VIEWS: 10 PAGES: 2 POSTED ON: 4/12/2011
First Minnetonka City Bank Of Interest 14550 excelsior Blvd., Minnetonka, Mn 55345 952-935-8663 •11500 Highway 7, Minnetonka Mn 55305 952-935-5995• www.fmcbank.com Don’t get caught in a scam! An ounce of prevention can safeguard your finances and identity We’ve heard it since we were kids: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Still, many people let the promise of a quick profit cloud their good judgment. They fall for scams—and Tom Del there are a lot of them out there—that can cause some big headaches and Rogers Smith leave victims remorseful over having been fooled. To make matters worse, modern scammers from halfway around the world have 24/7 access into From the Chairman of the your home through the Internet. The good news is that you can avoid Board and the President becoming a victim by arming yourself with information and ratcheting up your internal alarm system. Dear Clients, When a stranger approaches you with a great deal or a Consumer fraud is an unfortunate promise of putting money in your pocket, ask yourself one reality, and it’s a special concern for us, question: “Why am I this person’s new best friend?” as bankers. We take the responsibility of watching over your accounts very • Did you solicit the offer? Generally, beware of offers from unknown seriously, so we’re always looking for persons or businesses that come out of the blue; if something comes better ways to ensure your money looking for you, it could be a scam. Know who you’re dealing with is safe in our hands. If sometimes before you hire someone or sign a contract. And never give out personal one of our security practices seems information in response to an unsolicited offer. You’re opening the door a little inconvenient, we hope you’ll to having your identity stolen. understand: It’s for your protection. In this issue, we’ll review some of the • Who’s calling? No more “Minnesota nice” when some unknown current scams out there, many of which caller asks for your personal or financial information. Legitimate have red flags to warn you, and suggest businesses won’t do this. Be firm, don’t engage in conversation, ask that some small precautions that can save you they remove your name from their calling list, then politely say goodbye big trouble. As always, best wishes from and hang up. our family to yours. Have a safe and • Are your credit and bank cards safe? Enterprising thieves can “skim” happy autumn. the data stored on your card’s magnetic strip. Skimming devices can also capture keypad information at ATMs and gas pumps. Deal with Good Advice reputable businesses, don’t use machines with unfamiliar devices Know who’s nearby when you use your attached, and try not to let your card out of your sight at a store. Protect credit card, advises personal banker your debit card just as you would a credit card. If yours is lost, call us Rachel Merfeld. “Clever scammers can right away—and don’t respond to a call from “the bank” or “the police” use a cell-phone camera to record your asking for your PIN. It’s likely the thief waiting to access your account. name and account number,” Rachel says. …continued “And always take your receipt with you.” september 2008 Of Interest …How to avoid scams (continued) If you own a business… • Have you been “phished” Small business owners can be hit and caught? especially hard if they’re victimized Anyone getting e-mail gets by a scam. Know your clients, guard spam, those bogus messages your records, check out prospective that may seem to be from employees, and put some due diligence legitimate organizations, procedures in place to protect everyone. including the IRS. If the Before you extend credit, do a credit subject line warns you to check; be wary of untraceable TTY open the mail instantly calls from “clients” you don’t know. For or face the consequences, existing clients, be sure to take every that’s a red flag. A scammer possible measure to safeguard their is likely “phishing” for personal information. Send out invoices your personal information. and checks in secure mailboxes, and be Banks will never ask for account or Social Security numbers online; let sure you receive mail in a secure spot. us know immediately if you receive such an e-mail purporting to be Know your vendors too—scammers might send false invoices or call your from us. office, disguising themselves as vendors to sell a product. • Is it real or a fake? Unless you’re sure the Web site is legitimate or you’ve accessed it directly yourself, be wary of e-mail links to Web Educate yourself about scams specific sites; you may be getting directed to phony sites where you’ll be to your industry, and look twice at asked to give personal information, a practice called “pharming.” unsolicited offers to buy your business, Delete all suspicious e-mails unopened; opening them or selecting especially if you’re asked to pay a fee to the “remove my name” option only alerts scammers that you got “evaluate” its worth. Many businesses their message. like being listed in a directory—just make sure the directory exists before • Who sent you that check? When you sell something online or you sign up for a listing. through the paper, be aware that crooks are out there searching for Do background checks before you hire, victims. Fake money orders and checks—even cashiers cheques— especially anyone who’ll be handling mean real trouble; if the check you’ve deposited turns out to be money or have access to your books. bogus, you’re responsible for making good on it. And watch out Set up direct deposit for paying salaries, if you’re asked to accept an overpayment from a third party who and encourage employees to take “owes the buyer money.” You’re being scammed. You could be out advantage. At least monthly, reconcile the money you’re asked to send to the buyer and left holding a bad your books, watching for errors and check. Report any dealings of this nature to the National Consumers unauthorized expenses. The sooner you League at www.fraud.org. rectify the problem, the better. Just call us if you need help with a problem or with setting up procedures. • Have you been targeted in person? Don’t be scammed by door- to-door home-repair businesses that promise reasonable prices and excellent work. Too often homeowners are left with shoddy or no Want more tips to prevent repairs and depleted funds. Work with licensed professionals, talk to identity theft? references, and check with the Better Business Bureau. Watch out If you’d like more information about for people who need your help for some suspect reason, or who are guarding your privacy, stop in the too eager to assist you, which can spell trouble. It may be better to bank for a free booklet from the call 911. Always be aware of your surroundings, and safeguard your Office of Minnesota Attorney General wallet—and your identity. Lori Swanson. The coffee’s always on during business hours. Drop by and say hello.
Pages to are hidden for
"Of Interest"Please download to view full document