Scams Information

These are actual scams that our customers have reported to us or been involved in. Please safeguard your information.

1. Stimulus package scams: We anticipate there will be several new scams involving the stimulus package. If anyone is offering you a deal on the stimulus package, please check to be sure it is a legitimate source before giving out any information. We don't have any specific scams yet, but they will be coming.

2. Long Lost Rich Relative: You receive a letter (usually with a foreign address) from someone saying they are a lawyer. The lawyer had a client that deposited over $15 million into an account before he died. You are the next of kin. If you provide proof of relationship so the funds can be claimed and not be seized by the bank, the attorney will split the funds with you; 20% to charitable organizations and you and the attorney split the rest 50/50.

3. Phishing via Email: You receive an email confirming your purchase and that your credit card has been charged. There are a variety of these scams - Walmart, Trader Joes, Hawaiian Airlines, etc. You name it, there is an email phishing scam. They want you to panic and respond to their email that you didn't authorize this. They will ask you to verify your credit card number - bam, they got you. Another version is that the attachment will have a virus in it. Don't open these, don't respond. Keep an eye on your credit card statements.

4. Phishing Scams: A call is placed to the bank - the caller says they are trying to verify if an account is active. All they have is the name and the social security number. They are looking for you to give them the account number. We don't verify if accounts are active. We verify if funds are available to cover a check. During this verification, the caller must give the account name, number and check number so you can see if it is in sequence.

5. The Minnesota State Patrol is warning residents about a phone scam. Authorities say individuals identifying themselves as state troopers are leaving phone messages for people, telling them a family member has been hurt. The victims are instructed to call ..72 followed by a 1-800 number. Authorities say the code allows the unknown caller to charge long distance calls to the victim's phone service. The State Patrol says individuals who receive such a call should contact local law enforcement.

6. Jury Duty Scam - You receive a letter that says you haven't shown up for jury duty and a warrant is being issued for your arrest. You call the number on the letter because you haven't received any notice for jury duty. You are asked to provide your SSN and other personal data to clear everything up. Bam- you have just had your identity stolen.

7. Telephone/Travel Scam - The customer received a call saying her grandson was in Canada and would not be allowed to cross the border unless she wired $2600. The scammer somehow knew grandma's phone number and the grandson's name. This is a pretty elaborate scam and could have been perpetrated by someone the grandson knew. Another way they could have gotten grandma’s number is how the number is stored in the cell phone. Was she listed as Grandma or Jane Doe? Customer did not send money or give any info.

8. Drawings & Lottery Scams - Customer received a notice that says they are a winner in a drawing; provided them with a receipt number and that they are entitled to some wild number like $250,000. But there is a Tax Clearance Fee that must be paid by you, so they are enclosing a check - usually around $4,000 and you are to send the Tax Clearance Fee by MoneyGram or Western Union so you can collect your prize. You are usually asked to send about $3,000. You haven't won a prize, because you never signed up for a drawing or bought a lottery ticket. The check they sent you is phony. What they are hoping for is you deposit the check and turn around and send them money via MoneyGram or Western Union before you find out the check is bad. Victim is out the money sent. These are very popular scams and are usually from Canada, Florida, Internet Drawing and Mexico. Currently there is one going around that issues a check to the victim from what looks like an official Wells Fargo check.

9. Attorneys & Law Offices - Be sure you have authority from the customer to release information to 3rd parties. In particular, callers may identify themselves as attorneys or from a law office and request account verification. One particular caller had the account number and wanted to verify the SSN; balance, etc. We did not release any information because there was no authority granted by the customer.

10. ATM Urban Myth - The myth is if you are being coerced to withdraw money from an ATM and you enter your PIN backwards, it will send an alert to the police. This is not true. Entering your PIN backwards has no effect.

11. ATM Card Scam - Victims receive an email from the Federal Republic of Nigeria saying that you have been selected to receive an ATM card that contains $1.5 million on it. They give you a card number and they will send you the PIN as soon as you provide them with the data. The card can be used anywhere in the world but there is a $5,000 limit per day. This is a scam - no one is giving out ATM/Debit cards with $1.5 million on it.

12. Public Information scams: Scammers are taking advantage of the public information laws and are visiting the local court records looking for filings for mortgages. From this information they can get the customer's name, address and what bank has the mortgage. They turn around and send correspondence to the customer acting like they are the bank or an insurance company to get them to pay more fees or "verify" their personal information. The customers think we are giving out this information, but we are not.