Keep Up Your Guard Against ID Theft

Staten Island business bank urges consumers and business owners to stay diligent in protecting personal information

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.  – When it comes to protecting your personal information, Victory State Banks wants you to remember that just being careful is not enough.

With this in mind, Staten Island’s only community-based commercial bank is urging consumers and business owners to learn all they can about guarding their personal data and to use the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as an educational resource.

Once identity thieves have your personal information, they can drain your bank account, run up charges on your credit cards, open new utility accounts, or get medical treatment on your health insurance, warns the FTC.

An identity thief might even file a tax return in your name and get your refund. In some extreme cases, a thief might even give your name to the police during an arrest.

Click here to visit the FTC online and learn more about protecting yourself from identity thieves.

 

  

About Victory State Bank

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQB: 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 at www.victorystatebank.com.

Media Contact:  

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.

 

Beware of Sweepstakes Scams

Staten Island commercial bank cites NYPD crime-prevention tip


 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Requests to send payment before obtaining contest winnings should be a red flag for anybody who gets approached with this kind of come-on, the city Police Department warns.


Victory State Bank, Staten Island's only community-based business bank, points out NYPD's advisory for being alert to contest flimflams.

Being a winner for sweepstakes or giveaways is fun, exciting and enjoyable, NYPD acknowledges, but it urges keeping in mind some valuable tips and warning signs to help know the difference between a legitimate sweepstakes offer and a scam.

 

Tip 1: Beware of Fake Check Scams

If you receive a check claiming to be from a legitimate sweepstakes and are asked to cash it and wire or send a portion back, STOP. You are the victim of a scam contact. The check is not real.

Tip 2: Be Suspicious of Callers Claiming You've Won But Ask You to Send Money

If you receive a telephone call from someone claiming you have won a sweepstakes prize but are asked to send money to claim it, STOP.

  

Tip 3: Be Wary of E-mails Claiming You've Won - and Asking You to Send Money

If you receive an e-mail notifying you that you have won a major sweepstakes prize, but are asked to provide personal financial information, or send money to claim the prize, STOP. 

Tip 4: Never Give Your Credit Card Number to Collect a Prize

If you are asked to provide your credit card number or provide your financial bank account information in order to claim a sweepstakes prize, STOP.

Tip 5: Do Not Send Money to Claim a Sweepstakes Prize

If you are asked to send money to pre-pay taxes, pay a legal fee, pay a border fee, or pay any kind of fee to claim a sweepstakes prize, STOP

  

Bottom line: Legitimate sweepstakes winners won't be asked to send any form of payment to receive winnings.

 

 

About Victory State Bank

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQB: 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 Contact: 

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.

 

 

5 Ways To Spot Fake IRS Phone Demand

Staten Island's business bank shares IRS advisory on not becoming a scam victim



STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Scam artists pretending to be with the IRS have prompted the Internal Revenue Service to issue warnings for taxpayers to protect themselves against bogus phone calls demanding money.


Victory State Bank, Staten Island's only community-based business bank, notes that the scams are reported from all parts of the country, including Staten Island.


Suspicious calls may demand money or say you have a refund due and try to trick you into sharing private information. The IRS points out that these con artists may seem to know a lot about you, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling. They use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers.


If you don’t answer, the shake-downs often leave an “urgent” callback request.

The IRS reminds people that they can know pretty easily when a supposed IRS caller is a fake. Here are five things the scammers often do but the IRS will not do. Any one of these five things is a tell-tale sign of a scam.

 

The IRS says it will never:

  

  • Call you about taxes you owe without first mailing you an official notice.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
  • If you know you owe taxes or think you might owe, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS workers can help you with a payment issue.
  • If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to believe that you do, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1-800-366-4484 or at www.tigta.gov.
  • If you’ve been targeted by this scam, also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov. Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint.

 

  

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, here’s what you should do:

Remember, too, the IRS assures taxpayers that it does not use unsolicited email, text messages or any social media to discuss your personal tax issue. For more information on reporting tax scams, go to www.irs.gov and type “scam” in the search box.

 

 
About Victory State Bank

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQB: 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 at www.VictoryStateBank.com.

Media Contact: 

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.

 

 

 

Avoiding Bogus Business Offers

Staten Island business bank says rule protects opportunity seekers

 

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Important facts about buying into a business are intended to provide safeguards for assessing risk in the face of assertions about potential profit.


Victory State Bank, Staten Island's only community-based commercial bank, therefore offers a recap of guidance from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). 


Maybe you've seen ads for at-home work like assembling crafts. Perhaps a company says it can help you set up a vending business. Before you sign up or send money to buy a business opportunity, find out about the multi-faceted Business Opportunity Rule, enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, the nation's consumer protection agency.

The rule puts safeguards in place to make sure you have the information you need to evaluate whether a biz opp is risky business.

The rule requires sellers to provide a one-page disclosure document outlining important facts about the opportunity. Moreover, if sellers make any claims about how much money you might make, they have to give you a separate paper with more specifics. Additionally, the Rule makes clear that certain practices are against the law.

The one-page disclosure document contains five key pieces of information. Use the information in the disclosure document to fact-check what the seller tells you about the opportunity and what you find out from your own research.

 

The document has to:

 

    • identify the seller;
    • tell you about certain lawsuits or other legal actions involving the seller or its key personnel;
    • tell you if the seller has a cancellation or refund policy. If so, what are the terms of that policy?
    • say whether the seller is making an earnings claim. If so, the seller has to give you another document called an earnings claim statement; and
    • give you a list of references.

 

The rule says that a seller has to give you the disclosure document at least seven days before you sign a contract or pay them anything. Use that time to check out the information in the disclosure document, including contacting references.

Be aware that some questionable biz opp promoters have been known to name "insiders" who give glowing – but bogus – recommendations. Don't just talk to the few people they suggest. Choose whom to contact.

What if what the seller is telling you is different from what's on the disclosure document or what you hear from another buyer? Step on the brake. An inconsistency could be a tell-tale sign of a rip-off, the FTC says.

In addition, the disclosure document has to be in the language the seller used in making the offer. If you discussed the deal in a language other than English, the document has to be in that language.

Also, the seller has to make it clear that if you buy a business opportunity, your contact information will be given to prospective buyers in the future.

If the seller makes a claim about how much money a person can earn, you are entitle to receive a separate document that says in big type across the top: EARNINGS CLAIM STATEMENT REQUIRED BY LAW.

 

This document has to include:

 

    • the name of the person making the claim and the date;
    • the specifics of the claim;
    • the start and end date those earnings were achieved;
    • the number and percentage of people who got those results or better;
    • any information about those people that may differ from you – for example, the part of the country where they live; and
    • a statement that you can get written proof of the seller's earning claims if you ask for it.

 

Because the Rule gives you the right to see written proof for the seller's earnings claims, savvy buyers exercise that right and study those materials carefully.

Compare that information to what the seller has told you about how much money people make. If the dollar amounts don't line up, the FTC advises your best bet is to walk away.

Like the disclosure document, the earnings claim statement has to be in the same language that the seller used to communicate with you.

 

The Business Opportunity Rule has recent revisions spelling out certain practices that are against the law. For example:

 

    • It's illegal for business-opportunity sellers to say anything that contradicts what's in their disclosure document and earnings statement.
    • Under the Rule, sellers can't claim they're offering you a job when they're really promoting a business opportunity.
    • The Rule makes it illegal for sellers to misrepresent the nature of the investment – for example, to claim they'll help you line up locations, outlets, accounts, or customers or that you'll have an exclusive territory if it's not true.

 

The revised Rule puts new protections in place for prospective buyers. But for added protection, take the time to find out what the Rule requires of sellers. If you spot a seller who isn't complying with the law, the FTC warns it's a red flag: You could be in the cross hairs of a scammer.

The FTC offers ideas on what else you can do for extra protection.


Study the disclosure document, the earnings claim statement, and the proposed contract.

 

    • Insist on seeing proof in writing for earnings claims, including statements like "Earn up to $10,000 a month!" Phrases like "up to" aren't a way out for the seller. It's an earning claim and it's your right to demand proof.
    • Interview current owners of the seller's business opportunity. Ask the tough questions – like if the information in the disclosure document matches their experience with the company.
    • Listen to sales presentations with a critical ear. They are – of course – trying to sell you something.
    • If a seller doesn't give you the information you know they have to provide, walk away.
    • Consider getting professional advice. Ask a lawyer, accountant, or business adviser to read the paperwork before you sign.
    • Check out the seller with your local consumer protection agency, state Attorney General's Office, and the Better Business Bureau. Do a few Internet searches by entering the company's name and "complaint" or "scam." You could get an eyeful. But be wary: No complaints doesn't necessarily mean the company is legitimate. And scammers have been known to post phony testimonials online.

 

If you suspect a business opportunity seller is fraudulent, report it to:

 

    • The state attorney general's office both where you live and where the business opportunity promoter is based.
    • Your consumer protection agency listed in the blue pages of the phone book under county and state government.
    • The Better Business Bureau in your area and the area where the seller is based.
    • The FTC [toll-free 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).

 

 

 

About Victory State Bank

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQB: 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 Contact: 

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.

 

 

 

Feds Put Brakes To Harsh Debt Collections 

Staten Island business bank cites crackdown on nonbank methods

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- New supervisory oversight by the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has resulted in examiners' findings of what the bureau deems illegal activities.


Victory State Bank, Staten Island's only community-based commercial bank, notes that the bureau uncovered many systemic flaws in compliance management systems at the companies in question. These exposed consumers to risky practices, the CFPB said.

 

Under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank Act), the CFPB has authority to supervise certain nonbank institutions and establishments and has issued rules to supervise the larger debt-collection entities.


Regarding debt-collection, the bureau said practices have long been a source of frustration for many consumers. The practices have generated a heavy volume of consumer complaints at all levels of government, including at the CFPB. It is estimated that there are more than 4,500 debt collection firms in the United States. The problems that CFPB examiners found in this market include:

 

 

  • Debt collectors intentionally and illegally misleading consumers about litigation: Examiners found that debt collectors violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) by filing lawsuits, which implied that they intended to prove their claims, when they had no such plans. The collectors typically dismissed the suits if consumers answered them because they were then unable to produce the documents to support their claims.

 

  • Debt collectors making excessive, illegal calls to consumers: Examiners found that one debt collector had made approximately 17,000 calls to consumers outside of the appropriate times established by the FDCPA. That company further violated the law by repeatedly contacting more than 1,000 consumers as often as 20 times within two days.

 

  • Debt collectors failing to investigate consumer credit report disputes: Debt collectors often furnish information to consumer reporting agencies, which use it when compiling consumers’ credit reports. Debt collectors generally must investigate when a consumer disputes information they have sent to a consumer reporting agency. Examiners found evidence that a debt collector was deleting disputed accounts rather than investigating such disputes, and examiners directed this collector to investigate disputes it receives regarding information it furnished.

 

 

 

About Victory State Bank

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQB: 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 www.VictoryStateBank.com.

Media Contact: 

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.