Refund and Recovery Scams

 

Staten Island’s only community-based commercial bank highlights tips to avoid losing money to a recovery scam.

 

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.Scam artists buy and sell lists with the names of people who already have lost money to fraudulent promotions. These crooks may call you promising to recover the money you lost or the prize or merchandise you never received — for a fee in advance. That's against the law. Under the Telemarketing Sales Rule, they cannot ask for — or accept — payment until seven business days after they deliver the money or other item they recovered to you.

Here are some tips, provided by the Federal Trade Commission, to help you avoid losing money to a recovery scam:

  • Don't believe anyone who calls offering to recover money, merchandise, or prizes you never received if the caller says you have to pay a fee in advance. Under the Telemarketing Sales Rule, it's against the law for someone to request or receive payment from you until seven business days after you have the money or other item in hand.
  • If someone claims to represent a government agency that will recover your lost money, merchandise, or prizes for a fee or a donation to a charity, report them immediately to the FTC. National, state, and local consumer protection agencies and nonprofit organizations do not charge for their services.
  • Before you use any company to recover either money or a prize, ask what specific services the company provides and the cost of each service. Check out the company with local government law enforcement and consumer agencies; ask whether other people have registered complaints about the business. You also can enter the company name into an online search engine to look for complaints.
  • Don't give out your credit card or checking account numbers in an attempt to recover money you have lost or a prize you never received.

 

 

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.

 

 

Shopping by Phone, Mail or Online

 

Staten Island’s only community-based business bank points to smart online shopping practices.

 

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Shopping on the Internet can save time, energy, and occasionally, money. However, because you cannot see the merchandise, it is important to be extra cautious when shopping online. The Federal Trade Commission recommends smart buying practices.

Tips for Shopping by Phone, Mail or Online

    • Consider your experience with the company or its general reputation before you order. If you've never heard of the seller, check on its physical location and reputation with the local Better Business Bureau or the state Attorney General's office.
    • Ask about the company's refund and return policies, the product's availability and the total cost of your order before you place your order.
    • Get a shipment date.
    • Keep records of your order, such as the ad or catalog from which you ordered; the company's name, address and phone number; any shipment representation the company made to you and when it made it; the date of your order; a copy of the order form you sent to the company or, if you're ordering by phone, a list of the items and their stock codes and the order confirmation code; your canceled check or the charge or debit statement showing the charge for your order; and any communications to or from the company.
    • Track your purchases. When you order online, keep printouts of the web pages with the details of the transaction, including the merchant's return policies, in case you're not satisfied.

 

 

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.

  

Shopping for a Mortgage

 

Staten Island’s only community-based business advises looking at the important cost information before signing a mortgage.

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.Shopping around for a home loan or mortgage will help you get the best financing deal. A mortgage — whether it’s a home purchase, a refinancing, or a home equity loan — is a product, just like a car, so the price and terms may be negotiable. You’ll want to compare all the costs involved in obtaining a mortgage. Shopping, comparing, and negotiating may save you thousands of dollars.

Be sure to get information about mortgages from several lenders or brokers. Know how much of a down payment you can afford, and find out all the costs involved in the loan. Knowing just the amount of the monthly payment or the interest rate is not enough. Ask for information about the same loan amount, loan term, and type of loan so that you can compare the information. The following information is important to get from each lender and broker:

Rates

    • Ask each lender and broker for a list of its current mortgage interest rates and whether the rates being quoted are the lowest for that day or week.
    • Ask whether the rate is fixed or adjustable. Keep in mind that when interest rates for adjustable-rate mortgages go up, generally so do the monthly payments.
    • If the rate quoted is for an adjustable-rate mortgage, ask how your rate and loan payment will vary, including whether your loan payment will be reduced when rates go down.
    • Ask about the loan’s annual percentage rate (APR). The APR takes into account not only the interest rate but also points, broker fees, and certain other credit charges that you may be required to pay, expressed as a yearly rate.

Points

Points are fees paid to the lender or broker for the loan and are often linked to the interest rate; usually the more points you pay, the lower the rate.

    • Check your local newspaper for information about rates and points currently being offered.
    • Ask for points to be quoted to you as a dollar amount — rather than just as the number of points — so that you will know how much you will actually have to pay.

Fees

A home loan often involves many fees, such as loan origination or underwriting fees, broker fees, and settlement (or closing costs). Every lender or broker should be able to give you an estimate of its fees. Many of these fees are negotiable. Some fees are paid when you apply for a loan (such as application and appraisal fees), and others are paid at closing. In some cases, you can borrow the money needed to pay these fees, but doing so will increase your loan amount and total costs. “No cost” loans are sometimes available, but they usually involve higher rates.

    • Ask what each fee includes. Several items may be lumped into one fee.
    • Ask for an explanation of any fee you do not understand. Some common fees associated with a home loan closing are listed on the Mortgage Shopping Worksheet.

Down Payments and Private Mortgage Insurance

Some lenders require 20 percent of the home’s purchase price as a down payment. However, many lenders now offer loans that require less than 20 percent down — sometimes as little as 5 percent on conventional loans. If a 20 percent down payment is not made, lenders usually require the homebuyer topurchase private mortgage insurance (PMI) to protect the lender in case the homebuyer fails to pay.

    • Ask about the lender’s requirements for a down payment, including what you need to do to verify that funds for your down payment are available.
    • Ask your lender about special programs it may offer.

If PMI is required for your loan

    • Ask what the total cost of the insurance will be.
    • Ask how much your monthly payment will be when the PMI premium is included.

 

 

 

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.

 

Kids and Virtual Worlds

 

Staten Island’s only community-based commercial bank reminds you of the importance of monitoring children’s online activity.

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Virtual worlds are computer-simulated online “places” where people use avatars — graphic characters — to represent themselves. Many virtual worlds say they’re for adults only and try to verify that visitors are over 18 before allowing them to enter. But a posted age requirement may not stop kids — especially curious teens — from finding their way in, either accidentally or otherwise.

Types of Virtual Worlds

Some virtual worlds are intended for children: they have built-in protections to keep their experience age-appropriate. Others are designed for adults. Virtual worlds can be accessed in various ways: some are massive, multi-player games, often accessed through a gaming console; others are online communities where avatars’ activities rely on their users’ imaginations.

Talk to Your Kids

The anonymity that avatars provide can encourage people to “act out” behaviors that may be considered inappropriate, particularly for tweens and teens. Indeed, visitors may find the online equivalent of a red-light district, with simulated sexual activity or violence.

How can you help your kids avoid content — or virtual spaces — that may be inappropriate for them? Start by talking to them about where they’re going online — and how they’re getting there, if not through the family computer. Talk to them about how to be safe and responsible while socializing online. Help them understand that personal information about themselves, family members, and friends should stay private; you also can talk to them about avoiding sex talk or sexual situations online.

Stay Engaged

If your child visits a virtual world, you may want to check it out, too. Get to know what’s on the site, the privacy protections it offers, and how it verifies the ages of site visitors.

If your child gets really interested in online gaming or virtual worlds, watch for changes in their patterns of behavior that could indicate an obsession. Nobody knows your child better than you do, so you’re best placed to know what sites may be appropriate for your child.

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.

 

Checking Your Credit Reports

 

Staten Island’s only community-based commercial suggests checking your credit report regularly

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.Your credit report contains information about where you live, how you pay your bills, and whether you’ve been sued or arrested, or have filed for bankruptcy. Credit reporting companies sell the information in your report to creditors, insurers, employers, and other businesses that use it to evaluate your applications for credit, insurance, employment, or renting a home. The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) promotes the accuracy and privacy of information in the files of the nation’s credit reporting companies.

Some financial advisors and consumer advocates suggest that you review your credit report periodically. Why?

    • Because the information it contains affects whether you can get a loan — and how much you will have to pay to borrow money.
    • To make sure the information is accurate, complete, and up-to-date before you apply for a loan for a major purchase like a house or car, buy insurance, or apply for a job.
    • To help guard against identity theft. That’s when someone uses your personal information — like your name, your Social Security number, or your credit card number — to commit fraud. Identity thieves may use your information to open a new credit card account in your name. Then, when they don’t pay the bills, the delinquent account is reported on your credit report. Inaccurate information like that could affect your ability to get credit, insurance, or even a job.

 

How to Order Your Free Report

 

Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281

 

An amendment to the FCRA requires each of the nationwide credit reporting companies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months.

The three nationwide credit reporting companies have set up one website, toll-free telephone number, and mailing address through which you can order your free annual report. To order, visit annualcreditreport.com, call 1-877-322-8228, or complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to:

Do not contact the three nationwide credit reporting companies individually.

You may order your reports from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies at the same time, or you can order from only one or two. The FCRA allows you to order one free copy from each of the nationwide credit reporting companies every 12 months.

You need to provide your name, address, Social Security number, and date of birth. If you have moved in the last two years, you may have to provide your previous address. To maintain the security of your file, each nationwide credit reporting company may ask you for some information that only you would know, like the amount of your monthly mortgage payment. Each company may ask you for different information because the information each has in your file may come from different sources.

 

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.