Phone Scams

 

Staten Island’s only community-based business bank points to the signs of a phone scam

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.Every year, thousands of people lose money to telephone scams — from a few dollars to their life savings. Scammers will say anything to cheat people out of money. Some seem very friendly — calling you by your first name, making small talk, and asking about your family. They may claim to work for a company you trust, or they may send mail or place ads to convince you to call them.

Scammers use exaggerated — or even fake — prizes, products or services as bait. Some may call you, but others will use mail, texts, or ads to get you to call them for more details. Here are a few examples of “offers” you might get:

 

  • Travel Packages. “Free” or “low cost” vacations can end up cost­ing a bundle in hidden costs. Some of these vacations never take place, even after you’ve paid.
  • Credit and loans. Advance fee loanspayday loanscredit card protection and offers to lower your credit card interest rates are very popular schemes, especially during a down economy.
  • Sham or exaggerated business and investment opportunities. Promoters of these have made millions of dollars. Scammers rely on the fact that business and investing can be complicated and that most people don’t research the investment.
  • Charitable causes. Urgent requests for recent disaster relief efforts are especially common on the phone.
  • High-stakes foreign lotteries. These pitches are against the law, which prohibits the cross-border sale or purchase of lottery tickets by phone or mail. What’s more, you may never see a ticket.
  • Extended car warranties. Scammers find out what kind of car you drive, and when you bought it so they can urge you to buy overpriced — or worthless — plans.
  • “Free” trial offers. Some companies use free trials to sign you up for products — sometimes lots of products — which can cost you lots of money because they bill you every month until you cancel.

 

 

About Victory State Bank:

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTC: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online http://www.victorystatebank.com.

Media Inquiries:

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters:718-682-1509

Mobile:917-715-8761

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

Are you Buying a Home?

 

Staten Island’s only community-based business bank would like to inform youof new laws that will protect you

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. New consumer protection rules went into effect in January to help protect homebuyers and homeowners from predatory lending, taking on more debt than they can afford, not getting complete info from their mortgage holder and more.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rules ensure that anyone being paid to help you find a mortgage treats you fairly at key points in the process. The rules are aimed at empowering you to shop for loans to buy and own a home with more confidence.

 

  • The new mortgage rules will make the market safer and easier to understand. Lenders now have to make a good faith effort to determine if you have the ability to repay your loan. In the end, only you can decide how much you are comfortable paying for a mortgage.
  • You will get a copy of any appraisal or valuation at least three business days before you go to closing. Appraisals can provide you an estimate of what a home is worth. You may also obtain your own independent appraisal.
  • Any company that is paid to help you find or get a mortgage must train its agents, brokers and loan originators and make sure they have been through a background check. The people you hire to help you find a mortgage should be licensed or registered at the state or federal level. Ask your loan originator about their credentials.
  • New CFPB mortgage rules limit the fees a lender can charge and still make what is called a Qualified Mortgage. These rules do not require lenders to cap fees. You still have to decide for yourself whether it’s a good idea to pay high fees to get a loan.

 

 

About Victory State Bank:

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTC: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online http://www.victorystatebank.com.

Media Inquiries:

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters:718-682-1509

Mobile:917-715-8761

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

Co-signing a Loan

 

Staten Island’s only community-based business bank highlights what you should consider before co-signing a loan

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.What do you do if a friend or relative asks you to co-sign a loan? Before you say yes, think about the obligations involved and how they may affect your own finances and creditworthiness. When you agree to co-sign a loan, you’re taking a risk a lender won’t take.

Despite the risks, there may be times when you want to co-sign. Your child may need a first loan, or a close friend may need help. Before you co-sign, consider how it might affect your financial well-being.

  • Can you afford to pay the loan? If you're asked to pay and can't, you could be sued, or your credit rating could be damaged.
  • Even if you're not asked to repay the debt, your liability for the loan may keep you from getting other credit. Creditors will consider the co-signed loan as one of your obligations.
  • Before you pledge property to secure the loan, like your car, furniture or jewelry, make sure you understand the consequences. If the borrower defaults, you could lose these items.
  • Ask the creditor to calculate the amount you might owe. The creditor doesn’t have to do this, but might, if you ask. You also may be able to negotiate specific terms of your obligation. For example, you may want to limit your liability to the principal on the loan, and not include late charges, court costs, or attorneys' fees. In this case, ask the creditor to include a statement in the contract — like "The co-signer will be responsible only for the principal balance on this loan at the time of default." — before you co-sign.
  • Ask the creditor to agree, in writing, to notify you if the borrower misses a payment or the terms on the loan change. That will give you time to deal with the problem or make back payments without having to repay the entire amount immediately.
  • If you're co-signing for a purchase, make sure you get copies of all important papers, like the loan contract, the Truth-in-Lending Disclosure Statement, and warranties. These documents may come in handy if there's a dispute between the borrower and the seller. The creditor doesn’t have to give you these papers; you may have to get copies from the borrower.
  • Check your state law for additional co-signer rights.

 

About Victory State Bank:

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTC: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online http://www.victorystatebank.com.

Media Inquiries:

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters:718-682-1509

Mobile:917-715-8761

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

Renting a Car

 

Staten Island’s only community-based commercial bank reminds you to look at all the fees of renting a car before choosing your rental company

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.Need to rent a car for your vacation or business travels? Comparing prices online can save you a bundle. But make sure you compare the total cost — not just the advertised rate — because fees and options can increase the base price dramatically.

Ask about fees before you rent a car to avoid surprises when you pay your bill. Here are some common fees and charges you may encounter.

 

Taxes

The rental company will add on the required state, city, or county taxes — and their own sales tax rates — to the price of your rental car. You may see other fees, too, like a “vehicle licensing fee” or an “energy recovery fee.”

 

Early or Late Return Fees

Being early is not always a good thing. Some rental companies may charge a fee if you return the car more than 24 hours before your reservation was supposed to end. If you must return the car early, call the company to talk to an agent.

Running a little late? Many rental car companies have short grace periods that allow you to return the car without a fee if you’re late by less than 30 minutes. However, you still may have to pay a full day’s charge for optional items, like navigation systems and liability coverage options. If you’re running more than a half hour late, call the company to see if it’s cheaper to pay late charges or extend your rental.

 

Airport Surcharges

If you’re renting a car at the airport, fees can increase the rental rate considerably. These surcharges can apply even when rental car companies shuttle you to their off-site lot.

 

Fuel Charges

Most companies require you to return your rental car with a full tank of gas. If you don't, you'll be charged the rental company's price for gas, which is virtually always more expensive than if you refill the tank yourself at a local station. Companies might give you the option of pre-purchasing a full tank of gas when you first take the car, so you can return the car without paying an additional fee to fuel up. There’s usually no refund for unused fuel.

 

Mileage Fees

Most rental car companies now offer unlimited miles. But daily mileage caps may apply based on the type of vehicle you rent (for example, some SUVs or high performance vehicles). It helps to know about how far you plan to drive so you can select the company that offers the most favorable mileage terms.

 

Roadside Assistance Fees

Ask whether roadside assistance is included in the price of your rental car, or if the company will charge you a fee for it. If the company charges for a roadside service plan, find out exactly what it will cover if you need help — for example, if you have a flat tire or lock your keys in the car. If you’re a member of a motor club, you may have free or low-cost roadside assistance through your membership.

 

Out-of-State Charges

Before you head out on a road trip, check whether your rental company allows you to drive out of the state or geographical area in which you rented the car. Ask about the charges to drive out of state.

 

Drop-Off Fees

Need to drop your car off at a location other than where you picked it up? You may have to pay a steep fee for that.

 

Equipment-Rental Fees

If you’d like to include extra items in your rental car — like a navigation system or a car seat — you’ll have to pay a fee. Reserve these items in advance; availability varies based on the location of the rental.

 

Additional-Driver Fees

Want to switch off driving duties? Some companies charge a fee to add another driver — even your spouse — to your contract.

 

Underage-Driver Fees

You don’t have to be 25 to rent a car. Drivers between the ages of 21 and 24 are allowed to rent cars — for an additional fee.

 

 

About Victory State Bank:

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTC: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online http://www.victorystatebank.com.

Media Inquiries:

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters:718-682-1509

Mobile:917-715-8761

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unordered Merchandise

 

Staten Island’s only community-based commercial bank points to Q & A about unordered merchandise

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.What do you do when you receive merchandise that you didn’t order? According to the Federal Trade Commission, you don’t have to pay for it. Federal laws prohibit mailing unordered merchandise to consumers and then demanding payment.

Here are some questions and answers about dealing with unordered merchandise.

Q. Am I obligated to return or pay for merchandise I never ordered?

A. No. If you receive merchandise that you didn’t order, you have a legal right to keep it as a free gift.

Q. Must I notify the seller if I keep unordered merchandise without paying for it?

A. You have no legal obligation to notify the seller. However, it is a good idea to write a letter to the company stating that you didn’t order the item and, therefore, you have a legal right to keep it for free. This may discourage the seller from sending you bills or dunning notices, or it may help clear up an honest error. Send your letter by certified mail. Keep the return receipt and a copy of the letter for your records. You may need it later.

Q. What should I do if the unordered merchandise I received was the result of an honest shipping error?

A. Write the seller and offer to return the merchandise, provided the seller pays for postage and handling. Give the seller a specific and reasonable amount of time (say 30 days) to pick up the merchandise or arrange to have it returned at no expense to you. Tell the seller that you reserve the right to keep the merchandise or dispose of it after the specified time has passed.

Q. Is there any merchandise that may be sent legally without my consent?

A. Yes. You may receive samples that are clearly marked free, and merchandise from charitable organizations asking for contributions. You may keep such shipments as free gifts.

Q. Is there any way to protect myself from shippers of unordered merchandise?

A. When you participate in sweepstakes or order goods advertised as "free," "trial," or "unusually low priced," be cautious. Read all the fine print to determine if you are joining a "club," with regular purchasing or notification obligations. Keep a copy of the advertisement or catalog that led you to place the order, too. This may make it easier to contact the company if a problem arises.

Q. Where can I go for help in dealing with unordered merchandise problems?

A. Always start by trying to resolve your dispute with the company. If this doesn’t work, contact your state or local consumer protection office, local U.S. Postal Inspector, or the Better Business Bureau in your area for help.

 

About Victory State Bank:

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTC: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online http://www.victorystatebank.com.

Media Inquiries:

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters:718-682-1509

Mobile:917-715-8761

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.