Alerts

 
 
To:
Farmers & Merchants State Bank Customers
Subject:
Account Activation Text Scams
Date:
June 9, 2014

Fraudulent text messages are being sent to consumers in an effort to steal personally identifiable information. Financial institutions have reported an increased volume in these attacks since May 22, 2014. Mass text broadcasts are commonly used by fraudsters to reach large audiences of potential victims. This scam is quite common and often operates simultaneously in multiple states.

SCAM DETAILS

  • Automated texts are being broadcast that warn consumers to call certain numbers to reactivate their payment cards.
  • A recent text example: "Federal Credit Union ALERT: Your CheckCard has been temporarily LOCKED. Please call Card Services line (407) 574-2992".
  • Text messages do not reference a particular issuing brand but they may vaguely refer to a credit union or bank.
  • Additional originating text numbers for this recent scam include: 786-300-2335 and 971-208-9936. All numbers referenced herein have been disbanded. New originating numbers will most likely be created and used in the future.
  • Text messages may also originate from Jamaican area code 876 which is easily confused by consumers with a toll free number.

BEST PRACTICES

  • Never call a potentially fraudulent number. Law enforcement and local communication companies may be in the middle of an investigation that will be compromised if the fraudsters become suspicious.
  • Report as many details as possible to your financial institution. Full telephone numbers, including area codes, are essential for any telephony scam investigation.
  • Be aware that a series of numbers are often involved in telephony scams. This scam may not be entirely limited to the number(s) referenced above.

If you receive one of these texts, do not respond and do not provide your card or account number. You may contact us at Farmers & Merchants State Bank or contact local law enforcement with the number being utilized by the fraudsters so that the accounts can be traced or terminated. If you believe your account has been compromised, please contact us immediately.


Farmers & Merchants State Bank

To:
Farmers & Merchants State Bank Customers
Subject:
Publishers Clearing House Scams
Date:
May 16, 2014

The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers to be aware of a new scam being perpetrated. Scammers inform their targets they have won a sweepstakes prize but first need to make some type of payment to obtain the prize. Scammers oftentimes use the name of Publishers Clearing House or some other well-recognized, trusted brand. The scammers build trust and rapport with their targets, and payments only lead to more requests for money. Scammers may call you on the phone, send you an email or mail you a letter (sometimes with a fake check enclosed). Whatever the method of contact, the scam is always to try and get you to part with your hard-earned money.

US Government officials, the US Postal Inspection Service, The Federal Trade Commission, as well as police and law enforcement agencies around the country are all working together to combat the rise in these types of scams. Publishers Clearing House is actively working with these agencies to combat these crimes and to educate the public.  For more information, and tips on how to protect yourself, visit the PCH Sweepstakes Learning Center.


Farmers & Merchants State Bank

To:
Farmers & Merchants State Bank Customers
Subject:
Card Industry Alert
Date:
January 13, 2014

The significant amount of data breach activity affecting the card industry in recent months has generated an increase in socially engineered fraud scams aimed at consumers. Criminals are taking advantage of vulnerable consumers by leveraging Phishing, text and phone channels to trick them into providing personally identifiable information. The geographic areas where these scams are operating, as well as the information criminals are attempting to gather, are completely diverse. Here are some examples of recent scams operating in the US:

Automated Vishing calls: Consumers are receiving automated phone calls from a blocked source stating that their payment cards have been blocked. Cardholders are asked to enter their full card number and PIN or CV2 information to reactivate their card. If the calls go unanswered a voice mail is left instructing the consumer to contact a number to reactivate their account.

Text Smishing messages: Text messages referencing compromised cards and suspended accounts are typical. A number is provided within the text message for reactivation. Most messages do not reference a particular financial brand name, but some do, and Marine Bank and Credit Union Bank have both been referenced in this area. Affected regions have been varied.

If you receive one of these calls or texts, do not respond and do not provide your card or account number. You may contact us at Farmers & Merchants State Bank or contact local law enforcement with the number being utilized by the fraudsters so that the accounts can be traced or terminated. If you believe your account has been compromised, please contact us immediately.


Farmers & Merchants State Bank

To:
Farmers & Merchants State Bank Customers
Subject:
Ameren Alert
Date:
October 3, 2013

A few customers have reported receiving calls from someone claiming to be an Ameren employee who could save them money on their utility bills. Victims are asked for their bank account numbers and social security numbers.

Ameren has put out an alert stating that utility customers in several states are being tricked into providing scammers with their Social Security number. According to reports, scammers have also visited customers in person, posted fliers, and used social media and texting to send this false message.

Never give your credit card, debit card, Social Security, ATM, checking, or saving account numbers to anyone who comes to your home, calls, texts, or sends an email requesting this information. If a caller claims to be an Ameren representative and asks for immediate payment or requests other personal information, hang up and contact Ameren directly.

If you believe your account has been compromised, please contact us immediately.


Farmers & Merchants State Bank

To:
Farmers & Merchants State Bank Customers
Subject:
Cell Phone Phishing Alert

We have heard reports of cell phone users receiving phishing texts claiming to be an "Important message from Farmers & Mechanics [or possibly Farmers & Merchants] about the status of your account". These texts list a bogus account number and ask the recipient to call a phone number. Upon doing so, the caller is instructed to enter their 16-digit debit card number.

These texts surface periodically and are a scam to obtain your bank account information. Do not call the number listed and do not respond to the text.

Farmers & Merchants State Bank will never send you unsolicited emails, text messages, or phone calls to request your personal financial information, such as your debit card number, expiration date, PIN, password, or Social Security number. You should never reply to emails, phone calls, or any unexpected communication that asks you to CONFIRM, UPDATE, OR PROVIDE your account information.

If you believe your account has been compromised, please contact us immediately.


Farmers & Merchants State Bank

To:
Chief Executive Officer (also of interest to Security Officer)
Subject:
Consumer Alert
Summary:
E-mails fraudulently claiming to be from the FDIC are attempting to get recipients to click on a link, which may ask them to provide sensitive personal information. These e-mails falsely indicate that FDIC deposit insurance is suspended until the requested customer information is provided.
Distribution:
FDIC-Supervised Banks (Commercial and Savings)
Note:
Paper copies of FDIC Special Alerts may be obtained through the FDIC's Public Information Center, 877-275-3342 or 703-562-2200.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has received numerous reports from consumers who received an e-mail that has the appearance of being sent from the FDIC. The e-mail informs the recipient that "in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security, federal, state and local governments…" the FDIC has withdrawn deposit insurance from the recipient's account "due to account activity that violates the Patriot Act." It further states deposit insurance will remain suspended until identity and account information can be verified using a system called "IDVerify." If consumers go to the link provided in the e-mail, it is suspected they will be asked for personal or confidential information, or malicious software may be loaded onto the recipient's computer.

This e-mail is fraudulent. It was not sent by the FDIC. It is an attempt to obtain personal information from consumers. Financial institutions and consumers should NOT access the link provided within the body of the e-mail and should NOT under any circumstances provide any personal information through this media.

The FDIC is attempting to identify the source of the e-mails and disrupt the transmission. Until this is achieved, consumers are asked to report any similar attempts to obtain this information to the FDIC by sending information to alert@fdic.gov.

For your reference, FDIC Special Alerts may be accessed from the FDIC's website. To learn how to automatically receive FDIC Special Alerts through e-mail, please visit the FDIC's website.


Sandra L. Thompson, Director
FDIC: Division of Supervision and Consumer Protection

 


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