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Fraud & Identity Theft

Educate yourself on the most common scams, the ten warning signs of fraud and how to handle identity theft if it happens to you.

How To Detect Fraud & Identity Theft

The sooner fraud is detected, the lower the financial impact. Often the victim is the first person to discover fraudulent activity. Follow these suggestions to recognize the warning signs of identity theft:

Monitor your accounts

Check your account activity frequently for anything unusual. View your online accounts to detect fraud earlier and contact your financial institution immediately if you see anything suspicious. Also, keep an eye on accounts that belong to your children, parents or other family members. If you suspect that any of your accounts with The Federal Savings Bank have been compromised, please notify us immediately using the Contact section at the bottom of the page.

Use online alert tools and services

Whenever possible sign up for email or text alerts that notify you when certain events occur such as ordering checks or reissuing debit or credit cards. It’s also helpful to set up threshold alerts to notify you of low account balances or unusually high account transactions. Alerts like these can help signal fraudulent spending so you can put a stop to it quickly.

Use a credit monitoring service

Consider signing up for a credit monitoring service that notifies you when changes are posted to your credit report. This is one of the fastest ways to find out if someone has opened new accounts in your name.

Nine warning signs of fraud

  • Unrecognizable accounts on your credit report or inaccurate information
  • Bills or statements unexpectedly stop arriving by US mail. (This could mean an identity thief has taken over your account and changed your billing address.)
  • Checks are significantly out of order on your bank statement
  • Unreasonable denial of credit
  • Banks and financial institutions freeze accounts unexpectedly
  • Receiving credit cards without applying for them.
  • Notification that you’ve been denied credit that you didn’t apply for
  • Debt collectors contact you about merchandise you didn’t buy
  • Notifications about address, password or information changes that you did not make

Know the scams

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Scams are not only limited to the Internet. Criminals also use phone, text, social media and email scams to gain personal information and commit fraud and identity theft. Here are a few typical identity theft and fraud scams.

Watch out for wire transfer email scams

Criminals are actively using email schemes to defraud financial institutions and their customers by deceiving them into conducting wire transfers that appear legitimate.

These schemes often target individuals purchasing real estate or other parties involved in the transaction (broker, title agent, attorney, buyer/seller), for the purpose of altering the payment instructions and diverting funds used to close the deal. To avoid falling victim to these wire transfer scams, make sure to:

  • Verify wire instructions independently with the intended recipient before sending any funds.
  • Be cautious when conducting any transactions online or with unknown third parties.

For more information, browse the Consumer Alerts and other resources made available by the  Federal Trade Commission. You can find more information about this specific scam from this  Public Service Announcement and the  Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).

Too good to be true

  • You don’t remember entering a lottery or contest but are notified by phone, text, email or letter that you’ve won.
  • You’re promised to make extra money working at home in return for using your bank account to send or receive money.
  • You’re promised to receive a huge sum of money in return for transferring funds, often internationally.

Request for Money

  • You’re asked to pay money in advance for “administration fees” or “taxes” prior to receiving a prize or winnings.
  • A friend sends an urgent request for money via email or a social media site. One common scam scenario leads you to believe that your friend is traveling in a foreign country and needs money wired to them immediately.
  • You get an email notification that you are entitled to a long, lost relative’s inheritance, but you must send money to claim your portion.
  • An advanced fee is required to stop foreclosure, modify a loan or receive advice from a company or individual to stop paying your mortgage.

Shady sellers or buyers

  • While buying or selling a car online, you’re asked to transfer funds or pay by mail via cashier’s check or money order.
  • The buyer overpays you with a check and asks you to refund the difference. Then the check bounces when you try to cash or deposit it later.
  • Always make sure checks have cleared before paying off loans and delivering items to a buyer.
  • Never trust a buyer or seller who refuses to talk on the phone or meet in person.

Do your homework

Stay in the know about the latest scams and tactics by visiting Online Privacy and Security. This is a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) maintained site that provides practical tips on how to guard against Internet fraud, secure your computer, and protect your personal information.

Also, take the time to verify any calls or emails that you receive about your finances by contacting your financial institution directly. Locate the contact information from their company website, your online statements or other materials from the company.

Suspect Fraud?

Call The Federal Savings Bank at 877.788.3520; Option 5.

How To Deal With Fraud & Identity Theft

If you suspect you might be a victim of identity theft or financial fraud take the following steps immediately.

Report account fraud to your financial institution

If you think your account has been compromised, call The Federal Savings Bank at 877.788.3520; Option 5.

Contact the credit reporting agencies to place a fraud alert on your credit report

Report any identity theft incidents as quickly as possible to one of the three major credit bureaus listed below to place a fraud alert on your credit report. You only need to contact one – the credit bureau you call is required to contact the other two.

Equifax: 1-888-378-4329

Experian: 1-866-617-1894

TransUnion: 1-833-395-6938

When you place a fraud alert on your credit report, any new credit requests or changes to existing account information will be reviewed very carefully to verify the requestor is really you.

Contact the Social Security Administration

If you think your identity or Social Security number has been used without your consent, call the Social Security Administration Fraud hotline at 1-800-269-0271.

Order a credit report

Review your credit reports carefully looking for any inconsistencies. Verify that your personal information (SSN, mailing address, initials, etc.) is correct. Look through your credit report for accounts you didn’t open or debts you can’t explain. If you find information on your credit report that you think is the result of identity theft, you can ask the credit bureau to remove that information from your credit report.

Continue to check your credit reports periodically, especially for the first year after you discover identity theft, to make sure no new fraudulent activity has occurred. The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. You can request your free credit reports online.

Close fraudulent accounts

If you find accounts have been opened in your name without your knowledge, contact the company directly and ask to have them closed. Inform the company that the account was opened fraudulently. Keep detailed notes of your conversation and ask for documentation showing the account has been closed.

If you suspect that any of your accounts with The Federal Savings Bank have been compromised, please notify us immediately using the Contact section at the bottom of the page.

Report ID theft to the Federal Trade Commission

Call 1-877-IDTHEFT (877-438-4338) or TTY 1-866-653-4261 to report ID theft so that law enforcement across the country can use the information to help with its investigations. You can also  report ID theft to the FTC online.

The FTC has a comprehensive identity theft recovery guide titled “Take Charge: Fighting Back Against Identity Theft”.

File a police report

Contact your local law enforcement agency to file a report to help you with creditors who may need more information.

Suspect Fraud?

Call The Federal Savings Bank at 877.788.3520; Option 5.