5 Tips For Thwarting A Government Imposter Scam

 

Staten Island’s only community-based business bank warns of government imposter scams

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Fraudsters want your hard-earned money, and they will use every trick available to accomplish their mission.

Sometimes, scammers will pretend to be government officials to get you to send them money. Victory State Bank is urging our friends and neighbors to be alert when it comes to any solicitations regarding an exchange of money.

According the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), thieves may try to temp you by promising lottery winnings if you pay “taxes” or other fees, or they might threaten you with arrest or a lawsuit if you don’t pay a supposed debt. Regardless of the tactics, the goal of scammers is the same: To get you to send them money.

With this in mind, Victory State Bank is echoing the warning of the FTC: Don’t part with your money.

Federal government agencies and federal employees don’t ask people to send money for prizes or unpaid loans.

Nor are they permitted to ask you to wire money or add money to a prepaid debit card to pay for anything.

The FTC suggests the following five tips for beating a government imposter scam:

 

  • DON’T WIRE MONEY

 

Scammers often pressure people into wiring money, or strongly suggest that people put money on a prepaid debit card and send it to them. Why? It’s like sending cash: once it’s gone, you can’t trace it or get it back.

Never deposit a “winnings” check and wire money back, either. The check is a fake, no matter how good it looks, and you will owe the bank any money you withdraw.

And don’t share your account information, or send a check or money order using an overnight delivery or courier service. Con artists recommend these services so they can get your money before you realize you’ve been cheated.

 

  • DON’T PAY FOR A PRIZE

 

If you enter and win a legitimate sweepstakes, you don’t have to pay insurance, taxes, or shipping charges to collect your prize. If you have to pay, it’s not a prize. And companies, including Lloyd’s of London, don’t insure delivery of sweepstakes winnings.

If you didn’t enter a sweepstakes or lottery, then you can’t have won.

Remember that it’s illegal to play a foreign lottery through the mail or over the phone.

 

  • DON’T GIVE THE CALLER FINANCIALOR OTHER PERSONAL INFORMATION\

 

Never give out or confirm financial or other sensitive information, including your bank account, credit card, or Social Security number, unless you know who you're dealing with. Scam artists, like fake debt collectors, can use your information to commit identity theft — charging your existing credit cards, opening new credit card, checking, or savings accounts, writing fraudulent checks, or taking out loans in your name.

If you get a call about a debt that may be legitimate — but you think the collector may not be — contact the company you owe money to about the calls.

 

  • DON’T TRUST A NAME OR NUMBER

 

Con artists use official-sounding names to make you trust them. It’s illegal for any promoter to lie about an affiliation with — or an endorsement by — a government agency or any other well-known organization. No matter how convincing their story — or their stationery — they're lying.

No legitimate government official will ask you to send money to collect a prize, and they won’t call to collect your debt.

To make their call seem legitimate, scammers also use Internet technology to disguise their area code. So even though it may look like they’re calling from Washington, DC, they could be calling from anywhere in the world.

 

  • PUT YOUR NUMBER ON THE NATIONAL DO NOT CALL REGISTRY

 

Ok, so this won’t stop scammers from calling. But it should make you skeptical of calls you get from out of the blue. 

Most legitimate sales people generally honor the Do Not Call list. Scammers ignore it. Putting your number on the list helps to “screen” your calls for legitimacy and reduce the number of legitimate telemarketing calls you get. Register your phone number at donotcall.gov.

More information about government imposter scams may be found online at FTC.gov.

 

 

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

http://www.RelevantPR.com

Mobile: 917-715-8761

 

 

 

 

How To Avoid Being A Victim of Utility

Bill Collection Fraud (Part 2)

 

Staten Island’s only community-based commercial bank highlights warning signs of bill collection fraud

  

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – If you are contacted about owing money on a utility bill, Victory State Bank suggests you to follow the advice of the Federal Trade Commission:Make sure you’re dealing with your utility company before you pay any amount!

Some scam artists are skilled at pretending to represent legitimate utility companies. If you are contacted by someone saying they represent a utility, the FTC urges you to call the company using a number you’ve looked up, or go to their Website to determine the status of your account.

Confirm where and how to pay your bill. Don’t give out your account information on the phone unless you place or expect the call.

To avoid be a victim of a utility bill collection scam, the FTC advises that you:

 

    • Never wire money to someone you don’t know — regardless of the situation. Once you wire money, you cannot get it back.
    • Do not click links or call numbers that appear in unexpected emails or texts — especially those asking for your account information.

 

 If you click on a link, your computer could become infected with malware, including viruses that can steal your information and ruin your computer.

In addition, if you are falling behind on your utility bill, contact the utility company and see if they can work with you to come up with a payment plan and a way to keep your service on. 

If you think a fake utility bill collector or any other scammer has contacted youfile a complaint with the FTCand the New York State Department of State (Division of Consumer Protection, Consumer Assistance Unit).

 

 

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

http://www.RelevantPR.com

Mobile: 917-715-8761

 

 

Save and Invest

  

Staten Island’s only community-based business bank points to saving and investing tips

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. Saving is a key principle. People who make a habit of saving regularly, even saving small amounts, are well on their way to success.  It’s important to open a bank or credit union account so it will be simple and easy for you to save regularly.   Then, use your savings to plan for life events and to be ready for unplanned or emergency needs. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has provided the following tips

Actions You Can Take

    • Start saving, form a savings habit, and pay yourself first!
    • Open and keep an account at a bank or credit union that meets your needs.
    • Track your savings and investments, and monitor what you own
    • Plan for short-term and long-term goals
    • Build up emergency savings for unexpected events
    • Consult with a qualified professional on investments and other key financial matters
    • Save for retirement, children’s education and other major item

Hints and Tips

    • An easy way to save is to pay yourself first.  That means each pay period, before you are tempted to spend money, commit to putting some in a savings account. See if you can arrange with your bank to automatically transfer a certain amount from your paycheck or your checking account to savings every month.
    • People who keep track of their savings often end up saving more, because they have it on their minds. New phone apps are available to help people pass up purchases they don’t really need – you might want to try one!
    • If you are making investments, it’s good to consult with a qualified professional about your plans. Before you purchase investments, be sure to build an emergency savings fund to cover your needs for at least three months. Keep the savings in an insured bank or credit union account that you can access if you need it.
    • Many professionals call themselves “financial planners.”  Before you hire one, ask for a description of the services offered.  A good place to check the credentials of an investment advisor is your State’s consumer protection office, the State’s Attorney General’s office, or the issuing agency for any professional licenses or certifications. 

 

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.

 

 

Bill Collection Fraud; Part 1

 

Staten Island’s only community-based business bank highlights warning signs of bill collection fraud

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. The caller sounds convincing: If you don’t pay your utility bills immediately, your gas, electricity or water will be shut off. They ask you to pay using a specific — and unusual — method.

Be warned: The call probably is a trick to steal your money.

The Federal Trade Commission, state and local consumer protection agencies, and utility companies have gotten a slew of complaints from consumers about utility bill scams. Here are a few signs you may be dealing with a scammer:

 

    • You get a call or an email claiming your services will be cut off unless you call a number or click on a link and give your account information. Most utility companies don’t ask you to send your account information by email.
    • Someone calls demanding you wire the money or use a prepaid or reloadable debit or gift card to pay your bill. Legitimate companies don’t demand you use those methods to pay.  

 

    • The caller tells you to call a phone number and give your credit, debit or prepaid card number. But if you do that, the scammer can access the money from your credit, debit or prepaid card, and you can’t trace where your money went. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.

 

 

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.

 

Is your child a victim of identity theft?

 

Staten Island’s only community-based business bank advises checking your child’s credit history

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. A child's Social Security number can be used by identity thieves to apply for government benefits and tax refunds, open bank and credit card accounts, apply for a loan or utility service, or rent a place to live. The best way to know if your child’s information is being misused is to check for a credit report. Even if you don’t suspect identity theft, it’s a good idea to see if there is a credit file on your child. Do a check at their 16th birthday. And if needed, take action immediately. That way, if it has errors due to fraud or misuse — you’ll have time to correct it before Junior applies for a job, a loan for tuition or a car, or needs to rent an apartment.

1.      Contact each of the 3 nationwide credit reporting companies.

      • Equifax 1-800-525-6285
      • Experian 1-888-397-3742
      • Transunion  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

2.      Ask for a manual search of the child’s file.

 

The companies will check for files relating to the child’s name and Social Security number, and for files related only to the child’s Social Security number.
The credit reporting companies may require copies of:

      • the child’s birth certificate listing parents
      • the child’s Social Security card
      • the parent or guardian’s government-issued identification card, like a driver’s license or military identification, or copies of documents proving the adult is the child’s legal guardian
      • proof of address, like a utility bill, or credit card or insurance statement

Remember to keep copies of any letters you send, and record the dates and details of any calls.

 

 

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.