Chicago, IL–(ENEWSPF)– Better Business Bureaus and especially the BBB of Northern Indiana has been receiving repeated contacts from consumers who once again are getting telephone calls claiming to be from Salin Bank stating their account has been suspended or that their bank account number has “expired” and to call 703-953-1916.
Consumers are also receiving automated messages on their phones from “Financial Securities Department (then company name)” telling consumers “Your credit card has been refused. Please enter your 16-digit credit card number.” They are using 216-918-2210 as a call back number.
“Due to recent advances in technology, consumers are at greater risk to fall victim to new scams such as pretexting and phishing,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of The Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois.
Pretexting is the practice of getting your personal information under false pretenses. Scammers sell your information to people who may use it to get credit in your name, steal your assets, or to investigate or sue you. Recently, consumers across the country have fallen for phony e-mails they thought were from legitimate companies. This scam is called phishing. The e-mails appear to be genuine, with a few corporate logos and links, which supposedly take you to a company’s legitimate web site.
The emerging practice of pretexting, as well as phishing crimes can lead to identity theft. Identity theft occurs when someone hijacks your personal identifying information to open new charge accounts, order merchandise, or borrow money. Consumers targeted by identity thieves often don’t know they’ve been victimized until the hijackers fail to pay the bills or repay the loans, and collection agencies begin dunning the consumers for payment of accounts they didn’t even know they had.
“These calls have been circulating nationwide and scammers are using discontinued numbers to entice and trick consumers into giving their credit card numbers through an automated process. The calls are just one of a variety of International scams, using different banks, credit union and other financial institution names,” said Bernas.
The bank has been proactively pursuing this matter to protect their customers’ accounts. They have reported this crime to law enforcement authorities, and have assured us that at no time were any of the bank network systems breached. The scam was targeted towards persuading bank clients to provide private account information by sending out bulk e-mail and voice mail messages. Salin Bank has posted a response message on their web site to their customers:
FRAUD ALERT TO SALIN CUSTOMERS:
Salin Bank & Trust Company is highly committed to protecting your privacy and
finances. As part of our dedicated commitment we are posting this fraud alert to remind you to never respond to any text messages and/or emails falsely representing our bank asking for private information, such as passwords, PIN numbers, and account numbers.
Salin Bank policy prohibits this type of practice, since we already have your trusted information as your chosen bank. To ensure you and other clients are protected Salin Bank strives to provide consumer awareness information to prevent fraud loss.
To report fraud to us please contact us at 1-800-41-SALIN or at
[email protected] You may also visit any Salin Bank Banking Center to facilitate your concerns.
Here are some tips from the BBB on protecting your personal financial information:
- Don’t give out personal information on the phone, through the mail or over the Internet unless you’ve initiated the contact or know who you’re dealing with. Scammers may pose as representatives of survey firms, banks, Internet service providers and even government agencies to get you to reveal your SSN, mother’s maiden name, financial account numbers and other identifying information. Legitimate organizations with which you do business have the information they need and will not ask you for it.
- Be informed. Ask your financial institutions for their policies about sharing your information.
- Pay attention to your statement cycles. Follow up with your financial institutions if your statements don’t arrive on time.
- Review your statements carefully and promptly. Report any discrepancies to your institution immediately.
- If you get an e-mail that warns you, with little to no notice, that an account of yours will be shut down unless you reconfirm your billing information, do not reply or click on the link in the e-mail. Instead, contact the company referenced in the e-mail using a telephone number or web site address you know to be genuine (because it appears on a billing statement, for instance).
- Avoid e-mailing personal and financial information. If you have determined the web site to be legitimate and do decide to submit financial information, look for the "lock" icon on the browser’s status bar. It signals that your information is secure during transmission.
- Review your credit card and bank account statements as soon as you receive them to determine whether there are any unauthorized charges. If your statement is late by more than a couple of days, call your credit card company or bank to confirm your billing address and account balances.
To report cyber crimes and to learn more visit:
Editor’s Note: According to the FTC pretexting is the practice of getting your personal information under false pretenses, such as calling, and asking you a few questions in order to obtain personal information about you.
Phishing involves sending out an email or pop-up message that claims to be from a business or organization that you may deal with. The messages direct you to a web site that looks just like a legitimate organization’s site, but it is a bogus site whose sole purpose is to trick you into divulging your personal information.
As a private, non-profit organization, the purpose of the Better Business Bureau is to promote an ethical marketplace. BBBs help resolve buyer/seller complaints by means of conciliation, mediation and arbitration. BBBs also review advertising claims, online business practices and charitable organizations. BBBs develop and issue reports on businesses and nonprofit organizations and encourage people to check out a company or charity before making a purchase or donation.