which include an embedded image of the victim’s passport as well as reference to their Social Security number. The victim is instructed to pay a currency conversion fee of $5,500 for the held funds to be credited to the victim’s bank account. Scammers conducting this fraud typically use a telephone number of (202) 978-7477, which is not affiliated with the OCC.

Refer to Sample Fictitious Correspondence Variation 2 for an example of the fictitious correspondence.

Variation #3

Victims of previous financial scams are contacted via telephone and email by individuals identifying themselves as employees of the Financial Crimes Division of the OCC. The alleged purpose of the communication is to notify the revictimized individuals that the OCC is issuing a large dollar compensation payment to them for money lost in previous scams. The victims of this scam are informed that they must pay $1,500 in attorney fees prior to receiving a compensation check. Once the fee is paid, victims are instructed to visit an OCC Office to retrieve a large dollar compensation check. Non-OCC-affiliated contact information used in this scam includes:

  • Loretta Shepard (fictitious OCC employee)
  • Ray Parker (fictitious OCC employee)
  • David Bradley (authorized agent)
  • [] / (202) 968-0104

Refer to Sample Fictitious Correspondence Variation 3 for an example of the fictitious correspondence.

Variation #4

Once purported fees and taxes are paid to the scammers, the victims are instructed to visit an OCC office to retrieve a large-sum check supposedly being held for them.

Scammer contact information being used in this fraud includes, but is not limited to:

  • []
  • []
  • [] / (203) 516-7051
  • []
  • []
  • Kimberly A Jabal (via Google Chat, purports to be associated with an overnight delivery service)
  • Richard A Varn (via Google Chat, purports to be associated with a financial institution)

Any communication 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.

Recipients of such correspondence should not respond in any manner to a proposal purportedly issued by the OCC that requests personal identifiable information, requires the payment of any fee in connection with a proposal, or suggests the OCC is a participant in the transfer of funds for or on behalf of others.

Consumers who have provided personal information to a scammer should immediately contact their financial institution to take steps to safeguard their assets. Additionally, consumers should file an identity theft report with the Federal Trade Commission's Identity Theft Division and initiate a recovery plan by following the instructions on the website.

Consumers who have been victimized or targeted in an upfront fee scam should file complaints with the following agencies, as appropriate:

  • U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Inspector General (OIG): by telephone at (800) 359‑3898 or by visiting the OIG website.
  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC): by telephone at (877) FTC-HELP or, for filing complaints electronically, via the FTC’s website pages of or
  • National Consumers League (NCL): by telephone at (202) 835-3323 or by visiting the NCL fraud website.
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation Internet Crime Complaint Center (to report scams that may have originated via the Internet)
  • If correspondence is received via the U.S. Postal Service, contact the U.S. Postal Inspection Service by telephone at (888) 877-7644; by mail at U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Office of Inspector General, Operations Support Group, 222 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 1250, Chicago, IL 60606-6100; or via the online complaint form.

Additional information concerning this matter that should be brought to the attention of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) may be forwarded to

For additional information regarding other types of financial fraud, please visit the OCC’s Fraud Resources page, which can also be found from visiting

Liz Ratliff
Director for Enforcement

Related Links

Credit: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)

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