Client Fraud Awareness

Introduction: There are a lot of scams that you as a consumer should be aware of.  We observe our clients getting involved in some of these on a frequent basis.  Most are quickly recognizable if you know the patterns.  The scams are designed to play on your emotions, particularly greed or compassion.  Bottom line is they want your money, or they want your private information which leads them to money.

Known Scams:  Whenever you hear that you have won some lottery or contest or sweepstakes that you never entered; you should automatically recognize these as a scam.  Typically, the scammer wants you to send them money to cover taxes or other expenses for getting your winnings.  Don’t even question it…this is a scam.

Another variation we have seen is the grandparent scam, where the scammer claims to be a grand child in jail or trouble in a far away location, and they need you to send them money to get out of it.  This is almost certainly a scam.  You can easily verify this by calling your family member by a known normal method to confirm they are ok.

Other scams may come as calls that claim to be from the IRS or a utility or credit card company, all asking for instant payment in order to resolve what ever threat they are claiming will befall you if you do not immediately comply.  Please note that no reputable company or agency of the gov’t would ever ask you to make payment in the form of gift cards.  Do not agree to give your credit card information without independently confirming by contacting the companies by their usual communication method.

When we contact you:  Please know that we will never contact you asking you for information that we already have.  We will have no need to ask for your account access passwords, and we will not ask you to divulge your account numbers or card numbers to us.  We may ask you to verify some non-public transaction data to verify your identity.

When you contact us: If you contact us, we may ask you some verification questions in order to properly verify your identity.  This may include transaction data or other data you have already supplied to us.  It is important that we properly identify every client before discussing your business.  We will still not ask you for entire card numbers or account numbers nor will we ever ask for your passwords.  We will only ask for what is needed to help you resolve or answer any questions you may have.

Recommendations: We recommend that you use healthy skepticism with any unsolicited communication you receive, whether by email, mail or by phone call.  Don’t click on links or open attachments inside any unsolicited email.  If you must, it is best to independently verify the origin of the email before proceeding.

Use pin or biometric security on all of your devices when possible.  If you use a device to conduct any kind of transactional business you should always ensure that you are doing whatever you can to secure and maintain the integrity of that device.

Always be reluctant to give any private information to any unsolicited source without doing the due diligence of verifying the identity of any company or entity that you wish to engage in financial business with.

If you have doubts about any transaction that somebody requests with you, ask your teller.  We are always here to help you keep your financial status safe, sound and secure.


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