Identity fraud is usually limited to an isolated attempt to steal money from an existing account (using a stolen credit card, for example).
With identity theft, a thief uses stolen personal information, such as a Social Security number or bank account number, to open accounts or initiate several transactions in your name. This may cause financial loss or damaged credit. In general, identity theft is more extensive than identity fraud. If fraudulent transactions occur on your account, it does not automatically mean your identity was stolen. It may be an isolated incident of theft that can be quickly resolved.
Scam Prevention Tips
- Never give personal information to a stranger who contacts you, whether by telephone, e-mail, or other means.
- Don’t accept payments for more than the amount of the service with the understanding that you send the buyer the difference.
- Don’t accept checks from individuals you’ve only met online.
- Don’t accept jobs in which you are paid or received commission for facilitating money transfers through your account.
- No matter how urgent someone claims a deal is, you can always wait for a few days to research and confirm legitimacy. Time is on your side, not the fraudsters.
- You are ultimately responsible and liable for all deposits made into your account, whether they are a check, money order, transfer, etc.
Internet Official Check Scam
Someone will contact you via phone, email or chat room regarding the purchase of an item you have for sale or wanting to make an investment in your business. They will tell you they are sending you a check that you should deposit right away. After the check arrives and is deposited, the person will change his/her mind regarding the purchase or investment and ask you to send the money back to them via a wire. Later when the check has made it through the banking system, it is returned as a counterfeit.
Fraud that Targets Older Americans
As the population ages, older Americans are increasingly becoming victims of fraud and identity theft. We encourage our customers to help themselves, their elderly parents, friends and loved ones from financial scams.How we can identify elder abuse and fraud
- Sudden changes in banking behaviors, including withdrawals of large sums of money.
- Funds that are withdrawn in smaller amounts via remotely created checks (drafts) that could indicate the elder has fallen victim to Telemarketing fraud.
- The Power of Attorney making large withdrawals that do not appear to benefit the elderly person.
- Abrupt changes in a will or other financial documents.
- Sudden appearance of previously uninvolved relatives claiming rights to someone's affairs and possessions. Or a new companion who appears to be "calling the shots".
- Caregivers getting paid too much or too often.
- Excitement about winning a sweepstakes or lottery.
- A decline in the senior's physical appearance.
How to Deter Elder Abuse and Fraud
- Be alert for the warning signs. Educate the senior adults in your family about financial exploitation.
- Help senior adults in your family monitor their credit by requesting a free report every year.
- Talk to your personal banker at any of our convenient branch locations for assistance in protecting assets.
What Options Do You Have If You Suspect Elder Abuse Or Fraud?
- Contact the State Bank of Odell for assistance in protecting assets held with the bank.
- Contact the national hotline for Adult Protective Services (APS). This agency investigates allegations of abuse and offers services if abuse is confirmed. You can reach them via their 24-hour toll-free hotline at 1-800-652-1999 or by contacting your local Department of Health and Human Services office:
- Nebraska: https://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/Aging-Ombudsman.aspx
- Kansas: https://kdads.ks.gov/kdads-commissions/long-term-services-supports/aging-services/in-home-services/older-americans-act
- Contact local law enforcement
Criminals steal financial information and use this information to impersonate their victims, spending as much money as they can in as short of period as possible before moving on to someone else’s name and financial information.
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Website | 1-877-ID-THEFT
- Nebraska Protection Agency - http://www.ago.ne.gov/
- Kansas Protection Agency - http://ag.ks.gov/home/
- Social Security Administration - https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10064.pdf
Online Fraud | report suspicious email & activities here
Phishing is the process of collecting, through fraudulent e-mails or websites claiming to be legitimate, your personal information. This information can include usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, social security numbers, etc. Often times the e-mail directs you to a website where you can update your personal information and because they often look “official”, they hope you’ll be tricked into disclosing valuable information that you normally would not reveal. Often times resulting in identity theft and financial losses.
Spyware and viruses are both malicious programs that are loaded onto your computer without your knowledge. The purpose of these programs may be to capture or destroy information, to ruin computer performance or to overload you with advertising. Viruses can spread by infecting computers and then replicating. Spyware disguises itself as a legitimate application and embeds itself into your computer where it then monitors your activity and collects information.
Fraudulent “Pop-up Windows” are a type of online fraud often used to obtain personal information. They are the windows or ads that appear suddenly over or under the window you are currently viewing. Fraudulent Web sites or pop-up windows are used to collect your personal information. Other terms for the fraudulent process of gathering your personal information include “Phishing or “Spoofing”. Additional links to real Web sites can be incorporated into the email to lead you to believe the email is legitimate. Fraudulent websites, e-mails or pop-up windows will often:
- Ask you for personal information (Account number, Social Security Number, Date of Birth, etc.)
- Appear to be from a legitimate source. (Retail stores, banks, Government agencies, etc.)
- Contain prize or other types of certificate notices
- Link to other real or counterfeit websites
- Contain fraudulent phone numbers
Pop-up windows are often the result of programs installed on your computer called “adware” or “spyware.” These programs look in on your Web viewing activity and regularly come hidden inside many free downloads, such as music-sharing software or screen savers. Many of these programs enable harmless advertisements, but some contain “Trojan horse” programs that can record your keystrokes or relay other information to an unauthorized source.
Domain Spoofing occurs when a fake financial or retail website is set up with the same look and feel of a legitimate website for the purpose of gaining personal information. To verify a site's authenticity, choose the padlock icon, typically displayed at the bottom of the browser window, to verify you are on a secured page. A legitimate site will show a SSL certificate with the name of the site you're visiting.
Online / Check Scams
Sweepstakes/Lottery Scam - prize notification or announcements that you have won money, cars, and many more prizes in a lottery or sweepstakes that does not exist.
Warning Signs of Sweepstakes fraud
- If you do not enter a contest you can not win one.
- Any requirements to pay fees or gift tax to obtain your prize.
- Request for your credit card or bank account numbers as a credit reference.
- Request for your social security number or date of birth to verify your identity.
- High pressure sales tactics "once in a life time" approach.
- Use of overnight mail couriers to "speed up the process."
- Request for money up-front to claim the prize
- Being told to keep it a secret.
Tips to Protect Yourself from Sweepstakes Scams
- Beware of telemarketer who says he/she can recover the money you have lost in sweepstakes scams.
- It is illegal for a foreign country to solicit lottery ticket sales in Nebraska.
- Beware of enticements to call 900 numbers to claim a prize. A 900 call is always a toll call that could cost you $30-$50.
- Read the fine print.
- If it's too good to be true, it probably is.
- Publishers Clearing House
- American Family Publishers
- Guaranteed & Bonded Sweepstakes (Time, Inc)
- Reader's Digest Sweepstakes
Home Improvement Scam - normally individuals who work door-to-door as so-called contractors who offer to do a variety of home improvement projects, instead they take your money and leave the homeowner with an uncompleted project.
- Consumer Protection Agency (Nebraska)
- Consumer Protection Agency (Kansas)
Nigerian Letter - A fraud scheme that now includes fax and email versions of a letter from a supposed official in Nigeria. The official has a large sum of money (often stated as $20 to $30 million) to transfer out of the country. Due to exchange controls, the official asks for the victim's help with the transfer. All that is required to earn a hefty reward/commission is to furnish the Nigerian official with your bank account number, and they will handle the rest. What actually happens is that the Perpetrator depletes the victim's account.
Job Scam - Job scammers use reputable job boards such as Monster.com or CareerBuilder.com to offer jobs that are actually scams. They may also get people's contact information from resumes posted online. This scam is often linked to a Counterfeit Check Scam.
Dating Scam - Fraudsters create false personal profiles on online dating sites and chat rooms, and after building a relationship ask victims to send money for a variety of reasons. Often linked to a Counterfeit Check Scam.
Love Losses - The scammer poses as a romantic interest online, and promises to come to the U.S. to be with the victim. Soon after, the online friend asks the victim to cash a check or money order to cover “travel expenses.”
Over payments - Scammers buy merchandise online, and then claim they mailed the wrong amount by mistake. The seller is asked to deposit the “wrong” check anyway, and then return the “excess” amount to the scammer. But the check doesn’t clear, and the victim has sent the scammer his own money.
Foreign Business Offers - Scammers pretend to be business people or government officials and promise millions of dollars. But real companies and government agencies don’t offer legitimate business propositions to people they don’t know.
Rental Schemes - Scammers claim to be moving to the area, and put down a rental deposit. Then they tell their landlord they have unexpected expenses, so they ask for some of their deposit back as a favor. They never move in, and the deposit check never clears.
Sudden Riches - The scammer claims the victim has won a foreign lottery or sweepstakes. The notice comes by mail, phone, fax or email. Consumers should know that winners of real cash prizes are notified by certified mail.
Work at Home - The scams promise easy money by “processing” checks. The victim deposits the checks and sends the money to the scammer, minus a small fee. Legitimate companies don’t do business like this.