Fake Funeral Notice Can Be Deadly — For Your Computer

 

Staten Island’s only community-based commercial bank warns of new malware scam

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Scam artists are forever trying to trick people into clicking on links that will download malware to their computers. But the latest scam takes the tricks to a new low.

Scammers are sending bogus emails with the subject line "funeral notification." The message appears to be from a legitimate funeral home, offers condolences, and invites you to click on a link for more information about the upcoming "celebration of your friend’s life service." But instead of sending you to the funeral home's website, the link sends you to a foreign domain where the scammers download malware to your computer.

Malware, short for “malicious software," includes viruses and spyware that get installed on your computer without your consent. These programs can cause your device to crash and can be used to monitor and control your online activity. Criminals use malware to steal personal information, send spam, and commit fraud.

If you get an email about a friend or loved one’s passing, the Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, says hit Delete. Don’t click on the link. You may then want to contact the funeral home or family directly to verify the information.

To reduce your risk of downloading unwanted malware and spyware:

    • Keep your security software updated.
    • Don't click on any links or open any attachments in emails unless you know who sent it and what it is.
    • Download and install software only from websites you know and trust.
    • Make sure your browser security setting is high enough to detect unauthorized downloads.
    • Use a pop-up blocker and don't click on any links within pop-ups.
    • Resist buying software in response to unexpected pop-up messages or emails, especially ads that claim to have scanned your computer and detected malware. That's a tactic scammers use to spread malware.
    • Back up your data regularly.

 

 

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.

 

 

Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Gift Cards and What You Need to Know About Using Them; Part 3 of 3

 

Staten Island’s only community-based business bank highlights the positives and negatives of Gift Cards

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.  – Purchasing a gift card can be a quick and convenient way to mark a special occasion or show your appreciation. There are, however, some things you should know before buying one.

With this in mind, Victory State Bank is sharing the following information from the Department of Financial Services:

Stored-Value Card
A stored-value card (also known as a pre-paid card or gift card) has an embedded computer chip or magnetic strip that contains the value of the card. The money can be accessed by 'swiping' the card, using a password, or entering a code number printed on the card into a telephone or other keypad. The issuer keeps track of your balance until all of the money is used up, then the card can be discarded or refilled. These cards are sometimes used as alternatives to checking accounts.

There are two types of Stored Value Cards:

 

  • Single-purpose, or 'closed-loop,' cards - such as a gift card - can only be used to purchase goods at a particular retailer, or for a particular purpose, such as a prepaid telephone card that can only be used to make phone calls.
  • Multipurpose, or 'open-loop' cards, can be used to make debit transactions at retail locations, as well as receive direct deposits and withdraw cash from ATMs. Some multipurpose cards are branded by credit card companies such as Visa or MasterCard and can be used wherever those cards are accepted.

 

Stored Value Cards can be obtained in a number of ways. You may get a payroll card from an employer, an electronic benefit card from a government agency, or a phone card or gift card from a retail store. Multipurpose prepaid debit cards are usually obtained by telephone, online, or at check-cashing outlets and money transfer company locations.

    • The Positives:
      •   Reloadable multipurpose Stored Value Cards may provide a banking alternative to people who do not have access to a bank account.
      •   You will not create new credit debt by using a Stored Value Card. You are spending your own money.
      •   You can book hotel rooms, purchase airline tickets, rent cars, buy concert tickets, shop online and pay bills by phone or the Internet without a credit card.
      •   Transit system fare cards are Stored Value Cards. They are useful for charging different fares for different services and can automatically discount fares for seniors and persons with disabilities. In some cases they can even be replaced if they are lost, stolen, or damaged.
    • The Negatives:
      •   A Stored Value Card does not have your name on it and generally no refund is available if it is lost or stolen.
      •    Stored Value Cards do not report spending and payment habits to a credit reporting agency, so having one and using it responsibly won't help build credit or repair damaged credit.
      •   There can be fees associated with pre-paid cards that can lower its value. Some of those fees include:
        • Entrance/Activation fees
        • Maintenance fees
        • Monthly fees
        • Annual fees
        • Point of Sale fees (using the card in a retail store)
        • ATM transaction fees
        • Out-of-network and/or International ATM transaction fees
        • Transaction limit fees
        • Bill payment fees
        • Phone or online transaction fees
        • Money transfer fees
        • Inactivity fees
        • Dispute fees
        • Reload fees charged by third parties to put more money on the card.

 

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.

 

 

 

Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Gift Cards and What You Need to Know About Using Them; Part 1 of 3

 

Staten Island’s only community-based business bank highlights the positives and negatives of credit cards

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. –  Credit cards are arguably included among most people’s financial tools. But the positives and negatives of these plastic conveniences should never be ignored.

With this in mind, Victory State Bank is sharing the following information from the Department of Financial Services:

Credit Cards

Credit cards give you access to a revolving line of credit, the amount of which is capped by the card issuer. When you use a card to make a purchase, you are borrowing money from the company that issues the card. You sign the card on the back and when you make a purchase, you sign a receipt. The two signatures are then compared to make sure they match. When you buy something by mail, phone or Internet, you provide the card's expiration date and a security code found on the card. Every card comes with a customer agreement. It's important for you to know the terms of that agreement. Simply put: You agree to repay a minimum amount once every billing period and you receive a monthly statement detailing your charges, any interest that may have accrued on an unpaid balance and the minimum payment you must make.

The Positives:

  • $A credit card can help you establish a positive credit history if it is used responsibly.
  • With a credit card you have access to more money than can be safely carried around in cash.
  •  Credit cards can provide an extra source of money for unexpected expenses.
  • Some airline tickets, rental cars and hotel rooms, can only be secured using a credit card.
  • If your card is lost or stolen and used without your permission you are not held responsible for unauthorized charges above $50 as long as you report the card missing.
  • When you use the card to make purchases, you will have a record of that spending.
  • Most credit cards offer warranties against product defects, bankrupt airlines, etc. You may also receive extended warranties and protection from theft and damage for purchases you make with that card.
  • Some credit cards let you earn points or offer discounts or rebates on certain types of purchases.
  • Stop payments on purchases are possible with credit cards. 

The Negatives:

  •  You may buy more with a credit card than you normally would spend in cash. Credit cards can be used too often and for unnecessary items and debt can add up quickly.
  •  You pay a finance charge or interest if you do not pay the full amount every month by the due date and sometimes you pay a yearly fee.
  •  Credit card debt can be compounded by finance charges, a raised interest rate and other fees if payments are missed or late.
  •  Problems with a credit card can show up on your credit report and hurt your credit history.
  •  If you get a cash advance on a credit card there are cash advance fees, interest accrues from day one and there is no grace period. The interest rates are also higher for cash advances than for credit purchases.
  •  Credit cards that offer incentives, like airline miles or other goods and services, often place restrictions on the goods or services or offer services that you don't really need or are unable to use.

Guaranteed Credit Card: A Scam for Sure!

There is no such thing as a guaranteed credit card. Never pay anyone in advance for a so-called guaranteed credit card. If the entity making the offer doesn't steal your "advance payment" outright, what you may end up with is a card that can only be used to purchase certain goods from a particular company. No one can guarantee in advance that you will be approved for a credit card by a legitimate credit card company - you have to apply and be evaluated.

 

 

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.

 

Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Gift Cards and What You Need to Know About Using Them; Part 2 of 3

 

Staten Island’s only community-based commercial bank highlights the positives and negatives of debit cards

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Debit cards are arguably a popular financial tool. The positives and negatives of these plastic conveniences should never be ignored.

With this in mind, Victory State Bank is sharing the following information from the Department of Financial Services:

Debit Card
A debit card (also known as a check card or ATM card) is a card that is used to access money in a checking or savings account. Debit cards look like credit cards but operate like cash or personal checks. When you use a debit card, you are subtracting your money directly from your bank account and you can spend only up to the amount in that account. Debit cards can be used at Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and some types are also accepted at many grocery stores, retail stores, gas stations, and restaurants.

There are different types of debit cards:

 

  • Online cards use transactions called Electronic Funds Transfers or EFTs. There is an immediate transfer of money from your bank account to the merchant's account. To access your account, you enter your personal identification number (PIN) in a keypad, as you would at an ATM. The system checks your account and transfers enough money to cover the transaction. The merchant may charge a fee for this transaction.
  • Off-line - These cards are known as check cards, and are linked to your checking account. They are available through your bank and carry a credit card logo (such as Visa or MasterCard). The transaction, while it debits your account directly, resembles a credit card transaction, in that you sign receipt, as you would with a credit card. For a consumer, there is no noticeable difference between using these cards and ATM cards - they were created for merchants who don't or can't process EFTs.
  •  A debit-check card works both as a check card and as a debit card, allowing you to shop at places that take only credit cards, and also to get cash from an ATM.

 

    • The Positives
      •   Getting a debit card is easier than getting a credit card and will often be issued with a checking account.
      •   You do not have to carry large amounts of cash or a checkbook and can visit an ATM when you run out of money. This may help you avoid the need for traveler's checks or carrying a lot of cash when traveling.
      •   You will not build up debt using your debit card.
      •   Debit cards may be more readily accepted by merchants than checks.
      •   Government regulations require debit card issuers to hold you responsible for a maximum loss of $50 if the debit card is reported lost or stolen within two days of discovery. Liability increases to $500 if the lost or stolen debit card is reported within 60 days. (After 60 days you will not be able to get any of your money back!)
      •   There are debit cards that can be pre-paid by a parent for a child. These cards can be used as a financial education tool. The parent 'loads' the card with money and carefully monitors the use of the card.
    • The Negatives:
      •   The money is immediately withdrawn from your account.
      •   You are charged a fee for a transaction when you use your PIN.
      •   Using a debit card may mean you have less protection than with a credit card purchase for items which are never delivered, are defective, or were misrepresented. Returning goods or canceling services purchased with a debit card is usually treated as if the purchase were made with cash or a check; you may be limited to a store credit or have to wait for a refund in the mail.
      •   If you don't report your card as lost or stolen within 60 days your account can be emptied.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

A Text Message That is No Prize

 

Staten Island’s only community-based commercial bank warns against text message scams

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – A free iPad? A $1,000 gift card? And all for clicking on a “YOU HAVE BEEN SELECTED FOR A PRIZE” text message you got out of the blue? According to the Federal Trade Commission, text message scams are on the rise yet again.

So what can you do when you get unwanted text messages?

  • Delete the text messages. Especially ones that ask you to enter a special code, or to confirm or provide personal information. Legitimate companies don’t text or email to ask for sensitive information like your Social Security number, bank account numbers, credit card and utility account numbers, or passwords.
  • Don’t reply or click on links within the text message. Links can take you to spoof sites that look real but will steal your personal information.
  • Review your cell phone bill for unauthorized charges, and report them to your carrier.

If you are an AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, or Sprint subscriber, report spam texts to your carrier by copying the original message and forwarding it to the number 7726 (SPAM), free of charge.

 

 

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.