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FinCEN Alert on Use of Counterfeit U.S. Passport Cards at Financial Institutions

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has issued a Notice to financial institutions on fraud schemes related to the use of counterfeit U.S. passport cards.

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network

FinCEN has identified red flag indicators to help detect, prevent, and report potential suspicious activity related to the use of counterfeit passport cards. Here are some key red flags it says may indicate a fraudulent transaction:

  • The photo on the presented U.S passport card has a white, blurry border; a dark gray square surrounding the photo; or is in color. Legitimate U.S. passport cards are laser engraved, which produces a clear and crisp grayscale portrait image.
  • The photo of the account holder on file does not match the individual present who is pictured in the counterfeit U.S. passport card.
  • The holographic U.S. Department of State seal is missing or has been substituted with a seal from an unrelated agency.
  • A customer appears to be following directions by phone from a third-party.
  • A customer presents a U.S. passport card as a form of identification and subsequently withdraws cash, purchases a cashier’s check, purchases money orders, or initiates wire transfers for a large amount for no business or apparent lawful purpose.

For a complete list of red flags and to review the entire FinCen Notice, visit FIN-2024-NTC1.

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