Protect Yourself – Don’t Fall Victim to a Scam

Posted on September 15, 2011. Filed under: Tiffany Allen, NMLS #501060 |

Ask anyone and I bet they have been a victim of a scam or know someone who has.  Unfortunately there are scams everywhere.  The most important piece of advice I can give you is to do your research and make sure you know who you are talking to or buying from before you give any personal and confidential information.  Scam artists use any story or scheme they can think of to get you to believe them and send your money to them.  I would like to share a couple of email scams in this article.

Here is an example of an email a customer’s friends and family recently received:

Hello,

I’m writing this with tears in my eyes ,my family and I had a trip to Valencia, Spain for a short vacation unfortunately we were robbed at the park of the hotel where we stayed, all cash, credit card and mobile phone were all stolen from us but luckily for us we still have our passports with us.

We’ve been to the embassy and the Police here but they’re not helping issues at all and our flight leaves in few hrs from now but we’re having problems settling the hotel bills and the hotel manager won’t let us leave until we settle the bills the amount needed now is just $3,000 USD.I am so confused right now and thank God i wasn’t injured because I complied immediately.

Waiting to read from you so I can let you know how to get the money wired.

Thanks.

John Doe

In this situation the scammer’s purposely have used poor grammar and made spelling mistakes.  Their hope is to rush the recipient of the e-mail to feel the pressure and time constraint, they are hoping someone, anyone will reply to the email quickly without attempting to verify the situation by phone to a known number.  The family’s free email account was hacked into and this email was forwarded to all of their contacts.  In addition, the hackers also took over the Instant Messaging and had all messages routed out of the family’s Instant Messaging center to the hacker’s accounts, and the family didn’t notice it for days.  Unfortunately, the account that they used for their e-mail was not very helpful when the customer called for assistance in cleaning up the mess.  It was very time consuming for this family to even get their email account reset so they could log back in and change the password. 

Here is another example of a fraudulent email that some of our customers have received:

From: risk@nacha.org [mailto:risk@nacha.org]
Sent: Thursday, August 25, 2011 3:14 AM
To:

Subject: Rejected ACH transfer

The ACH transfer (ID: 997288457010), recently initiated from your bank account (by you or any other person), was canceled by the Electronic Payments Association.

Please click here to download further information

 If you have any questions or comments, contact us at info@nacha.org. Thank you for using http://www.nacha.org.

These emails and the links that are included in them are fraudulent. Their intent is to collect personal information or to load malicious software to your computer.  Please do not click on links or open attachments in unsolicited emails from unknown parties or from parties with whom you do not normally communicate, or that appear to be known but are suspicious or otherwise unusual.  Another red flag of a scam is if by phone the caller tells you not to tell anyone else about the request for transferring funds.  These scammers also request that you wire funds through a business that only wires instead of through your full service bank. This is because the businesses that only deal with wires are not there to protect you as a consumer they are there to provide a service for a fee and in most cases do not ask any questions regarding your request.    These scams are very troublesome and time consuming to clean up, and in most cases if you do fall victim to a scam you will not receive your money back.

Denmark State Bank is your local bank. We are proud to be here for you and to assist you with ALL of your banking needs.  We value the relationship we have built with you and we value the trust you put in us every day.  If you have a question regarding an email or phone call please feel free to call us at Denmark State Bank and we will be happy to do the research for you and verify whether the situation is true or in fact a scam.  Please do not ever feel embarrassed to ask one of us at Denmark State Bank if something sounds like a scam.  Denmark State Bank can not stop you from deciding to proceed with a wire or a withdrawal; however, we can provide you with the comfort of knowing that you received a second opinion.  We hear these stories every day and would hate to see it happen to one of our valued customers. 

You can also verify the validity of questionable emails or phone calls by researching on the internet.  The Federal Trade Commission deals with issues that touch the economic life of every American. It is the only federal agency with both consumer protection and competition jurisdiction in broad sectors of the economy.  You can find additional information on their website: WWW.FTC.GOV.

 Member FDIC|NMLS #501060

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