16 Ways to Protect Yourself From Fake Ticket Sales

 

If you plan on buying tickets for a concert featuring one of your favorite entertainers, or want to surprise your special someone with seats at a Broadway hit, Victory State Bank advises you to make doubly certain you are dealing with a legitimate ticket vendor.

Staten Island’s only community-based business bank points to information posted by the government website USA.gov, which warns of ticket selling scams.

Such frauds occur when a scammer uses tickets as bait to steal your money. The scammer usually sells fake tickets – or, you pay for a ticket, but never receive it. These scams are common when tickets for popular concerts, plays, and sporting events sell out.

Scammers, including individuals and fake resale companies, take advantage of the situation in ways such as: Charging prices much higher than the face value of a ticket; creating counterfeit tickets with forged barcodes and logos of real ticket companies; selling duplicates of a legitimate ticket and emailing it to several buyers, and pretending to sell tickets online to steal your credit card information.

 To help keep you safe from ticket fraudsters, consider the following 16 tips:

1)      Buy tickets at the venue box office.

2)      Buy tickets from authorized brokers and third party sellers, with verified contact information.

3)      Verify that the seller has a real physical addresses and phone numbers. Scammers often post fake addresses, PO Box, or no address on their websites.

4)      Check the actual web address of the resale ticket seller. Some scammers create phony websites that closely resemble authentic ticket company websites.

5)      Search for negative reviews about the seller. Use the seller’s name, email address, and phone number, along with the words “fraud,” “scams,” and “fake tickets” for your online search.

6)      Look at the tickets before you buy and verify the date and the time printed on them.

7)      Make sure the section and seat numbers on the tickets actually exist at the venue.

8)      Have the seller meet you in person in a public place for the ticket exchange.

9)      Ask the seller for proof that they bought the tickets, if you are buying from an individual.

10)   Use a credit card to pay third party sellers. Your credit card offers protections, if you need to dispute a charge.

11)   Check for complaints against a ticket seller with your state’s consumer protection agency.

12)   Don’t wire transfer money to pay for tickets.  

13)   Don’t trust sellers who want you to pay with a prepaid money card.

14)   Don’t pay before seeing the tickets

15)   Don’t meet an individual ticket seller alone or in a low-traffic area.

16)   Don’t automatically trust online search results for ticket sellers. Search results can include paid ads, sellers that charge high fees, and scams.

HOW TO REPORT TICKET SCAMS

There are several options to report a ticket scam:

Source: USA.gov

 

 

ABOUT VICTORY STATE BANK

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQX: 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, including the main office in the community of Great Kills and branches in West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. 

A planned sixth branch, to be situated in Meiers Corners, has received both regulatory and building department approvals.

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.

 

 

10 Steps For Setting Up Payroll

 

Are you ready to grow your one-person business by adding new employees? Before hiring, have a plan in place for paying your staff members, advises Victory State Bank.

To help you set up payroll, the only community-based business bank in Staten Island, N.Y., is sharing the following tips from the Small Business Administration: 

 

1)      Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

2)      Find out whether you need state or local tax IDs.

3)      Decide if you want an independent contractor or an employee.

4)      Ensure new employees return a completed W-4 form.

5)      Schedule pay periods to coordinate tax withholding for IRS.

6)      Create a compensation plan for holiday, vacation and leave.

7)      Choose an in-house or external service for administering payroll.

8)      Decide who will manage your payroll system.

9)      Know which records must stay on file and for how long.

10)  Report payroll taxes as needed on quarterly and annual basis.

 

The IRS maintains the Employer’s Tax Guide, which provides guidance on all federal tax filing requirements that could apply to the obligations for your small business. Check with your state tax agency for employer filing stipulations.

EMPLOYEES AND INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS

Distinguishing between employees and independent contractors can impact your bottom line, as this affects how you withhold taxes and avoid costly legal consequences. Learn the differences before hiring your first employee.

An independent contractor operates under a separate business name from your company and invoices for work completed. Independent contractors can sometimes qualify as employees in a legal sense. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission created a guide for making the determination.

If your contractor is discovered to meet the legal definition of employee, you may need to pay back taxes and penalties, provide benefits, and reimburse for wages stipulated under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

 

 

ABOUT VICTORY STATE BANK

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQX: 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, including the main office in the community of Great Kills and branches in West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank.

A planned sixth branch, to be situated in Meiers Corners, has received both regulatory and building department approvals.

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.

 

 

 

14 Ways to Avoid Non-Delivery of Merchandise

 

Victory State Bank is alerting consumers to be on the lookout for scams involving the non-delivery of merchandise. As explained by the FBI, non-delivery of merchandise is a scheme most often linked to Internet auction fraud, in which a seller on an Internet auction website accepts payment for an item –  yet intentionally fails to ship it. Sellers like these sometimes will relist the item and attempt to sell it again through a different username.

Non-delivery of merchandise can also be considered a form of business fraud in a number of cases, says the FBI. For example, some web-based international companies advertise in the U.S. for affiliate opportunities, offering individuals the chance to sell high-end electronic items, such as plasma television sets and home theater systems, at significantly reduced prices. When these items sell, and the funds are forwarded to the companies from their affiliates, the items fail to ship to the individuals who sold them and thus never make it to their respective buyers. 

 

To help you avoid non-delivery of merchandise, Victory State Bank is sharing these tips from the FBI:

  • Make sure you are purchasing merchandise from a reputable source.
  • Do your homework on the individual or company to ensure that they are legitimate.
  • Obtain a physical address rather than simply a post office box and a telephone number, and call the seller to see if the telephone number is correct and working.
  • Send an e-mail to the seller to make sure the e-mail address is active, and be wary of those that utilize free e-mail services where a credit card wasn’t required to open the account.
  • Consider not purchasing from sellers who won’t provide you with this type of information.
  • Check with the Better Business Bureau from the seller’s area.
  • Check out other websites regarding this person/company.
  • Don’t judge a person or company by their website; flashy websites can be set up quickly.
  • Be cautious when responding to special investment offers, especially through unsolicited e-mail.
  • Be cautious when dealing with individuals/companies from outside your own country.
  • Inquire about returns and warranties.
  • If possible, purchase items online using your credit card, because you can often dispute the charges if something goes wrong.
  • Make sure the transaction is secure when you electronically send your credit card numbers.
  • Consider using an alternate payment service.

 

 

ABOUT VICTORY STATE BANK

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQX: 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, including the main office in the community of Great Kills and branches in West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank.

A planned sixth branch, to be situated in Meiers Corners, has received both regulatory and building department approvals.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

9 Shopping-Safety Strategies for the Holiday Season

 

 

With the 2018 holiday shopping season having arrived, Victory State Bank is reminding consumers to continue taking steps to protect their identities and money. Earlier in November, New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Lorelei Salas issued a list of Holiday Shopping Tips, which Victory advises consumers pay attention to.

“The busy holiday shopping season is upon us but, unfortunately, this also means scammers are ready to prey on unsuspecting shoppers,” said Commissioner Salas. “With Americans spending nearly $1,000 during the holidays, it is important that they know how to protect their hard-earned money. We encourage everyone to use these tips as a guide when shopping to ensure the holiday season is a time of joy and not frustration.” Victory State Bank concurs, and in doing so is sharing the following tips for the DCA:

1)      KNOW YOUR CONSUMER RIGHTS

Stores can set their own refund policy, but they must post a sign with all conditions or limitations at each register, point of sale, or at each entrance where customers can easily read it. If no refund policy is posted, you can return any unused item within 30 days, and the business must give you the choice of cash or credit. Visit nyc.gov/dca to get all of DCA’s tips, including industries that have certain requirements like furniture storeselectronicsused cars, and supermarkets.

In New York City, businesses must give you a receipt for purchases over $20 automatically and upon request for purchases between $5 and $20.

Stores must post prices either on the item or on a sign where the item is displayed. It is illegal to charge more than that posted price.

Download 10 Things Every Consumer Should Know from nyc.gov/dca, or call 311 to request a copy.

2)      CREATE A BUDGET AND MAKE A LIST

Don’t let holiday spending put you in debt. Decide what you want to buy and how much you want to spend in advance, start shopping early and watch your bank balance. You’ll be less likely to overspend if you pay in cash or with a prepaid debit card — but be wary of hidden fees with prepaid cards.

BE A SMART SHOPPER

§  Use websites, smartphone apps (see below for our tip about fake apps before you download) and social media to research products, compare prices, and find sales and discounts before you start shopping. Avoid entering your personal information to get a coupon—some scammers use the promise of discounts to steal your information.

 

§  Save your receipts to make returns easier and check with the store for extended return policies and/or free return shipping, and any restocking fees.

 

§  Keep your eye on your credit card when making a purchase. Some employees have used handheld machines illegally to swipe card information and use it later to hack into accounts.

 

§  Think twice before you buy the “female version” of a product. Gender pricing is prevalent and means you could pay more for an item marketed towards females than items marketed towards males. Many people take advantage of holiday deals to make non-gift purchases. Whether you’re shopping for a new TV, a used car, or to remodel your kitchen, get DCA’s tips first at nyc.gov/dca.

 

3)      GIFT CARDS ARE ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR GIFTS – KNOW THE RULES

The value of a gift card is valid for at least five years from when the card was purchased, or when money was last loaded onto it. In New York, all fees must be listed, and no inactivity or service fees can be charged if the card has been used within the past 25 months. If you’re buying an “experience” card (like a spa treatment, flight or hotel stay), buy one with a specific dollar value so you can benefit from these consumer protections. Visit federalreserve.gov for the latest information on gift card rules and visit osc.state.ny.us to see if you have unclaimed funds because unused gift card values issued by New York corporations are required to be turned over to the Comptroller’s office as abandoned property after five years of dormancy.

4)      BE ON ALERT FOR HOLIDAY SCAMS

It’s a busy time of year and unfortunately scammers try to take advantage of people and their generosity. Shop at stores you know, research charities before you donate, protect your personal information and be wary of suspicious calls and emails, especially if they offer free things or deals that are too good to be true. Some common scams this year are:

§  Fake apps: A lot of fake retail and product apps pop up around the holiday season, some even mimic real shopping apps. Fake apps can do anything from giving you annoying pop-up ads to installing malware or stealing your personal and credit card information. Before you download an app, read the reviews and check the publisher to make sure they are legitimate. If you are shopping at a specific store, go to that store’s website to find its official app.

 

§  Gift Card Scams: Be careful of websites or social media sites that offer free or discounted gift cards. These sites often ask for your personal information or ask you to pay for a gift card that has no balance. Also, be suspicious of anyone who asks you to pay a bill with a gift card – government agencies (e.g., IRS, FBI, NYPD, etc.) and public utility companies (e.g., Con Edison) will never ask for payment using gift cards.

 

§  Delivery Scams: Watch out for texts or emails that say you will be receiving a package but then ask you to enter personal information. If you have questions about a delivery, don’t click the email but contact the carrier directly. Some thieves will even come to your door with a package for you sign for but then ask you to swipe your credit card for a “delivery charge.” Package theft is also common during the holiday season so be sure to have your packages delivered to a place where they will be safe.

 

§  Temporary Holiday Jobs Scams: If you’re looking for a temporary job during the holiday season for some extra money, be careful of jobs that are advertised online and that ask for personal information or payment in order to apply. Under the Fair Workweek Law, retail employers must give workers predictable schedules. Learn more about workers’ rights at nyc.gov/dca.

 

§  Social Media Gift Exchange: Be wary of social media posts inviting you to join a “Secret Gift Exchange,” promising that you will receive as many as 36 gifts in exchange for sending a $10 gift to a stranger. This is an illegal pyramid scheme, and it can be a way for scammers to obtain your personal contact information.

 

§  Fake Holiday E-Cards: Unfortunately, not all e-cards are sending holiday wishes but instead they may install malware to steal your personal information. Be wary of a e-card notification that is not from a recognized name but instead a “friend” or “secret admirer” and avoid links or attachments that end with “.exe,” which could download a virus.

 

5)      PROTECT YOURSELF WHEN SHOPPING ONLINE

Only shop on secure websites — use familiar websites or research and read reviews of new ones, and check that the website starts with https (not just http) or has a padlock icon. Avoid typing your personal information when using unsecured Wi-Fi. Also, don’t click on shopping links included in unsolicited emails or social media sites — type the address directly into your browser. Visit OnGuardOnline.gov for more information on how to be safe, secure, and responsible online.

6)      SHOP LOCAL AND DON’T BUY COUNTERFEIT OR “PIRATED” GOODS

Support New York City’s local economy by shopping at local retail stores and avoid buying counterfeit and pirated goods, which are illegal and jeopardize local jobs. Also, be suspicious if a deal seems too good to be true—it might be a knockoff.

7)      GET A DELIVERY DATE. SECURE A DELIVERY DATE IN WRITING BEFORE YOU LEAVE A STORE

 If retailers don’t specify a “ship by” date for your online purchase, they must ship within 30 days.

8)      CHECK FOR RECALLS

To check if a gift or toy has been recalled, visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission at cpsc.gov and click on the recall section.

9)      FILE A COMPLAINT IF YOU’VE HAD A PROBLEM THE BUSINESS WON’T RESOLVE

File a complaint with DCA at nyc.gov/dca or by contacting 311. DCA mediators will help. You can file your complaint in multiple languages.

 

 

ABOUT VICTORY STATE BANK

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQX: 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, including the main office in the community of Great Kills and branches in West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank.

A planned sixth branch, to be situated in Meiers Corners, has received both regulatory and building department approvals.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

12 Basic Things You Should Know About Debit Cards

 

Debit cards are a common consumer tool – and their popularity makes them a target of thieves seeking access to a victim’s bank account.

To help you understand how a debit card may impact your finances, how to safely use a debit card – and assist you in thwarting thieves seeking to steal your money, Victory State Bank is highlighting 12 basic things you should know about debit cards:

 

 

1)      You can use a debit card and personal identification number (PIN) to withdraw cash from an automated teller machine (ATM), make deposits, or transfer funds between accounts.

 

2)      Some ATMs charge a fee if you are not a member of the bank’s ATM network.

 

3)      Retail purchases can also be made with a debit card.

 

4)      Be cautious about using your card online, if your card will be out of your sight (sit down restaurants), places where the final amount is uncertain (hotels), or where the card slot could have been tampered with (self-pay kiosks).

 

5)      Although a debit card looks like a credit card, the money for the purchase is transferred immediately from your bank account to the store’s or service provider’s account.

 

6)      Federal law does not allow you to stop payment on debit card purchase.

 

7)      Be suspicious of “shoulder surfers,” people who lurk around while you are using your debit card at an ATM or point of sale machine. If you suspect criminal activity, stop your transaction and walk away.

 

8)      If you suspect your debit card has been lost or stolen, call the card issuer immediately.

       Your liability for unauthorized use of your ATM or debit card will vary, depending on how quickly you report the loss.

 

9)      If you report a debit card missing before it is used, you are not responsible for any unauthorized withdrawals.

 

10)   Your liability is limited to $50 if you report the loss within two business days after you realize your debit card is missing. It increases to $500 if you report the loss between two and 60 days.

 

11)   If you have not reported an unauthorized use of a debit or ATM card within 60 days after the statement documenting the unauthorized use, you could lose all of the money in your bank account and the unused portion of your line of credit established for overdrafts.

 

12)   Sign up for text message or email alerts each time your debit card is used, so that you can know immediately if it has been used fraudulently. Check the policies of your card issuer; some offer more generous protections from fraud.

      SOURCE: USAGov’s “Consumer Action Handbook”

 

 

ABOUT VICTORY STATE BANK

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQX: 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, including the main office in the community of Great Kills and branches in West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank.

A planned sixth branch, to be situated in Meiers Corners, has received both regulatory and building department approvals.

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.