Equifax Security Breach
On 9/7/17 Equifax announced a “cybersecurity incident potentially impacting approximately 143 million U.S. consumers”. They have also stated there is “no evidence of unauthorized access to core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases.”
We at Deerwood Bank understand you may be concerned about the security of your personal information. For additional information regarding the breach, to determine if your information has been potentially impacted, and to sign up for credit file monitoring and identity theft protection please visit, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com or call 1-866-447-7559. Their call center is open everyday (including weekends) from 7:00am-1:00am Eastern Time.
Equifax will send direct mail notices to consumers whose credit card numbers or dispute documents with personal identifying information were impacted.
As a service to our customers, Deerwood Bank is providing this information for security purposes only. We are not making any recommendations of action or inaction.
Protecting Your Identity
At Deerwood Bank, protecting your privacy and identity is paramount. That is why we are dedicating this page to keep you informed about the latest types of scams and fraudulent attempts that may affect you financially and potentially be used to steal your identity. In addition, we are providing you with links to help you in the event that you feel your identity has been compromised. If you have any questions or concerns call us at 1-800-291-6597 or email us at info*AT*deerwoodbank.com.
There are times when an employee from the bank may call you to ask for updated information or to confirm other personal data. If you prefer, please take down the employee’s name and call 1-800-291-6597 to verify that the employee does indeed work at Deerwood Bank. The person who answers the phone can then direct you to the employee that called.
Deerwood Bank Recognizes World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
Every year, millions of seniors fall victim to financial fraud. Studies show elder financial abuse costs seniors approximately $2.9 billion each year. In recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15, Deerwood Bank is urging older customers and their trusted caregivers to safeguard all personal information and stay alerted to the common signs of financial abuse.
Deerwood Bank is offering the following tips:
- Plan ahead to protect your assets and to ensure your wishes are followed. Talk to someone at your financial institution, an attorney, or financial advisor about the best options for you.
- Carefully choose a trustworthy person to act as your agent in all estate-planning matters.
- Lock up your checkbook, account statements, and other sensitive information when others will be in your home.
- Never give personal information, including Social Security Number, account number or other financial information to anyone over the phone unless you initiated the call and the other party is trusted.
- Never pay a fee or taxes to collect sweepstakes or lottery “winnings.”
- Never rush into a financial decision. Ask for details in writing and get a second opinion.
- Consult with a financial advisor or attorney before signing any document you don’t understand.
- Get to know your banker and build a relationship with the people who handle your finances. They can look out for any suspicious activity related to your account.
- Check references and credentials before hiring anyone to do work in your home. Don’t allow workers to have access to information about your finances.
- Pay with checks, debit and credit cards instead of cash to keep a paper trail.
- You have the right not to be threatened or intimidated. If you think someone close to you is trying to take control of your finances, call your local Adult Protective Services agency or tell someone at your bank.
If you believe you are a victim of financial abuse, be sure to: Talk to a trusted family member, doctor, attorney, local police, adult protective services or your local bank.
How Identity Theft Happens
Identity theft starts with the misuse of personally identifying information such as name and social security number, credit card numbers, or other financial account information. Skilled identity thieves may use a variety of methods to get hold of your information, including:
- Cyber Attacks ‘Hacking’ – Accessing personal information on your computer or mobile device through the use of malware. The FDIC provides ‘A Bank Customer’s Guide to Cybersecurity’»
- Dumpster Diving – Rummage through trash looking for bills or other paper with personal information on it.
- Skimming – Steal credit or debit card numbers by using a special storage device at a merchant or at an ATM when processing a card transaction.
- Phishing – Pretend to be with a financial institution or company and send spam or pop-up messages to get someone to reveal or respond with their personal information.
- Changing Your Address – Divert the billing statement or another account notice to another location by completing a change of address form with the financial institution or company.
- Theft – Stealing wallets and purses or mail, including bank and credit card statements, pre-approved credit offers, orders of new checks, or tax information. Stealing personal records or bribing employees with access to personal records to steal them.
Pretexting – Using false pretenses to obtain personal information from financial institutions, telephone companies, and other sources.
Here are links that are helpful and can inform you about steps you can take to protect your identity – as well as to assist you in the event that your identity has been compromised. Remember; contact Deerwood Bank immediately if you think your information has been compromised.
Penn Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580
You will want to notify one of these three credit bureau companies.
You can also view your credit report online at no cost to you at: www.annualcreditreport.com.
Equifax – www.equifax.com
To order your report:
PO Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
To report fraud:
PO Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
Experian – www.experian.com
To order your report:
PO Box 2104
Allen, TX 75013
To report fraud:
PO Box 9532
Allen, TX 75013
Trans Union – www.transunion.com
To order your report:
PO Box 1000
Chester, PA 19022
To report fraud:
PO Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834
Recent Identity Theft Scams
We’ve described below some recent examples of bogus emails and phone calls that may be attempting to gain access to your personal information. As always, if you are the receiver of an email and you do not recognize the sender – or if the email does not make any sense to you, it is likely a malicious/bogus email. Never click on any links contained in the email. Just delete the entire email from your inbox.
Visa / MasterCard FRAUD
This one is pretty slick since they provide YOU with all the information, except the one piece they want. Note, the callers do not ask for your card number; they already have it.
The scam works like this:
Person calling says – ‘This is (name), and I’m calling from the Security and Fraud Department at VISA. My Badge number is 12460, Your card has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern, and I’m calling to verify. This would be on your VISA card which was issued by (name of bank). Did you purchase an Anti-Telemarketing Device for $497.99 from a marketing company based in Arizona ?’ When you say ‘No’, the caller continues with, ‘Then we will be issuing a credit to your account. This is a company we have been watching and the charges range from $297 to $497, just under the $500 purchase pattern that flags most cards. Before your next statement, the credit will be sent to (gives you your address), is that correct?’ You say ‘yes’.
The caller continues – ‘I will be starting a Fraud Investigation. If you have any questions, you should call the 1- 800 number listed on the back of your card (1-800-VISA) and ask for Security. You will need to refer to this Control Number. The caller then gives you a 6 digit number. ‘Do you need me to read it again?’
Here’s the IMPORTANT part on how the scam works – The caller then says, ‘I need to verify you are in possession of your card’. He’ll ask you to ‘turn your card over and look for some numbers’. There are 7 numbers; the first 4 are part of your card number, the last 3 are the Security Numbers that verify you are the possessor of the card. These are the numbers you sometimes use to make Internet purchases to prove you have the card. The caller will ask you to read the last 3 numbers to him. After you tell the caller the 3 numbers, he’ll say, ‘That is correct, I just needed to verify that the card has not been lost or stolen, and that you still have your card. Do you have any other questions?’
After you say no, the caller then thanks you and states, ‘Don’t hesitate to call back if you do’, and hangs up. You actually say very little, and they never ask for or tell you the card number. But after we were called on Wednesday, we called back within 20 minutes to ask a question. We were glad we did! The REAL VISA Security Department told us it was a scam and in the last 15 minutes a new purchase of $497.99 was charged to our card. We made a real fraud report and closed the VISA account. VISA is reissuing us a new number. What the Scammer wants is the 3-digit PIN number on the back of the card. Don’t give it to them. Instead, tell them you’ll call VISA or Master Card directly for verification of their conversation.
The real VISA told us that they will never ask for anything on the card as they already know the information since they issued the card! If you give the Scammer your 3 Digit PIN Number, you think you’re receiving a credit; however, by the time you get your statement you’ll see charges for purchases you didn’t make, and by then it’s almost too late and/or more difficult to actually file a fraud report.
IRS Tax Bill Scam
The latest Identity scam involves a fake IRS tax notice that claims you owe money as a result of the Affordable Care Act. These fake notices are designed to look like real IRS CP2000 notices. The agency normally sends these notices if the information it receives about your income doesn’t match the information reported on your tax return. Many people have gotten bogus notices claiming they owe money for the previous tax year under the Affordable Care Act. Often in the scam, the fake CP2000 notices will arrive as an attachment to an email, or by U.S. mail. Here are a few red-flag warnings that can help you avoid falling victim.
The IRS will NEVER:
- Initiate contact with you by email or through social media.
- Ask you to pay using a gift card, pre-paid debit card, or wire transfer.
- Request personal or financial information by email, texts, or social media.
- Threaten to immediately have you arrested or deported for not paying.
Other telling signs of scam include:
- A “payment” link within the email. This link can lead you to sites that steal your personal information, take your money, or infect your computer with malware. Do not click the link.
- A fake CP2000 may ask for checks to be made out to “I.R.S.” A real CP2000 will always ask taxpayers to make out check to “United States Treasury” if they agree they owe taxes.
Curious what a real CP2000 looks like, go to the IRS webpage, Understanding Your CP2000 Notice. If you receive a scam IRS notice, forward it to phishing*AT*irs.gov and let the Federal Trade Commission know. Then delete the email from your account.
New Internet scam: be alert to attempts at fraud by persons claiming to be U.S. citizens living or traveling overseas who profess friendship or romantic interest over the Internet. The scammers quick transition to intimate matters during conversations could be an indicator of fraudulent intent. They may cultivate a relationship for several months before asking for money. Before sending any money to someone you have never met in person, please take the time to do your research and inform yourself. If any of the items listed below sound familiar you are likely a victim of an Internet scam. You met a friend/fiancé online.
- You’ve never met face to face.
- The scammer professed love quickly.
- Your friend/fiancé is plagued with medical or other life problems requiring loans from you.
- The reason always has some urgency.
- You are promised repayment upon inheritance of money, gold, or gems.
- You’ve sent large sums of money for visas or plane tickets but, the person cannot seem to make it out of the country.
- When your friend/fiancé tries to leave the country, he/she has a traumatic accident or is detained by immigration officials demanding payment, bribes, or proof of a certain amount of cash on hand for travel.
- The scammer consistently uses lower case “i’s” and/or poor grammar, not keeping with their supposed life station or education level.
Cases bearing these and other hallmarks have all been proven scams to prey on sympathetic and compassionate victims. In the event you do send and lose money, be warned that your chances of getting it back are minimal. This type of crime is not a priority for local police and is difficult to prosecute. Victims can report the scam on www.ic3.gov and might also consider alerting the website on which the scammer was encountered.
Fraudulent Phone Calls:
There have also been numerous phone calls – including to cell phones – where you are told that your Debit Card needs to be activated – or in some cases reactivated. These calls may be from a live person, or you may be given a phone number to call to “activate” your card. When you call the phone number, you again may be speaking to a live person, or in other cases you are put into an interactive voice response system. These are fraudulent phone calls. Please do not give out your personal information – like your debit card number. If you inadvertently do give this information to the caller, please contact Deerwood Bank and we will close your current debit card and order you a new one.
Mobile Banking Safety Tips:
Following a few simple steps can help make Mobile Banking a safe, convenient way to manage your accounts.
- Avoid storing sensitive information like passwords and social security numbers on your mobile device.
- Password protect your mobile device and lock it when you’re not using it.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Don’t type any sensitive information if others around you can see.
- Log out completely when you complete a mobile banking session.
- Protect your phone from viruses and malware just like you do for your computer by installing mobile security software.
- Download the updates for your phone and mobile apps.
- Use discretion when downloading apps.
- If you change your phone number or lose your mobile device, let us know right away.
- Monitor your accounts regularly and immediately report suspicious activity.