Update to Public Warning on 18 March 2008 – Bogus Cheques

This notice is issued by the Financial Supervision Commission (“the Commission”) in accordance with the powers conferred upon it under Section 22 of the FinancialSupervision Act 1988.

Bogus cheques purporting to be drawn on the account of a genuine Isle of Man entity and enclosed with letters purporting to be from Thunderbird Financial

[email protected] - (Updated 19 June 2008)
[email protected] - (Updated 19 June 2008)
Lashornda Young - (Updated 19 June 2008)

The Financial Supervision Commission has recently become aware of cheques, received by members of the public, falsely purporting to be drawn on the account of the genuine entity, Clerical Medical Investment Group Limited.

The cheques, a copy of which has been seen by the Commission, are purportedly signed for and on behalf of Clerical Medical Investment Group Limited, the address for which is shown on the cheque as Clerical Medical House, Victoria Road, Douglas, Isle of Man, Im99 1LT.

The Commission can confirm that there is a genuine entity by the name of Clerical Medical Investment Group Limited at the aforementioned address, however, this cheque has NOT come from the genuine Clerical Medical Investment Group Limited.

The genuine Clerical Medical Investment Group Limited is licensed by the Financial Services Authority in the UK and has a permit to carry on business on the Isle of Man from the Insurance & Pensions Authority, on the Isle of Man.

A list of all institutions licensed by the Insurance & Pensions Authority is available on their website at: http://www.gov.im/ipa/.

The cheque seen by the Commission has been enclosed with correspondence purporting to originate from Thunderbird Financial, Group of Publishers Sweepstakes, at an address of 300 Dorchester Place, Alberta T8N 6H1.

The correspondence seen by the Commission purports to come from the International Promotions/Prize Award Dept re: Award Notification Final Notice, and says “Congratulations! We are pleased to inform you that you are a Winner! In the international promotions/prize sweepstakes lottery program… …and drew the lucky numbers and consequently won the lottery prize in the first category of $75,000.00-DOLLARS.”

To claim the cash prize “an amount representing 10% will be deducted from your cash prize to repay the fees.” The correspondence encloses a purported cheque, as described above, for $2,980.00, to go towards these fees but it also says “Please before cashing your check, you have to call to confirm that you have received the letter with the enclosed check.”

Under the circumstances the Commission feels that these bogus cheques and associated correspondence are being issued to tempt the recipient into becoming the victim of an Advance Fee Fraud (see explanatory notice issued by the Commission at:

http://www.iomfsa.im/ViewNews.gov?page=lib/news/iomfsa/westafricanfraud.xml&menuid=11570)

Under the circumstances the Commission would encourage people receiving correspondence matching the above description to refrain from responding to them in any way.

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Update – Inserted 19 June 2008

Since publishing the above Public Warning the Commission has become aware of other bogus cheques falsely purporting to be drawn on the account of the genuine entity, Clerical Medical Investment Group Limited. These bogus cheques are reported to have been sent with regard to auction items. The reported scenario is that a person has an item for sale on an auction site; they have been contacted by a prospective customer who wishes to purchase the item and who sends the bogus cheque for the amount of the item, along with an additional amount. This additional amount is purported to pay the shipper to come and pick up the item. However, after paying the purported shipper, via money gram, the additional amount the seller finds that the cheque sent has not been honoured, as it is bogus.

Details of reported e-mail addresses used in this scenario are:

Also the shipper’s address reported to have been used is:

Lashornda Young, 22 Cedarwood Ave, Covina, CA 91724

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Any persons who are already involved in any dealings resulting from correspondence matching the above description and have concerns may contact the Enforcement Division on +44 1624 689314 or by e-mail to [email protected].

Any persons who have paid funds away or revealed personal or financial information in connection with correspondence matching the above description should contact their local Police Fraud Unit for advice without delay.

Any persons who have concerns that correspondence or cheques may not be from the genuine Clerical Medical Investment Group Ltd may wish to contact them to confirm the position. They can be contacted via their websites at http://www.clericalmedical.co.uk/ or www.offshore.clericalmedical.com.

FSC Reference: CD/09/2008 - 17 March 2008
Update: CD/16A/2008 – 19 June 2008