3 Ways to Protect Yourself from Auto Warranty Scams

 

Victory State Bank is spotlighting a warning from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) about auto warranty scams.

According to the government agency, this particular fraud scenario may begin with phone calls from scammers posing as representatives of a car dealer, manufacturer or insurer telling you that your auto warranty or insurance is about to expire. The call will include some sort of pitch for renewing your warranty or policy.

During the call – which often begins automated or pre-recorded – you may be instructed to press a certain number or stay on the line, then asked to provide personal information, which potentially can be used to defraud you.

According to the FCC, it may be particularly hard to discern if this type of call is fraudulent because the scammer may have specific information about your particular car and warranty that they use to deceive you into thinking they are a legitimate caller.

To help protect you form auto warranty scams, Victory State Bank if sharing these three tips from the FCC:

1)      Do not provide any personal information, such as a social security number, credit card information, driver’s license number or bank account information to any caller unless you can verify you are dealing directly with a legitimate company with which you have an established business relationship.

Telephone scammers are good at what they do and may imply that they work for a company you trust. Don't fall for it. Be extremely cautious.

2)      If you have caller ID, screen incoming calls.

Legitimate telemarketers are required to transmit or display their phone number and the name and/or the phone number of the company they're representing. The display must include a phone number that you can call during regular business hours to ask that the company no longer call you.

3)      Be cautious even if a number appears authentic.

Criminals may engage in caller ID "spoofing" – deliberately falsifying the information transmitted to your Caller ID display to disguise their identity.  

FILING A COMPLAINT

You can file a complaint with the FCC about suspected scam calls. In addition to being fraudulent in nature, these calls likely violate telemarketing and robocall rules.

While the FCC does not award individual damages to consumers, your complaint may help the agency identify scammers and take appropriate action. In some cases, the FCC can issue warning citations and impose fines against companies who are violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

If you think you have received a call involving fraud, you can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.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.

 

 

5 Security Tips for Using Mobile Banking

 

 

Mobile banking is a convenient and popular financial tool. But it’s vital to embrace it with security in mind. When using such modern-day technology, take safety measures to protect your personal information, advises Victory State Bank.

To assist in keeping you safe when using mobile banking, payment products and services, the only community-based business bank on Staten Island is sharing these tips from the Federal Deposit
Insurance Corp. (FDIC):

 

BE PROACTIVE IN HOW YOU PROTECT

THE DATA ON YOUR MOBILE DEVICES

Start by using "strong" passwords and PINs. If you're given the option to use more than your username and password to access your bank account or mobile apps on your phone – for example, if you can choose to receive a one-time passcode by email or text message that also will be needed to access a certain account or app – that will provide added security.

Avoid using an unsecured Wi-Fi network, often found in public places, such as coffee shops, because fraudsters might be able to access the information you are transmitting or viewing. Log out of your bank account or mobile app when it's not in use. Just like with your laptop, use a mobile security/anti-virus software and keep it updated.

 

TAKE ADDITIONAL PRECAUTIONS IN CASE

YOUR DEVICE IS MISPLACED, LOST OR STOLEN

Set the screen on your mobile phone to lock after a certain amount of time and use a PIN or password and/or a biometric indicator (for example, a fingerprint or facial recognition) to unlock your mobile phone. Likewise, use PINs or other security features enabled on your smartwatch, such as one that will lock the watch if it is not on your wrist or too far from your mobile phone.  Don't store your PINs or passwords on your mobile phone or tape it to the underside of your smartwatch or mobile phone.

 

CONSIDER SIGNING UP FOR TRANSACTION ALERTS FROM YOUR CREDIT CARD, BANK AND MOBILE APP PROVIDER

These messages can help you identify unauthorized activity quickly. Alternatively, check your transactions regularly on your cards, bank account and mobile app website.

 

RESEARCH ANY MOBILE APP

BEFORE DOWNLOADING AND USING IT

"Make sure you are comfortable that the mobile app is from a reputable source," said FDIC Senior Technology Specialist Deborah Shaw. "Going to the bank's or company's website to find directions for downloading their app can help to ensure you are downloading a legitimate app."

Transaction alerts from your credit card, bank and mobile app provider … can help you identify unauthorized activity quickly.

 

BE ON GUARD AGAINST FRAUDULENT EMAILS

OR TEXT MESSAGES

These communications typically appear to be from a government agency or a legitimate business in order to trick you into divulging valuable personal information (including your birthday, Social Security number, passwords and PIN numbers) that can be used to commit identity theft. The emails and texts could also ask you to click on a link that will install malicious software on your mobile phone and enable the fraudster to gain access to your mobile banking apps.

"To protect yourself, never provide passwords, credit or debit card information, Social Security numbers and similar personal information in response to an unsolicited text message or email," said Michael Benardo, manager of the FDIC's Cyber Fraud and Financial Crimes Section. "If you have any questions regarding the legitimacy of an email or a text, call your bank or mobile app provider, or the business or government agency that claims to have sent the email or text, and be sure to use a phone number you have looked up on your own and not what is in the email or text in question."

 

 

 

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.

 

5 Ways to Stop a Debt Collection Scam

 

Have you received one or more phone calls from someone claiming to be a debt collector? The caller could be legit – or maybe not! Victory State Bank is echoing a warning from the New York State Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection regarding scam artists posing as debt collectors.

Consumers are receiving harassing phone calls and voicemails from fake debt collectors threatening legal action in an attempt to collect money that is not actually owed. For this scam, the fake collectors tend to use fictitious names leading consumers to believe they are affiliated with a law firm. Sometimes, the callers may even have access to personal and/or financial information, such as a bank account number.

If you receive a call from a debt collector seeking payment for a debt you are not aware of, the New York State Division of Consumer Protection advises that you do not agree to pay it. If the debt the collector is referring to is legitimate, but you suspect the collector is not, contact your creditor.

The government agency strongly recommends that consumers take note of the following tips to avoid being affected by fraudulent debt collection:

§  Find out if you have outstanding debts by checking your credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com.

§  Unless you have verified the call, do not provide or confirm any personal or financial information over the phone. Act immediately if you provided personal identifiable information to unknown or unverified parties by notifying the companies with whom you have the accounts and by placing a security freeze or fraud alert on your files at credit reporting agencies. 

§  Beware of callers who want your money fast or use high-pressure tactics. Ask the caller to send you written materials, such as an official “validation notice” which includes the amount of debt, the name of the creditor and a statement of your rights under the FDCPA.

§  If you suspect the caller is attempting to commit fraud, ask for his name, company, street address, and telephone number. Hang up the phone and confirm that the collection agency is real.

§  If the caller uses threats, file a complaint at www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov. Keep in mind that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits debt collectors from being unfair, deceptive or abusive.

 

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.

 

5 Tips for Avoiding Advance Fee Schemes

 

Are you being asked to pay for a product or service in advance from someone you’re not familiar with? You could become the victim of an advance fee scheme, warns Victory State Bank.

As explained by the FBI, “an advance fee scheme occurs when the victim pays money to someone in anticipation of receiving something of greater value—such as a loan, contract, investment, or gift—and then receives little or nothing in return.”

The FBI further explains the variety of advance fee schemes is limited only by the imagination of the con artists who offer them. They may involve the sale of products or services, the offering of investments, lottery winnings, “found money,” or many other “opportunities.”

Clever con artists will offer to find financing arrangements for their clients who pay a “finder’s fee” in advance. They require their clients to sign contracts in which they agree to pay the fee when they are introduced to the financing source.

Victims often learn that they are ineligible for financing only after they have paid the “finder” according to the contract. Such agreements may be legal unless it can be shown that the “finder” never had the intention or the ability to provide financing for the victims.

 

To avoid becoming the victim of and advanced fee scheme, Victory State Bank advises you follow these tips from the FBI:

1)       If the offer of an “opportunity” appears too good to be true, it probably is. Follow common business practice. For example, legitimate business is rarely conducted in cash on a street corner.

2)       Know who you are dealing with. If you have not heard of a person or company that you intend to do business with, learn more about them. Depending on the amount of money that you plan on spending, you may want to visit the business location, check with the Better Business Bureau, or consult with your bank, an attorney, or the police.

3)       Make sure you fully understand any business agreement that you enter into. If the terms are complex, have them reviewed by a competent attorney.

4)       Be wary of businesses that operate out of post office boxes or mail drops and do not have a street address. Also be suspicious when dealing with persons who do not have a direct telephone line and who are never in when you call, but always return your call later.

5)       Be wary of business deals that require you to sign nondisclosure or non-circumvention agreements that are designed to prevent you from independently verifying the bona fides of the people with whom you intend to do business. Con artists often use non-circumvention agreements to threaten their victims with civil suit if they report their losses to law enforcement.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

8 Tips for a Successful Online Shopping Experience

 

 

 

Online shopping has become second nature to many consumers, so it’s important to embrace habits that make the buying experience both rewarding and safe.

To help reduce the chances of encountering shady deals – and protecting your private information when shopping on the Internet, Victory State Bank, the only community-based commercial bank on Staten Island, is sharing these tips from the Federal Trade Commission:

KNOW WHO YOU'RE DEALING WITH

Anyone can set up shop online under almost any name. Confirm the online seller's physical address and phone number in case you have questions or problems. And if you get an email or pop-up message that asks for your financial information while you’re browsing, don't reply or follow the link. Legitimate companies don't ask for information that way.

KNOW WHAT YOU'RE BUYING

Read the seller's description of the product closely, especially the fine print. Words like "refurbished," "vintage," or "close-out" may indicate that the product is in less-than-mint condition, while name-brand items with bargain basement prices could be counterfeits.

KNOW WHAT IT WILL COST

Check out websites that offer price comparisons and then compare "apples to apples." Factor shipping and handling into the total cost of your purchase. Do not send cash or money transfers under any circumstances.

CHECK OUT THE TERMS OF THE DEAL,

LIKE REFUND POLICIES AND DELIVERY DATES

Can you return the item for a full refund if you're not satisfied?  If you return it, who pays the shipping costs or restocking fees, and when you will get your order? A Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rule requires sellers to ship items as promised or within 30 days after the order date if no specific date is promised. Many sites offer tracking options, so you can see exactly where your purchase is, and an estimate when you’ll get it.

PAY BY CREDIT CARD

If you pay by credit or charge card online, your transaction will be protected by the Fair Credit Billing Act. Under this law, you can dispute charges under certain circumstances and temporarily withhold payment while the creditor investigates them. In the event that someone uses your credit card without your permission, your liability generally is limited to the first $50 in charges. Some companies guarantee that you won’t be held responsible for any unauthorized charges made to your card online; some cards provide additional warranty, return, and purchase protection benefits.

KEEP RECORDS

Print or save records of your online transactions, including the product description and price, the online receipt, and the emails you send and receive from the seller. Read your credit card statements as you receive them; be on the lookout for charges that you don’t recognize.

DON'T EMAIL ANY FINANCIAL INFORMATION

Email is not a secure method of transmitting financial information like your credit card, checking account, or Social Security number. If you begin a transaction and need to give your financial information through an organization's website, look for indicators that the site is secure, like a URL that begins https (the "s" stands for secure). Unfortunately, no indicator is foolproof; some fraudulent sites have forged security icons.

CHECK THE PRIVACY POLICY

Really. It should let you know what personal information the website operators are collecting, why, and how they're going to use the information. If you can't find a privacy policy — or if you can't understand it – consider taking your business to another site that's more user-friendly.

How to Report Online Shopping Fraud

If you have problems during a transaction, try to work them out directly with the seller, buyer, or site operator. If that doesn't work, file a complaint with:

  • the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov/complaint
  • your state Attorney General, using contact information at naag.org
  • your county or state consumer protection agency. Check the blue pages of the phone book under county and state government, or visit consumeraction.gov and look under "Where to File a Complaint.

 

 

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.