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Equifax Security Breach

Equifax, a leading credit reporting agency recently announce that a security breach took place and approximately 143 million individuals' credit records were compromised. These records included confidential information such as social security number, name, address and birthdate. In addition, it may have included credit card numbers. It is very important that every customer check to see if your name is on the list of compromised individuals. To find out, visit https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/potential-impact/. You will be asked to input your last name and the last 6 digits of your social security number. If you do appear on the list, Equifax will provide you enrollment in a free credit monitoring service.

In addition, it is important that you take precautionary steps to protect your credit record. The Federal Trade Commission provides very good guidance at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2017/09/equifax-data-breach-what-do.

Government Refund Scam

A variation on a classic scam has been circulating recently. Consumers have reported fictitious text messages and telephone calls, allegedly initiated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) or other government entities, regarding funds purportedly under the control of the OCC.

Consumers have reported receiving communications that the OCC is holding $11,000 on their behalf as a refund for illegal fees charged by their financial institutions. The callers have been identified as both males and females with heavy accents who are using various names. The callers have the personal information of the potential victim including address, date of birth, and Social Security number. The potential victim is asked to confirm this information and to provide his or her bank routing number and account number so that a transfer may be made.

Any communication claiming that the OCC is involved in holding any funds for the benefit of any individual or entity is fraudulent. The OCC does not participate in the transfer of funds for, or on behalf of, individuals, business enterprises, or governmental entities.

Before responding in any manner to any proposal supposedly issued by the OCC, or other government entity, that requests personal account information, or that requires the payment of any fee in connection with the proposal, the OCC recommends that consumers take the following steps:

  • Contact the OCC or other government entity directly to verify the legitimacy of the proposal
  • Contact state or local law enforcement.
  • File a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center if the proposal appears to be fraudulent and was received via e-mail or the Internet.
  • File a complaint with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service by telephone at (888) 877-7644; by mail at U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Office of Inspector General, Operations Support Group, 222 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 1250, Chicago, IL 60606-6100; or via their online complaint form  if the proposal appears to be fraudulent and was delivered through the U.S. Postal Service.

Anyone who has provided bank account information should contact their local financial center, or the Freedomline at 800.436.6300, immediately to report the issue. Consumers who have had their personal information compromised should visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website at www.ftc.gov and follow their guidance for identify theft.

The IRS Is Calling!

In the past few months, activity related to this type of fraud has increased dramatically!

In this scam, the caller claims to be from the IRS. They state that they are calling regarding overdue (or misfiled) income tax returns from previous years. Further, they state that if you do not pay, they will send the local authorities to arrest you. The fraudster tries very hard to get you to "settle" by providing them your credit card information. Once you have done this, the fraud will be complete.

Please note, the Internal Revenue Service will never call you and demand payment. They will send you a certified letter with detailed information regarding any issues with your tax filings.

In a similar phone scam, the target is elderly persons. The caller claims to be a detective from the local authorities. They state that they have the target's grandchild in custody and that they need bail money. Again, their goal is to get your credit card information. These callers are slick! They will have the actual name of a grandchild and will be very convincing! Before you choose to help a loved one out, confirm their whereabouts with family members and go in person to assist if there is truly a need to do so.

If you get a call from a telephone number you are not familiar with, do a search on the internet. Often, you will find those numbers listed on scam alert sites.

Tech Support Scam

Liberty Savings Bank has learned of a Tech Support Scam that has affected some of our customers. 

Tech support scams have been circulating for a number of years.   A common way for this scam to begin is with a telephone call.  Scammers will call randomly or use names and information acquired from public directories to make more targeted calls.  Once they have you on the phone they pose as tech support personnel, often from Microsoft or large computer companies like Dell, or HP.  They will tell you that they have received warnings that your computer is infected with malware, viruses, or has been infiltrated by hackers.

They will often direct you to download “support” software in an attempt to gain remote access to your computer.  Once they have access to your computer they will use built in diagnostic tools to make it appear that your computer is badly infected. 

These scammers try to use fear and concern about computer security to gain debit or credit card information to pay for their illicit services.   Using their services is not only a waste of money but could expose you to additional fraud.

Should you receive any phone call from someone claiming to be from tech support simply hang up and contact the software or hardware company they claimed to be from using a known good phone number.

For more information regarding this and others scams, please visit the FTC.

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