6 Tips to Avoid a Medical Device Scam

 

Staten Island’s only community-based business bank is warning consumers about a telephone scam centered on medical devices.

To help consumers avoid being tricked into providing personal information to thieves, Victory State Bank is sharing an alert from the New York State Department of State's Division of Consumer Protection, which calls attention to reports of medical device scams targeting seniors.

These scenarios use unsolicited prerecorded messages, also known as "robocalls," to offer free medical alert devices along with money saving coupons. Remember: The offers are bogus!

According to the Division of Consumer Protection, the robocalls display many different numbers on the caller ID. When answered, the pre-recorded message urges consumers to press “1” to get their free device by providing their address and credit card, or to press “5” to opt out of future calls.

However, pressing “5” will alert the scammers that they have reached a working phone number, which they can use for future scam calls. Pressing “1” will put the consumer through to a live operator who will use scare tactics as a means of getting personal and financial information from the consumer.

Such fraudsters try to convince seniors their health is in danger and need the medical device. Aiming to get the consumer's private information, some scammers will entice consumers with bogus coupon offers or claim they are calling on behalf of AARP.

 

 

The state’s Division of Consumer Protection offers these tips for avoiding this type of scam:

§  Hang up, without pressing any key.

§  If you take the call, identify who is calling and what company they represent. Make sure to get an address and a phone number for the business.

 

§  Never provide personal or financial information over the phone, including your name, address, date of birth, or Medicare and Social Security numbers.

 

§  Even though the displayed phone numbers may be fake, you should report the phone numbers on your caller ID to the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/complaint or 888-382-1222.

 

§  Contact your telephone service provider and request to block robocall numbers. Avoid paying for this protection, as caller ID-displayed numbers are changed frequently.

 

§  Remember that AARP does not ask for personal information, conduct financial transactions, or promote commercial activities over the phone.

For more information regarding identity theft prevention and mitigation, please contact the New York Department of State, Division of Consumer Protection at 518-474-8583.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Beware Fake Reverse Mortgage Scenarios

 

 

Reverse mortgages have grown in popularity over the years. Although they offer a means for retirees to withdraw some of their home equity, the concept provides scam artists with an opportunity to defraud homeowners, cautions Staten Island’s only community-based business bank.

To help protect homeowners from such fraud, Victory State Bank is spotlighting a warning from the FBI and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General (HUD-OIG), urging consumers – especially senior citizens, to be vigilant when seeking reverse mortgage products.

AS THE FBI EXPLAINS:

Reverse mortgage scams are engineered by unscrupulous professionals in a multitude of real estate, financial services, and related companies to steal the equity from the property of unsuspecting senior citizens or to use these seniors to unwittingly aid the fraudsters in stealing equity from a flipped property. 

In many of the reported scams, victim seniors are offered free homes, investment opportunities, and foreclosure or refinance assistance. They are also used as straw buyers in property flipping scams. Seniors are frequently targeted through local churches and investment seminars, as well as television, radio, billboard, and mailer advertisements.

A legitimate HECM loan product is insured by the Federal Housing Authority. It enables eligible homeowners to access the equity in their homes by providing funds without incurring a monthly payment.

Eligible borrowers must be 62 years or older who occupy their property as their primary residence and who own their property or have a small mortgage balance. See the FBI/HUD Intelligence Bulletin for specific details on HECMs as well as other foreclosure rescue and investment schemes.

 

To assist consumers in avoiding reverse mortgage scams, Victory State Bank is sharing these five tips from the FBI:

  • Do not respond to unsolicited advertisements.
  • Be suspicious of anyone claiming that you can own a home with no down payment.
  • Do not sign anything that you do not fully understand.
  • Do not accept payment from individuals for a home you did not purchase.
  • Seek out your own reverse mortgage counselor.

 

WHERE TO FILE A COMPLAINT

If you are a victim of this type of fraud and wanwant to file a complaint, please submit information through the FBI’s electronic tip line or through your local FBI office. You may also file a complaint with HUD-OIG; HUD’s hotline at 1-800-347-3735.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

How to Protect Yourself from Banking Scams

 

Victory State Bank is urging business owners and consumers to remain on the lookout for thieves posing as bankers or banks. Such scammers try to steal personal information and funds.

As a fraud-fighting tool, Staten Island’s only community-based commercial bank is sharing the following list from the U.S. General Services Administration’s “Consumer Action Handbook,” which highlights three common signs of banking scams:

 

  1)      Scammers create fake versions of your mobile banking app, to gain access to your account.

 

2)      Text messages that claim to be from your bank that require you to verify your bank account number or PIN.

 

3)      Requests for you to deposit a check into your account, as part of a fake lottery or sweepstakes.

 

    Take steps to protect yourself

§  Download the bank’s app directly from a link on their website to be sure it’s the real version.

§  Don’t reply to requests, by email or phone, to verify your bank account.  

§  Don’t deposit checks from people you don’t know.

 

     For more information or to file a complaint, contact:

§  Your bank or credit union’s fraud department

§  The Federal Trade Commission.

 

 

 

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: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of 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.

 

 

 

 

Keep Extra Expenses in Mind When Traveling

 

If frigid temperatures are making you think of escaping to a place with sandy beaches, warm sunshine and palm trees, Victory State Bank advises to keep a budget in mind.

When traveling, there extra costs that vacationers may neglect to include when planning their travel expenses.

To help you prepare for your next trip, Staten Island’s only community-based business bank is sharing these tips from the U.S. General Services Administration’s “Consumer Action Handbook”:

AIR TRAVEL

§  Seat selection: You may pay a fee for the privilege of choosing your seat when you book your flight.

§  Baggage: Airlines may charge for checked and carry-on baggage.

§  Rewards tickets:  If the actual flight is with a partner airline, rather than the airline you earn points with, you may have to pay a fee.

        CAR RENTAL

§  Surcharges: Beware of other costs, such as energy surcharges, concession fees, and facility fees.

§  Building projects fees: Car rentals can include a fee to pay for airport improvements or the city’s building projects.

        HOTELS AND LODGING

§  Resort fees: Fees for fitness centers, golf courses, and other amenities, whether or not you use them.

§  Mini-bar: Restocking fees to replace items you purchased.

§  Wi-Fi. Your hotel may charge to use their Wi-Fi network.

Contact airlines, car rental companies, and hotels to get an explanation of fee policies before you book your travel. Contact them after your trip if you see charges you don’t understand on your receipt or credit card statement.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

How to Avoid Bogus Shopping Apps

 

Retail store apps are growing in popularity –  but be extremely cautious as you use them during the busy holiday shopping season and all other times, advises Victory State Bank.

As mentioned in the U.S. General Services Administration’s “Consumer Action Handbook,” scammers create impostor, or fake, apps of your favorite retailers.

The handbook explains that fake apps can install malware on your smartphone. They could also steal the payment information you saved in the app or login credentials for other apps.

 

KNOW THE DANGER SIGNS OF A FAKE APP

To assist you in using store apps safely, Victory State Bank, Staten Island’s only community-based business bank, strongly suggests you heed the following advice from the “Consumer Action Handbook”:

 

  Beware if a shopping app has:

§  No history of previous versions.

§  A description with incorrect spelling and grammar.

§  Very few or only negative user reviews in the app store.

Be extra cautious:

§  Download a retailer’s app directly from their website.

§  If you suspect that an app is a fake, delete and report it to the app store.

Visit www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0515-apps-help-you-shop-stores  for more information about apps.

 

 

 

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: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of 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.