Fictitious correspondence, allegedly issued by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) regarding funds purportedly under the control of the OCC and other government entities, is in circulation. Correspondence may be distributed via e-mail, fax, or postal mail.
Any document 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.
The letters may indicate that funds are being held by Bank of America and that the recipient will be required to pay a mandatory express service charge to have the funds released.
A sample copy of this fraudulent correspondence can be found here, which is being sent to consumers in an attempt to elicit funds from them and to gather personal information to be used in possible future identification theft.
The correspondence in question contains forged signatures of former OCC officials. In addition, the material contains a fictitious e-mail address that is not associated with the OCC.
Before responding in any manner to any proposal supposedly issued by the OCC that requests personal information or personal account information or that requires the payment of any fee in connection with the proposal, the recipient should take steps to verify that the proposal is legitimate. At a minimum, the OCC recommends that consumers
- contact the OCC directly to verify the legitimacy of the proposal (1) via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; (2) by mail to the OCC’s Special Supervision Division, 250 E St. SW, Mail Stop 8E-12, Washington, D.C. 20219; (3) via fax to (571) 293-4925; or (4) by calling the Special Supervision Division at (202) 649-6450.
- contact state or local law enforcement.
- file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov if the proposal appears to be fraudulent and was received via e-mail or the Internet.
- file a complaint with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service by telephone at (888) 877 7644; by mail at U.S. Postal Inspection Service, 222 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 1250, Chicago, IL 60606-6100; or via the online complaint form at https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/forms/MailFraudComplaint.aspx, if the proposal appears to be fraudulent and was delivered through the U.S. Postal Service.
Any information regarding the subject of this or any other alert that you wish to bring to the attention of the OCC may be sent to email@example.com.
We have received reports of phone calls from an unknown telephone number in which an automated message claims that the customer’s debit card has been deactivated, and they are instructed to enter their card number in order to reactivate the card. This is a vishing scam, and customers are advised to hang up the phone immediately. Central National Bank does not use automated messages to contact customers about their accounts. If you have any questions, please call us at 1-888-262-5456.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency yesterday issued an alert about fraudulent letters — distributed via email, fax, or postal mail — involving funds purportedly under the control of the OCC and other government entities.
“The letters may indicate that funds are being held by the Halifax Bank, London, England, and that the recipient will be required to pay a mandatory express service charge to have the funds released,” the OCC said. The letters are “being sent to consumers in an attempt to elicit funds from them and to gather personal information to be used in possible future identification theft.”
The letters also contain forged signatures of former OCC officials and a fictitious email address. The agency emphasized that any document claiming that the OCC is involved in holding any funds for the benefit of an individual or entity is fraudulent. “The [agency] does not participate in the transfer of funds for, or on behalf of, individuals, business enterprises or governmental entities,” the OCC said.
Read the OCC alert
View an example of the fraudulent letters
During the holiday season, cyber criminals aggressively create new ways to steal money and personal information. Scammers use many techniques to fool potential victims, including conducting email and texting schemes posing as their bank.
Please remember that Central National Bank will not use email or text messages to communicate issues with your debit card or on-line banking. If you receive a suspicious email or text, do not click on any link included in the communication. Instead call the Bank and we will happy to answer questions or concerns.
Our service provider reports seeing increased activity with a malware screen takeover, which is targeting token users. This particular malware variant will prompt a user to input account and/or token data, which then results in another screen prompt indicating that the user will be unable to access the account for 24-hours while maintenance is performed. While the user is detained on the fake “maintenance” screen, it allows the fraudster enough time to take over the session and commit fraud.
We are receiving reports of phishing emails being sent from what appears to be a NetTeller email address customer _service @cm.netteller.com with the subject line of NetTeller Watch Notice. These are bogus emails trying to get you to click on the embedded NetTeller access link. These emails are NOT coming from NetTeller or Central National Bank. Should you receive an email, DO NOT to clink on the link. Instead, permanently delete the email.
Have you ever heard of skimming? Have you ever been a victim?
If you have, then you know that a skimmer is almost entirely undetectable by users. A skimmer is an electronic device that can be placed over a card slot on an ATM, a gas pump, and other machines that have a slot to insert your debit or credit card. At Central National Bank we’re careful to check our ATMs regularly for these devices, but there are many other places you use your card, so here’s a few tips – published by the FBI - for protecting yourself from theft via skimming.
- Inspect the card reader slot before inserting your card. Be suspicious if you notice anything loose, crooked, or damaged. Scratches and adhesive/tape residue can also be warning signs.
- When entering your PIN, block the keypad with your hand to prevent possible hidden cameras from recording your number.
- If possible, use ATMs and payment terminals at inside locations (less access for criminals to install skimmers).
- If your card isn’t returned after the transaction or after hitting “cancel”, immediately contact your card provider.
If you notice any of these signs and are suspicious of foul play, contact the company/owner of the terminal as soon as possible and do not insert your card into the slot. If it’s an ATM, contact the financial institution that owns the ATM. Better safe than sorry.
Have you brushed up on your information pertaining to Phishing scams? Now might be a good time – see our prior posts here, here and here. We’ve seen an increase in phishing scams lately and would like to take the opportunity to remind our customers that:
We have your information on file. We will NEVER call you and ask for account numbers, social security numbers, or access codes.
If you have recently given any of this information over the phone, to a representative claiming to be from Central National Bank, please call our toll free number 1-888-262-5456. Our call center would be happy to assist you in protecting your account from phishers.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has issued a nationwide warning about a new scam claiming that President Obama will pay consumers’ utility bills through a federal program.
How the Scam Works:
Consumers are being contacted via telephone, fliers, social media and text messages and various other means with claims that President Obama is providing credits or applying payment to utility bills.
To receive the money, scammers claim to need the consumer’s Social Security Number (SSN), financial institution routing number and account number. In return, the consumers are given a fraudulent financial institution routing number to use in order to pay their utility bills through an automated telephone service.
The payment service initially seems to accept the payment but then declines it within a few days of finding the banking information to be invalid. The consumer’s bill has not been paid and his/her SSN and personal financial information have been compromised.
The BBB offers the following tips to help consumers avoid becoming victim of this scam:
- Never provide your SSN, credit card number or banking information to anyone who calls you, regardless of whom they claim to be representing.
- If you receive a call claiming to be your utility company and feel pressured for immediate payment or personal information, hang up and call the customer service number on your utility bill.
- Never allow anyone into your home to check electrical wiring, natural gas pipes or appliances unless you have scheduled an appointment or reported a problem. Also, ask the employee for proper identification.
- Think safety first, always. Do not give in to high pressure tactics for information over the phone or in person.
We have received reports of phone calls from a 206 area code in which an automated message claims that the customer’s debit card has been deactivated, and they are instructed to press 1 to reactivate the card. This is a vishing scam, and customers are advised to hang up the phone immediately. Central National Bank does not use automated messages to contact customers about their accounts. If you have any questions, please call us at 1-888-262-5456.