How to Avoid Online Dating Scams

 

 

Victory State Bank, Staten Island’s only community-based business bank is sharing an important warning that sheds light upon online dating scams:

 

The American Bankers Association Foundation in collaboration with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released an infographic on the growing threat of such scams. According to the FBI, over $220 million was lost in 2016 to online romance scam artists.

Social media networks and dating websites have become increasingly popular tools for meeting and communicating. Unfortunately, fraudsters have capitalized on this trend and often create fake profiles to lure in victims, establish romantic relationships and eventually, extort money. Older Americans, in particular, have been targeted by this type of scam.

The infographic, available in both English and Spanish, identifies common signs of an online dating scam and offers consumers advice on how to avoid falling victim.

If you’re concerned that you or a loved one are being scammed, the ABA Foundation and FTC recommend taking the following precautions:

  • Slow down – and talk to someone you trust. Don’t let a scammer rush you. 

§  Never wire money, put money on a gift or cash reload card, or send cash to an online love interest. You won’t get it back.

§  Contact your bank right away if you think you’ve sent money to a scammer. 

 

REPORT YOUR EXPERIENCE TO:

§  The online dating site

§  FTC at ftc.gov/complaint FBI at ic3.gov

To view the infographic, visit aba.com/OnlineDatingScams.

 

About the ABA

The American Bankers Association is the voice of the nation’s $17 trillion banking industry, which is composed of small, midsize, regional and large banks that together employ more than 2 million people, safeguard $13 trillion in deposits and extend more than $9 trillion in loans.

 

About the ABA Foundation

Through its leadership, partnerships, and national programs, ABA’s Community Engagement Foundation (dba ABA Foundation), a 501(c)3, helps bankers provide financial education to individuals at every age, elevate issues around affordable housing and community development, and achieve corporate social responsibility objectives to improve the well-being of their customers and their communities.

 

About the FTC

The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357).  Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blogs and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Methods of Managing Someone Else’s Bank Account

 

Managing the finances of a loved one is an important responsibility which may at times be seasoned with emotion.

If you manage finances for a loved one, you’ll need access to their bank accounts. To help make such situations less daunting, Victory State Bank is highlighting two common methods to have access, as described in the U.S. General Services Administration’s “Consumer Action Handbook”:

 

1)      POWER OF ATTORNEY

A power of attorney allows you to make financial transactions on behalf of another person while they are alive.

If the account holder dies, your power of attorney rights end. You can’t use the account to pay bills or have the authority to close the account.

2)      JOINT ACCOUNT

A joint account allows you to share ownership of the account.

You have the authority to use or close the account if the other account holder dies. However, if the other account holder wanted their money to go to someone else after their death, that could cause challenges with the beneficiaries.

No matter what structure works best, remember to act in the other person’s best interest, manage the money carefully, keep their money separate from your own, and keep good financial records.

For more details. visit www.consumerfinance.gov/managing-someone-elses-money.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Report: Banks Stopped $17B in Fraud Attempts in 2016

 

 

Victory State Bank applauds the anti-fraud initiatives of our nation’s banks. In doing so, the financial institution – Staten Island’s only community-based commercial bank – is highlighting a newly released report from the American Bankers Association.

According to the 2017 American Bankers Association Deposit Account Fraud Survey Report, ​America’s banks prevented $9 out of every $10 of attempted deposit account fraud in 2016.

Facing increasingly sophisticated fraud schemes, banks have responded by investing in new technologies and enhancing overall customer protections. 

“Fraud prevention never stops,” said James Chessen, executive vice president of ABA’s Center for Payments and Cybersecurity. “Banks are constantly monitoring for patterns and trends and quickly evolving their techniques to stay a step ahead of fraudsters.” 

According to the survey, attempted fraud against bank deposit accounts reached $19.1 billion in 2016, up from $12.9 billion in 2014. Despite that 48 percent increase over the two-year period, industry fraud losses only rose 16 percent to $2.2 billion. Depending on the circumstances, most consumers are fully protected from ever facing any of those losses.

Debit card fraud accounted for 58 percent — or $1.3 billion — of losses for the industry, which is consistent with the previous survey in 2014. However, check fraud (35 percent of fraud losses) has increased, particularly at larger banks, marking the first increase in this category since 2008.

 “Fraud moves like water trying to find cracks in the system,” said Chessen. “We have long anticipated that fraudsters would change their tactics once chip card technology was implemented in the U.S. The survey shows attacks have shifted more to other payment platforms like checks and online transactions.” 

The remaining 7 percent of fraud losses for banks were attributable to online banking and other electronic transactions, such as wire and ACH payments that were not initiated online.

While counterfeit cards remained the leading type of debit card fraud, card-not-present’s share increased to 30 percent of debit fraud loss from 15 percent two years ago. Sixty-five percent of respondents experienced gas pump skimming attempts in 2016, while 54 percent experienced ATM skimming attempts. The most common check fraud categories were counterfeit checks and return deposited items.

ABA has been tracking deposit account fraud since 1993.

The ABA survey was conducted between June and September 2017 for year-end 2016 data. The survey report is based on responses from 138 banks of all sizes.

 

CONSUMERS CAN HELP

To partner with your bank in the fight to stop fraud, ABA recommends consumers follow these important steps:

 

  • Don’t share your information.

Don’t provide your Social Security number or account information to anyone who contacts you online or over the phone. Protect your PINs and passwords and do not share them with anyone. Use a combination of letters and numbers for your passwords and change them periodically. Do not reveal sensitive or personal information on social networking sites.

  • Shred sensitive papers.

Shred receipts, banks statements and unused credit card offers before throwing them away.

  • Monitor your accounts regularly.

Rather than waiting for your monthly statement, use online banking to monitor transactions on your account regularly. If you see a fraudulent transaction, notify your bank immediately.

  • Sign up for text alerts.

Sign up for text or email alerts from your bank for certain types of transactions, such as online purchases or transactions of more than $500.

  • Protect your mobile device.

Use the passcode lock on your smartphone and other devices. This will make it more difficult for thieves to access your information if your device is lost or stolen. Before you donate, sell or trade your mobile device, be sure to wipe it using specialized software or using the manufacturer’s recommended technique. Some software allows you to wipe your device remotely if it is lost or stolen. Use caution when downloading apps, as they may contain malware and avoid opening links and attachments – especially from senders you don’t know.

  • Watch out for missing mail.

Fraudsters look for monthly bank or credit card statements or other mail containing your financial information. Consider enrolling in online banking to reduce the likelihood of paper statements being stolen. Also, don’t mail bills from your own mailbox with the flag up.

  • Monitor your credit report.

Order a free copy of your credit report every four months from one of the three credit reporting agencies at annualcreditreport.com.

  • Protect your computer.

Make sure the virus protection software on your computer is active and up to date. When conducting business online, make sure your browser’s padlock or key icon is active. Also look for an “s” after the “http” to be sure the website is secure.

  • Report any suspected fraud to your bank immediately.

 

ABOUT THE AMERICAN BANKERS ASSOCIATION

The American Bankers Association is the united voice of America’s hometown bankers—small, regional and large banks that together employ more than 2 million women and men, hold nearly $17 trillion in assets, safeguard $13 trillion in deposits and extend more than $9 trillion in loans.

ABA believes that government policies should recognize the industry’s diversity. Laws and regulations should be tailored to correspond to a bank’s charter, business model, hometown markets and risk profile. This policymaking approach avoids the negative economic consequences of burdensome, unsuitable and inefficient bank regulation.

Through a broad array of information, training, staff expertise and other resources, ABA supports America’s hometown bankers as they perform their critical role as drivers of America’s economic growth and job creation.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

IRS Begins Accepting and Processing

 2017 Federal Individual Income Tax Returns

 

Victory State Banking is sharing news from the Internal Revenue Service, which announced Jan. 29 that the agency has successfully started accepting and processing 2017 federal individual income tax returns.

More than 155 million returns are expected to be filed this year. People have until Tuesday, April 17, 2018, to file their 2017 returns and pay any taxes due.

The filing tax deadline is later this year due to several factors. The usual April 15 deadline falls on Sunday this year, which would normally give taxpayers until at least the following Monday. However, Emancipation Day, a Washington, D.C., holiday, is observed on Monday, April 16, giving taxpayers nationwide an additional day to file. By law, Washington holidays impact tax deadlines for everyone in the same way federal holidays do. Taxpayers requesting an extension will have until Monday, Oct. 15, 2018, to file.

The IRS expects more than 70 percent of taxpayers to get tax refunds this year. Last year, nearly 112 million refunds were issued, with an average refund of $2,895.

“The IRS has a number of ways to help taxpayers this filing season, and we encourage people to look into the many options available,” said Acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter. “The nation’s tax professionals and software community work with the IRS and help make the tax filing process easier for Americans. Today’s filing season kick-off reflects many months of hard work by the nation’s tax community and IRS employees. And we also appreciate the time and attention taxpayers take as they prepare and file their taxes."

Use e-File and Free File

The IRS expects about 90 percent of returns to be filed electronically. Choosing e-file and direct deposit remains the fastest and safest way to file an accurate income tax return and receive a refund.

The IRS Free File program, available at IRS.gov, gives eligible taxpayers a dozen options for brand-name products. Free File is a partnership with commercial partners offering free brand-name software to about 100 million individuals and families with incomes of $66,000 or less. About 70 percent of the nation’s taxpayers are eligible for IRS Free File. People who earned more than $66,000 may use Free File Fillable Forms, the electronic version of IRS paper forms.

To learn more about the current tax-filing season and other tax-related matter, visit the IRS online at https://www.irs.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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

15 Ways to Avoid Becoming a Scam Victim

 

Fraudsters target potential victims in a wide variety of ways, but business owners and consumers can decrease their chances of being fooled by taking some precautionary steps.

Victory State Bank, Staten Island’s only community-based business bank, is sharing these tips from USAGov’s “Consumer Action Handbook” to assist you in shielding yourself from charlatans in a variety of circumstances:

 

     1)      Be wary of promises of “no risks” or guaranteed earnings.

 

     2)      Beware of emails or calls asking you to confirm your bank account, credit card number, PIN, or social security number.

 

 

3)      Create unique usernames, passwords for your email and online accounts. Use a PIN, two-factor authentication and other security features.

 

4)      Don’t sign a contract with blank spaces or incomplete terms. Read and understand any contract, legal document, or terms of service before you sign or click “I Agree.”

 

5)      Don’t feel pressured by calls or emails, supposedly from the government or creditors, that threaten you if you don’t send payment immediately.

 

6)      Get estimates from several contractors for home or car repairs. Make sure the estimates are for the exact same repairs for a fair comparison.

 

7)      Read retailers refund, return, and early termination or cancellation policies, before you buy.

 

8)      Be cautious of shopping on public wi-fi networks, that don’t encrypt your information.

 

9)      Beware if someone calls you, claiming that you owe money, demanding a payment by wire transfer or branded gift card.

 

10)   Look for the padlock icon in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen or a URL that begins with “https” to ensure that your payment information is transmitted securely.

 

11)   Don’t buy under stress. Avoid making big-ticket purchases during times of duress.

 

12)   Notify your lender immediately if you are having difficulty making payments on loans, so that you can work out a payment plan.

 

13)   Protect access and use of your digital wallet (connected to your mobile phone or payment app) with a PIN or your fingerprints

 

14)   Read the privacy policy and security statement on apps you download to make sure that your personal information is secure.

 

    15)   Sign up to receive text messages to alert you when your credit card is used. These texts help you catch fraudulent purchases immediately.

 

 

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.