Fraudulent Emails Claiming To Be From The FDIC
E-mails fraudulently claiming to be from the FDIC are attempting to trick recipients into installing unknown software on personal computers. These e-mails falsely indicate that recipients should download and open a “personal FDIC insurance file” to check their deposit insurance coverage. The “insurance file” may actually be a form of spyware or malicious code and may collect personal or confidential information.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has become aware of e-mails appearing to be sent from the FDIC that are asking recipients to download and open a “personal FDIC insurance file” to check their deposit insurance coverage. These e-mails are fraudulent and were not sent by the FDIC. The FDIC is attempting to identify the source of the e-mails and disrupt the transmission.
Currently, the subject line of the fraudulent e-mails includes the wording “check your Bank Deposit Insurance Coverage.” The e-mails state: “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-mails ask recipients to “visit the official FDIC website” by clicking on a hyperlink provided, which appears to be related to the FDIC and directs recipients to a fraudulent Web site. The Web site includes hyperlinks that appear to open forms. However, it is believed that clicking on the hyperlinks will cause an unknown executable file to be downloaded. While the FDIC is working with the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) to determine the exact effects of the executable file, recipients should consider the intent of the software as a malicious attempt to collect personal or confidential information, some of which may be used to gain unauthorized access to online banking services or to conduct identity theft. Consumers should NOT access the Web site or download the executable files provided on the Web site.
Contact your nearest TBK Bank branch for more information.
What is Phishing you ask? Well it is not the “fishing” you are thinking of. Phishing is a method identity thieves use to steal your personal information. These identity thieves pretend to be financial institutions or companies and send spam or pop-up messages to get you to reveal your personal information. Here are several things you can do to help protect yourself against becoming a victim of a phishing scam:
- Never respond to any email message asking you to confirm or validate personal or account information.
- Treat unsolicited email that claims to come from a trusted company with caution.
- If you are suspicious about an email, do not open it or click on any links.
- Be suspicious of emails that do not greet you by name.
- If you see “@” in the middle of the URL, there is a good chance it is a phishing site. Just because you see the companies domain name in their email address, such as www.bankwithtriumph.com, does not guarantee it is actually from that company.
- Ask yourself, “Why is the company writing to me about this?” If you have any doubts, call the company or go to its website on your own.
Lottery Scams are a type of fraud that is becoming very common. The following is an example of how a lottery scam typically works:
A letter arrives in your mailbox (or an email in your inbox) stating that you have won a great deal of money in a lottery program, one that you have never heard of or entered. Along with the notification letter is a check drawn on a legitimate bank. The letter will indicate that the check is to be used to pay taxes and transfer fees before the remainder of the funds can be disbursed. You are instructed to call a telephone number to obtain additional information on how to proceed. During this call, the con will tell you to deposit the check into your bank account and then immediately wire out the proceeds using Western Union or Money Gram. The problem is that the check is counterfeit, a fact that won’t be revealed for approximately ten days. In the meantime, the money associated with the counterfeit item may be available to you on the next business day unless a hold has been placed on it. As such, you follow the con’s instructions and wire the funds out. When the check is returned as uncollected because it is counterfeit, you have already sent the money out and will now be in a loss situation.
Money Transfer Agents
Money Transfer Agent Scams are a type of fraud that is on the rise. This scam happens when you are contacted via e-mail or telephone in response to a resume you have posted online. The person solicits you for a job as an international money transfer agent. They will send you official bank instruments to deposit into your personal bank account. You will then be required to immediately wire the proceeds out to a variety of international locations, keeping an agreed-upon amount for your services. It sounds easy enough, so you agree. As such, you follow the con’s instructions and deposit the checks and then wire the funds out. When the checks are returned as uncollected because they are all deemed counterfeit, you are left with a gaping hole in your bank account.
Overpayment for Goods or Services
An overpayment for goods or services scam could happen when you have advertised an item in an online market and are contacted by someone who is interested in making the purchase. They agree to pay the advertised amount, but oops, they made the check out for $3,000 more than the asking price. Because you seem to be such an honest individual, they trust you with these extra funds and ask you to simply deposit the check into your bank account and wire the excess to their shipper, who is arranging for pickup of the item. As it turns out, they are not so trusting. The check is counterfeit. As with other scams, once the check is returned as uncollected, the money is already gone, and you are left with a loss.
Mystery Shopping Scams
Mystery shopping scams involve you receiving notification you have been selected to be a mystery shopper for XYZ Company! They have even sent you a cashier’s check to be used to make purchases at the chosen store locations. You get to shop, grade each store location, and keep the merchandise you purchase, plus get paid a fee for your services. They have even included a Code of Ethics disclosure! How can this be a scam? First of all, the check is counterfeit. You will be asked to deposit the counterfeit item into your bank account and then immediately begin your mystery shopping assignment. The majority of the funds provided to you in the counterfeit check will be wired out using a nationally-known wire service (Western Union or Money Gram), with the ploy that this is one of the merchants you are to grade.
Once the check is deemed to be counterfeit (about ten days after you deposit the item), the check is returned as uncollected, and your bank debits your account for the full amount of the check. Since you have already spent or wired the funds out, you are now in a loss situation and left to deal with a mess.
Online Shopping Scams
Beware when you are shopping online and purchase a product that you fully understand the disclosure and what you are agreeing to. A recent trend with online merchants is to include additional services along with your purchase for additional fees. These extra services and fees are buried deep within the disclosure section. For instance you visit an unfamiliar website and decide to purchase the product and you accept the disclosure and complete the transaction. When you receive you next credit card statement you realize that you are also charged for such things as access to their website or a fitness membership you knew nothing about. Remember to always read the fine print.
This scam involves the criminal notifying the victim that a distant relative or friend has passed away (or any variation of this story) and inheritance tax must be paid upfront before the inheritance is sent.
Internet fraud is increasing in popularity with criminals who use chat rooms, email, message boards, surveys and fake websites as a means to obtain money, bank account numbers or personal information.
- Do not click on email links when you receive an email urging you to do so. Instead, enter the web address in your browser.
- Be wary of any unsolicited or unexpected emails from all sources.
- Use extreme caution when disclosing personal information online or over the phone. Before sending any secure information, make certain there is a “lock” icon on the browser status bar or look for “https” in the web address. Review credit card and account statements immediately to look for unauthorized transactions.
- Watch out for “Advance-Fee Demands” — review carefully any online offer when it is necessary to mail or wire transfer the payment prior to receiving the benefit, particularly if it is a PO Box or overseas.
- Make sure unused checks, bills, and bank statements are shredded before discarding. Also, it is a good idea to send mail from a Post Office box instead of leaving it in your personal mailbox.
Mail fraud is something that is becoming more and more common today. This happens whenever you are paying bills and sending your checks in the mail. The thief see’s the flag raised on your mailbox and decides to steal your mail. If there is a check in the mail, it is removed, counterfeited, and used for purchases of gift cards and other goods at several large retail businesses. It is recommended to avoid this type of fraud to place your outgoing mail in a secure, Postal Mailbox or utilize our FREE Online Bill Pay. Click here for more information on Online Bill Pay or simply contact your nearest branch location for more information.