Consumer Protection Consumer Alerts Business Alerts
In November 2011, federal bank regulators ordered certain mortgage servicers to identify consumers whose homes faced foreclosure between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010. These consumers should have received a letter by the end of 2011 indicating that they may request an independent review of their foreclosure. If the review finds that the homeowner suffered financial injury caused by deficiencies in the foreclosure process, they may be eligible for compensation. There is no cost associated with the federal government's Independent Foreclosure Review program.
Unfortunately, scam artists are also contacting Oregon consumers and offering to conduct an "Independent Foreclosure Home Loan Review" or a "securitization review" for a fee. Attorney General John Kroger warns Oregonians to steer clear of independent foreclosure review scams.
• Beware of anyone who wants payment to assist you with an independent foreclosure review or any other homeowner assistance or foreclosure prevention program
• If you receive a letter suggesting that you qualify for compensation or received a grant without having requested an independent review from the federal government, it is a scam
• A government agency will never request your contact information, Social Security number, banking information, or credit card numbers in an email
• Steer clear of anyone who claims they can guarantee a permanent mortgage modification or halt the foreclosure process
More information can be found at http://www.independentforeclosurereview.com. If you received a notification about an independent foreclosure review and are unsure of its authenticity, contact the Federal Reserve Board at 888-952-9105 or learn more at What You Need to Know: Independent Foreclosure Review. If you or someone you know is facing foreclosure, there are many free HUD-approved housing counselors around Oregon. Visit http://foreclosurehelp.oregon.gov for more information.
Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personally identifying information such as your name, Social Security Number, or credit card number, without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes.
The crime takes on many forms. Identity thieves may rent an apartment, obtain a credit card, or establish a telephone account in your name. You may not find out about the theft until you review your credit report or a credit card statement and notice charges you didn’t make—or until you’re contacted by a debt collector.
If you feel you may be a victim of identity theft please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Randy Blake at 503-674-3114.
For more information on identify theft visit the Federal Trade Commission website at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/.
Phishing is a scam where internet fraudsters send spam or pop-up messages to lure personal and financial information from unsuspecting victims.
If you get an email or pop-up message that asks for personal or financial information, do not reply or click on any links within the message. Forward the phishing email to email@example.com.
Important Information Regarding Deposit Insurance Coverage
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has released a new expanded version of its Electronic Deposit Insurance Estimator, also known as "Online EDIE," for use by bank customers. With this new version, users can estimate insurance coverage for a wider range of account types. Bank customers can access the new Online EDIE on the FDIC's Web site.
Lost or Stolen Debit Card Information
If your debit card is lost or stolen, please contact your local MBank branch immediately. After bank operating hours or on weekends and evenings, please call 1.800.528.2273.
If you believe your identity has been compromised, contact us and/or one of the following agencies:
Your local police non-emergency
Equifax - 800.525.6285
Experian - 888.397.3742
Transunion - 800.680.7289
Federal Trade Commission - 877.438.4338
To protect your MBank debit card from fraudulent online purchases, activate the Verified by Visa card feature by visiting the VISA Security Program Website.
Data Security Help for Small Businesses
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has partnered with nationally-recognized security and privacy experts to create a new toolkit to help small business owners manage security and privacy challenges. It's called Security & Privacy - Made Simpler, and the objective is to demystify data security and give small businesses a non-technical roadmap to securing their customer and employee data.
Know Your Money
Every year the public is victimized by the counterfeiting of United States currency and other U.S. obligations. Recent reports of counterfiting in the Portland Metro area are increasing and may include the chemical washing of small bills which are later reprinted in larger denominations. In these instances the facial watermarks in the paper do not match the president whose face is printed on the bill.
Those who fail to carefully examine the money they receive or who cash checks and bonds without requesting proper identification are potential victims. Carefully inspect large bills before accepting them for payment or exchange.
To download free educational information for yourself, your business or your employees visit moneyfactory.gov/newmoney
Avoiding Cashier’s Check Fraud
Many consumers have become victims of scams involving a fraudulent cashier’s check. A cashier’s check is a check that is issued by a bank, and sold to its customer or another purchaser, that is a direct obligation of the bank. Cashier’s checks are viewed as relatively risk-free instruments and, therefore, are often used as a trusted form of payment to consumers for goods and services.
However, cashier’s checks lately have become an attractive vehicle for fraud when used for payments to consumers. Although the amount of a cashier’s check quickly becomes “available” for withdrawal by the consumer after the consumer deposits the check, these funds do not belong to the consumer if the check proves to be fraudulent. It may take weeks to discover that a cashier’s check is fraudulent.In the meantime, the consumer may have irrevocably wired the funds to a scam artist or otherwise used the funds – only to find out later, when the fraud is detected – that the consumer owes the bank the full amount of the cashier’s check that had been deposited.
This OCC Consumer Advisory on Avoiding Cashier’s Check Fraud gives you information on some common scams and some steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim. Although this advisory focuses on cashier’s checks, you may find the information useful if you transact business using other official bank instruments, such as money orders and official checks.
Important information from the Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency:
AnnualCreditReport.com is the ONLY authorized online source for you to get a free credit report under federal law. You can get a free report from each of the three national credit reporting companies every 12 months. Some other sites claim to offer "free" credit reports, but may charge you for another product if you accept a "free" report.