The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has received numerous reports of suspicious telephone calls where the caller claims to represent the FDIC and is calling regarding the collection of an outstanding debt.
To date, the callers have alleged that the call recipient is delinquent in payment of a loan that was applied for over the Internet or made through a payday lender. The loan may or may not actually exist. The caller attempts to authenticate the claim by providing sensitive personal information, such as name, Social Security number, and date of birth, supposedly taken from the loan application. The recipient is then strongly urged to make a payment over the phone to “avoid a lawsuit and possible arrest.” In some instances, the caller is said to sound aggressive and threatening.
These suspicious telephone calls are fraudulent. Recipients should consider them as an attempt to steal money or collect personal identifying information. The FDIC generally does not initiate unsolicited telephone calls to consumers and is not involved with the collection of debts on behalf of operating lenders and financial institutions.
If a caller demonstrates that he or she has the recipient’s sensitive personal information, such as Social Security number, date of birth, and bank account numbers, the recipient may be the victim of identity theft and should review his or her credit reports for signs of possible fraud. The individual should also consider placing a “fraud alert” on his or her credit reports. This can be done by contacting one of the three consumer reporting companies listed below. Only one of the three companies needs to be contacted. That company is required to contact the other two, which will place an alert on their versions of the report.
- TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289; www.transunion.com; Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, California 92834-6790
- Equifax: 1-800-525-6285; www.equifax.com; P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, Georgia 30374-0241
- Experian: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742); www.experian.com; P.O. Box 9554, Allen, Texas 75013
Pre-recorded phone messages are being delivered to random consumers with the warning that their debit cards have been closed. When consumers call the telephone number provided in the recording they hear a request for their 16-digit card number and PIN.
Please do not call – these messages are from fraudsters trying to collect your personal information. Central National Bank will never call you to ask for your account number, card number, or PIN.
Always use extreme caution when you receive an unknown call or text. Please do not give any account or personal information to an unknown caller.
If you have any questions, please call 1-888-262-5456.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has received numerous reports of a fraudulent e-mail that has the appearance of being sent from the FDIC. For more information you can visit the FDICs website.
The subject line of the e-mails state, “you need to check your Bank Deposit Insurance Coverage.” The e-mail tells recipients that, “You have received this message because you are a holder of a FDIC-insured bank account. Recently FDIC has officially named the bank you have opened your account with as a failed bank, thus, taking control of its assets.” The e-mail then directs recipients to click on a link stating, “You need to visit the official FDIC website and perform the following steps to check your Deposit Insurance Coverage.”
This e-mail and associated Web site are fraudulent. Recipients should consider the intent of this e-mail as an attempt to collect personal or confidential information, or to load malicious software onto end users’ computers and should not click on the link provided.
The FDIC does not issue unsolicited e-mails to consumers. Financial institutions and consumers should NOT follow the link in the fraudulent e-mail.
Criminals often use names of organizations we all know to lure users into clicking links that may infect their computer. Users should always ask themselves if an email makes sense. If not, never click links or open attachments in the email. If suspicious, contact the agency directly to verify legitimacy.
US-CERT asks users to be vigilant during the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010 Census campaign and to watch for potential census scams.
According to the U.S. Census 2010 website, they began delivery of the printed census forms to every resident in the United States on March 1, 2010. The only way to complete the census is by filling in the form using pen and ink; in some instances, census takers will be visiting households to complete the form face-to-face. It is important to understand that the U.S. Census Bureau will not, under any circumstances, be providing an online option to complete the 2010 census form.
US-CERT encourages all residents in the United States to take the following measures to protect themselves:
WASHINGTON, Jan. 26 – The American Bankers Association has been alerted that someone or a group of individuals sending emails purporting to be from ABA are actually part of a scam commonly known as phishing. These con artists are sending emails asking people to click on a link for more information — a popular technique to get financial information from the email recipient.
Phishing for financial information has been a long-standing practice. However, criminals are increasingly phishing for access to corporate, small business and government accounts and using that access to withdraw large sums of money from those accounts. Clicking on the link could enable fraudsters to download malicious software on to victims’ computers and steal bank passwords and other account information.
The emails inform recipients that an “unauthorized transaction” has been charged to their account using their “bank card.” The amount of the transactions is typically between $3,000 and $7,000. ABA would never contact a consumer and ask for financial information.
ABA is working with law enforcement to identify the source of the emails and to disrupt them. ABA offers the following advice to consumers, business and government organizations:
- Never give out financial information in response to an unsolicited phone call, fax or email, no matter how official it may seem. If you are uncertain, call your financial institution or the organization that is purportedly contacting you using a phone number you know is safe.
- If you have already responded to this type of call or email by providing financial information, contact your financial institution immediately to protect your account;
- Be extremely cautious about clicking on links within unsolicited emails. When in doubt, contact the organization purportedly sending the email.
- Inform the ABA about fraudulent phone calls and emails that use ABA’s name by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have been notified of a scam in which customers and non customers are receiving emails indicating their Online Services have been suspended. The email then instructs the customer to click on a link which it states takes them straight to a site to reactive their account. This link is not a valid link and it actually directs you to a fraudulent site. You are advised not to provide personal information. If you have any questions feel free to contact our customer service department at 1-888-262-5456.
Here is a copy of the email customers are receiving.
From: Central National Bank [mailto:Onlinesecurity@centralnational.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 04, 2009 8:05 AM
Subject: Access Suspended
Our Value Customer,
Your access to Online Services has been suspended. Due to a miss-match access code between your Security information. To enable you continue accessing your online account it will only take you few minutes to re-activate your account. Click on the link below and you will be taken straight to where you can activate your account.
Important Notice:- You are strictly advised to match your details correctly to avoid service denial.
CNB Online Banking Customer Services
This has been verified by the FBI (their link is also included below). Please pass this on to everyone in your email address book. It is spreading fast so be prepared should you get this call. Most of us take those summonses for jury duty seriously, but enough people skip out on their civic duty, that a new and ominous kind of fraud has surfaced.
Jury Duty Scam
The caller claims to be a jury coordinator. If you protest that you never received a summons for jury duty, the scammer asks you for your Social Security number and date of birth so h e or she can verify the information and cancel the arrest warrant. Give out any of this information and bingo; your identity was just stolen.
The fraud has been reported so far in 11 states, including Oklahoma, Illinois, and Colorado.
This (swindle) is particularly insidious because they use intimidation over the phone to try to bully
people into giving information by pretending they are with the court system. The FBI and the federal court system have issued nationwide alerts on their web sites, warning consumers about the fraud.
Check it out here: http://www.fbi.gov/page2/june06/jury_scams060206.htm
The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is a partnership between the FBI, The National White Collar Crime Center and the Bureau of Justice Assistance.
IC3’s mission is to serve a vehicle to receive, develop and refer criminal complaints regarding cyber crime. The IC3 gives victims of cyber crime a convenient and easy-to-use reporting mechanism that alerts authorities of suspected criminal or civil violations. IC3 provides a central referral mechanism for complaints involving Internet related crimes to law enforcement and regulatory agencies.
IC3 accepts online Internet crime complaints from either the person who believes they were defrauded or from a third party to the complainant. If you believe that you are a victim of cyber crime, go to www.ic3.gov to file a complaint. Information needed to file a complaint includes the following:
- Mailing address
- Telephone number
- The name, address, telephone number, and Web address, if available, of the individual or organization you believe defrauded you
- Specific details on how, why, and when you believe you were defrauded
- Any other relevant information you believe is necessary to support your complaint.
This site also contains valuable information about current Internet scams and how to prevent falling victim to such scams.
The Holiday Season seems to bring out the best and worst of human nature. On the worst side are the scams that are designed to cheat honest people out of their money. As we get closer to Christmas and as the economy worsens, it is important that we all be aware that scammers are keeping busy.
Some of the more common scams that we see include:
- Lottery Scam: This is one of the most popular counterfeit check scams because it is successful. The victim will receive a letter or e-mail informing them that they have won a lottery or sweepstakes. They are given a counterfeit check to finance the taxes and fees associated with collecting the prize. They are asked to cash or deposit the check and wire the money to an individual who is collecting the “tax”. It is difficult to detect this scam because the checks are usually lower dollar amounts (less than $3,000) and technology makes it easy to counterfeit real bank checks. The victims are also told not to disclose their good fortune until they collect their grand prize. The reason this is so successful is that it plays on an American dream. If you receive one of these letters and checks, ask someone at your bank before you fall victim.
- Internet Auction Scam: In this scam, the victim places an item for sale on the Internet (not necessarily on e-bay, often on local classified websites). The winning bidder contacts them to arrange payment, but there is a catch. The buyer is overseas and shipping needs to be arranged. Payment is sent in the form of a counterfeit check for thousands of dollars in excess of the purchase price. The buyer is asked to wire the excess money to the buyer’s shipper who will arrange pickup of the item (they are often told that there is a little extra money for them to keep for their trouble to sweeten the deal). The money is wired before the check comes back, leaving the victim out the money.
- Internet Auction Scam 2: In this scam, the victim receives counterfeit money orders for their items. In most cases, the item is sent before the counterfeit is detected and the victim is out the money and they item that they were selling. Most money orders have instructions for validating their authenticity. For example, some have a circle on each of the money orders that will change colors if you rub it, or they have a telephone number to call. Postal money orders can be verified by calling 1-866-459-7822.
These scams are always evolving and we see new twists all of the time. Education is the best form of scam prevention. Just remember if it seems too good to be true it probably is. Have a safe and happy holiday season.
There are lots of people out there making a living off of tricking an honest consumer out of their money. Yet there are simple tips and precautions that can protect you. After all criminals look for the easy scam, if they were into hard work they would probably have real jobs!
Do not leave your wallet or purse in plain sight in an unattended vehicle. It takes less than a minute for a passing thief to break your window and snatch anything they want.
Never write your PIN on your debit or credit cards or have them written down close to where you keep your cards.
Buying products or services on-line must be done with care. Using reputable sites that have been around awhile is always encouraged. Sometimes when you authorize them to charge your card you are unknowingly signing up for a service as well. They might charge your card every month for a monthly e-newsletter or some other nonsense.
This is more a fact than a tip. Lately there has been an e-mail rumor going around saying if you are held up at the ATM and you put in your pin backwards the ATM will signal the police. THIS IS NOT TRUE! In fact most debit and credit cards have the option where the user can pick their own pin number. In that case if you pick 5555 as your pin there is no way the ATM could decipher what is forwards and what is backwards.
Thanks to Sherol Rumbagh for sharing these tips!