Scams & Identity Theft Protection
Today’s technological society has made it easier for you to be scammed and/or have your identity stolen. Because of this, it is the responsibility of everyone to be vigilant concerning their bank accounts and credit card accounts. If you are taken in by some of these scams, unfortunately in most cases your money cannot be recovered and you will be out the loss!
Following are examples of the most common scams being conducted today:
- If you have received a letter in the mail stating that you have won a lottery and must send or wire funds to cover the taxes and fees before you receive your winnings, DO NOT follow their directions. Report this to the authorities at once! This is a scam.
- If someone requests that you deposit money into your account on their behalf, then wire the money or send them a cashier’s check, this could be a scam.
- If you have been corresponding with someone over the internet or EBay for the sale or purchase of an item, have your bank verify their check or money order before you send the item to them. There is a chance the funds are fraudulent!
- Anytime you receive a check in the mail and you do not know the person or company who sent it, DO NOT cash or deposit it until you have your bank verify it.
- Beware of unsolicited e-mails and phone calls from fake IRS agents claiming you are eligible for “refunds” and want your Social Security and bank account numbers so they can direct deposit your “rebate check” into your bank account.
The most common type of Internet piracy is called “phishing”. In this situation, the thieves are trying to obtain your most personal information such as, account numbers, passwords, Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, etc.
As an example, you may receive an e-mail that appears to be from a reputable company that you deal with, such as your bank or a credit card company. The e-mail may warn you of a serious problem that requires your immediate attention. You may then be directed to a phony Web site that may look legitimate. At that time, you will be requested to provide your Social Security number, account number, or password to verify your identity. If you provide the requested information, you may find yourself the victim of identity theft.
You can fight identity theft by following the guidelines listed below:
- Never provide personal financial information over the phone or Internet if you did not initiate the contact.
- Never click on the link provided in an e-mail you think may be fraudulent. It may contain a virus that can contaminate your computer.
- Do not be intimidated by an e-mail or caller who suggests dire consequences if you do not immediately provide or verify financial information.
- Never provide your password over the phone or in response to an unsolicited Internet request.
- Review account statements regularly to ensure all charges are correct.
- Sign up for many of our free services that help you monitor and protect your banking accounts here at Ozona National Bank such “Notify Me” emails, E-delivery of statements and much more.
If you fall victim to a scam or identity theft, contact your financial institution or credit card carrier immediately and alert them to your situation. You can email us at email@example.com. You can also contact one of the three major credit bureaus and discuss whether you need to place a fraud alert on your file, which will help prevent thieves from opening a new account in your name.
The law requires the major nationwide consumer reporting companies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – to give you a free copy of your credit report each year if you ask for it. You can visit www.AnnualCreditReport.com or call 1-877-322-8228 to order your free credit reports each year.
Here is the contact information for each credit bureau’s fraud division:
P. O. Box 740250
Atlanta, GA 30374
P. O. Box 1017
Allen, TX 75013
P. O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92634
You can report all suspicious contacts to the Federal Trade Commission through the Internet at www.consumer.gov/idtheft, or by calling 1-877-IDTHEFT.