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.

 

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.

 

 

Medical Identity Theft

 

Staten Island’s only community-based business bank shares how to detect medical identity theft

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. A thief may use your name or health insurance numbers to see a doctor, get prescription drugs, file claims with your insurance provider, or get other care. If the thief’s health information is mixed with yours, your treatment, insurance and payment records, and credit report may be affected.

If you see signs of medical identity theft, order copies of your records and check for mistakes. You have the right to see your records and have mistakes corrected.

Read your medical and insurance statements regularly and completely. They can show warning signs of identity theft. Read the Explanation of Benefits (EOB) statement or Medicare Summary Notice that your health plan sends after treatment. Check the name of the provider, the date of service, and the service provided. Do the claims paid match the care you received? If you see a mistake, contact your health plan and report the problem.

Other signs of medical identity theft include:

  • a bill for medical services you didn’t receive
  • a call from a debt collector about a medical debt you don’t owe
  • medical collection notices on your credit report that you don’t recognize
  • a notice from your health plan saying you reached your benefit limit
  • a denial of insurance because your medical records show a condition you don’t have.

 

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.

 

Don't Fall for Phony IRS Websites

 

Staten Island’s only community-based business bank warns against fake IRS website scams

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. The IRS warns consumers about a new tax scam that uses a website that mimics the IRS e-Services online registration page.

The actual IRS e-Services page offers web-based products for tax preparers, not the general public. The phony web page looks almost identical to the real one.

The IRS gets many reports of fake websites like this. Criminals use these sites to lure people into providing personal and financial information that may be used to steal the victim’s money or identity. Typically, identity thieves empty the victim’s financial accounts, run up charges on the victim’s existing credit cards or apply for new loans, credit cards, services or benefits in the victim’s name.

The address of the official IRS website is www.irs.gov. Don’t be misled by sites claiming to be the IRS but ending in .com, .net, .org or other designations instead of .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

Mobile:917-715-8761

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