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Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing types of financial fraud. Your financial identity can be stolen with as little information as your social security number. It is also called “account-takeover fraud” or “true-name fraud”, and it involves someone assuming your identity by fraudulently applying for credit, running up huge bills and stiffing creditors – all in your name.
Take these steps to protect yourself:
Federal Trade Commission – Fighting Identity Theft
Office of the Comptroller of Currency – Fight Identity Theft
Phishing is a type of email scam that thieves use to get customers to divulge their account numbers, login IDs, passwords and other privileged information. They send thousands of counterfeit email messages designed to look like they are from reputable businesses, frequently a bank.
The emails come under many guises, but they all encourage you to divulge personal information in an effort to defraud you. Unsuspecting people who respond are directed to one of the aforementioned phishing sites, where their financial information is collected – and then used to scam their accounts.
Vermilion Bank & Trust Company will never solicit this personal information via email. Never provide the following information via an unsolicited email, link in an email, or website that you have not intentionally accessed:
Cashiers Check Fraud
Online auction sites are a popular way to buy and sell collectibles, jewelry, even cars; however, internet auction transactions are not always safe. Cashier’s check or “advance fee” fraud has become more prevalent as online auction sites and classified ads have gained popularity. In many cases, large ticket items lure this type of fraud artist to a victim.
The typical fraud scenario is somewhat confusing, which is probably one of the reasons why the fraud artist is successful.
This is an example of cashier’s check fraud: Say you post an ad for your car on an online auction website for $3,000. A foreign buyer bids on the car for the full asking price. When payment is arranged the buyer says that a broker in the United States will deliver the car to him for $2,000. He sends you a check for $6,000 and asks you to send $2,000 to his broker. You agree because he sent you an extra $1,000 for brokering the deal. You receive the cashier’s check, deposit it, and because cashiers’ checks are mistakenly thought to be as good as cash, wire the leftover sum to the broker. Ten days later your bank informs you that the cashier’s check was fraudulent and that you’re responsible for any money you’ve drawn against it. Unfortunately, you’ve lost your money and the merchandise to a scam. There are many variations of the scheme. A seller could just as easily attempt to scam you, and not all scammers are from outside the U.S.
Here are some suggestions to protect yourself from this type of fraud:
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Your privacy is very important to us. We would like to advise you that Internet email is not secure. Please do not submit any information that you consider confidential. We recommend you do not include your social security or account number or other specific identifying information.
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