Consumer Alerts

BLACK FRIDAY SURVIVAL TIPS
With Black Friday (and Cyber Monday) around the corner, Attorney General John Kroger reminds consumers to use caution when shopping online this holiday season and offers the following advice:

Know the seller. Anyone can set up shop online. Confirm the seller's physical address and phone number in case you have any problems or questions. You can also visit Be Informed, DOJ's online database of consumer complaints, to see if others have expressed concern about a vendor.

Free iPad? Even at Black Friday discounts, retailers tend to price similar items within a general range. Scam artists often lure shoppers to their websites with outrageously low prices. Shop around to get an idea of how much other retailers are asking for the same or similar items. Remember: If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

Stay away from pop-up ads. Many pop-ups unleash viruses or spyware when you click on them. Make sure you have the latest firewall and anti-virus software installed on your computer to protect against online attacks.

Stick to secure sites. Do not email financial information, such as your credit card or checking account number. If you initiate a purchase online, verify that the site is secure. Although no indicator is foolproof, when you are checking out, the site's web address should contain an "s" at the beginning (i.e., https://).

Review the policy on refunds and delivery rates. Sometimes a seller will attempt to recoup some of the cost on sale items by tacking on excessive shipping and handling fees. Check if you can return the product for a full refund if you are not satisfied. You should also confirm which party is responsible for the cost of shipping returned items and whether there are any "restocking" fees that might apply.

Keep a paper trail. Print and save records of every online transaction, including the product description, price, copy of your receipt and any correspondence with the company.

Watch out for predatory loan, layaway or credit offers. Many of the credit and loan offers seen in supermarket tabloids, classified sections of the newspaper, Craigslist or on telephone poles are actually scams pitched to consumers who need extra money for the holiday season. Some layaway programs also charge large fees for even small amounts loaned.

The Oregon Department of Justice is committed to protecting the marketplace from fraud and scams. If you or someone you know has concerns about an internet retailer or purchase, call the Attorney General's Consumer Hotline for help at 1-877-877-9392 or file a complaint online.


EMail Claiming to be from the FBI
June 14, 2011
The Oregon Department of Justice has received numerous complaints about an email solicitation scam. The fake email claims to be from the FBI and requests $350 from the recipient to obtain a "Clearance Certificate." The email threatens to send an agent to the recipient's home for questioning, and other legal sanctions if they fail to contact the Department of Homeland Security within 24 hours in order to obtain their "Clearance Certificate." The email also lists contact information for the FBI in Washington D.C. and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in Lagos.

Do not respond to these emails. They are being sent by scam artists to a large number of people with the intent of obtaining personal or financial information.

Fake email solicitations - also commonly known as Nigerian email scams - are among the most common scams reported in Oregon. In 2010, international money transfer schemes were reported by more than 1,000 Oregon consumers. Last year, Oregonians lost nearly $2 million to email solicitation and other scams.

To avoid the FBI email scam Attorney General John Kroger offers the following advice:
• Be wary of unsolicited emails.
• A government agency will never request your contact information, Social Security Number, banking information, or credit card number in an email.
• A government agency will not threaten people with legal action, such as an investigation, prosecution or jail for failure to respond to an email solicitation.
• Consider any email solicitation that lists multiple offices to be a red flag.

If you receive an email solicitation but are unsure whether or not you are the target of a scam, please call the Oregon Department of Justice Consumer Hotline at 1-877-877-9392 or go to www.oregonattorneygeneral.gov. 



Lottery Scam 
APRIL 2011 
This is now the most popular of the counterfeit check scams, probably because of the high level of success that the scammers have had with it. It is also very difficult to detect because the checks are usually lower dollar amounts (less than $5,000 in most cases). The victim will receive a letter or e-mail notification informing them that they have won a lottery or sweepstakes. They are given a counterfeit check to finance the taxes and fees associated with collecting the prize. They are asked to cash or deposit the check and wire the money to an individual who is collecting the “tax”. The reason this is so successful is that it plays on an American dream. Also, most times there is a contact phone number that the person can call, of course it is the scammer himself on a non-traceable cell phone who is safely outside the U.S. The victims are also told not to disclose their good fortune until they collect their grand prize. The scammers have seemingly plugged all of the holes in their other scams with this one and it is very successful.

Skip these offers and don’t send any money. Destroy the check.


FAKE JAPAN DISASTER RELIEF CHARITIES AND VIDEO FOOTAGE
MARCH 2011

Oregon Attorney General John Kroger warns Oregonians to be alert for scam artists posing as Japan disaster relief charities. While many legitimate organizations are seeking donations to aid victims of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, thieves are sending e-mails, making phone calls, and posting fake video footage on social media sites to steal money and personal information.

Scam artists are becoming increasingly adept at exploiting disasters for personal gain. After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, text messages became a convenient and popular way to donate to legitimate groups like the American Red Cross. Scam artists caught on to this trend and started sending mass "charity relief" text messages, requesting credit card numbers and other sensitive information.

In a new twist on the "emergency" scam, hackers are now using alleged video footage of the disaster in Japan linked to malware and online surveys that are designed to extract personal information. For example, one report describes a video linked to a scammer's Facebook account. By clicking on the video, the viewer's personal information shared on Facebook becomes available to the scammer.

Attorney General Kroger offers the following tips to avoid common emergency relief scams:
• Be sure you are contributing to a legitimate organization registered with the Attorney General's Office. Searching the Department's online database or calling 971-673-1880. You can also visit www.guidestar.org or www.charitynavigator.org, to get detailed information about charities and their performance.
• Give to established charities. Creating an efficient and effective charity overnight is nearly impossible, make sure the charity was around before the disaster.
• Do not respond to email requests from supposed disaster victims. Unless you know someone in Japan, these requests are almost always scams. Also, be wary of donation requests or videos posted on social media sites by alleged victims or unfamiliar charities.
• Do not give out personal information via phone, text or email. Legitimate charities will be pleased to receive a contribution by check. Don't send contributions with a "runner," by wire or overnight parcel pick-up service.
• Beware of calls, emails and texts requesting fast money. If you are unfamiliar with the charity, always ask for written materials. No legitimate organization will insist that you donate immediately. Watch out for solicitors who employ dramatic, emotional or heart-tugging stories. For example:
Dear Sir/ Madam,
My Name is Abdul Colins, I am the head of the Malaysia humanitarian aid to japan.
Japanhas suffered the worst disaster since WWII. The earthquake and tsunami that took place recently have killed over 10,000 people and caused widespread damage. There are at least 100,000 people who are in mourning for their lost loved ones or who are injured.
There are many more that are without food, water or electricity. A lot of children are homeless, it has been a sad and bad story to tell for some of us that have been there.
We will appreciate whatever you can afford to assist the little children and some homeless families.
please use the name blow to send whatever u can through western union Money Transfer.
Name: Abdul Colins
Address: 17A, Jalan Kuchin Seksyen, Mahkota Melaka, Malaysia
After you have send the money, email to us the western union money transfer control number or you can attach and forward to us the western union money transfer receipt so that we can pick up the money fast for their help.
Thanks for your help
Abdul Colins

Scammers and identity thieves pose a significant threat to Oregon consumers. Last year Oregonians reported losing nearly $2 million to scams. The Oregon Department of Justice is committed to protecting Oregon consumers. Anyone who thinks they may have been contacted by a scammer should call Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-877-877-9392 or go to www.oregonattorneygeneral.gov.


SMARTRAISER IS NOT A CHARITY
  MARCH 2011
The Oregon Department of Justice has received several complaints about a deceptive company named "Smartraiser" that is soliciting door-to-door in Washington County under the guise of being a charity that helps veterans. Smartraiser is not a charity.

Similar to the door-to-door magazine complaints of last summer, in which sales crews suggested that buying magazine subscriptions were charitable donations, Smartraiser is soliciting Oregonians to purchase or "donate" money for care packages for U.S. troops serving overseas. A consumer could easily assume that Smartraiser is a charity, but it is not.

Attorney General John Kroger urges Oregonians to research charities by going to www.oregonattorneygeneral.gov and clicking on the link titled "Check on a Charity." All charities soliciting money in Oregon must be registered with the Oregon Department of Justice Charities Section. Smartraiser is not the only scam charity trying to profit off the illusion of supporting America's service members.


Before paying money to Smartraiser Oregonians should be aware of the following:

Smartraiser is not a charity helping troops, but a for-profit company
Smartraiser does not offer financial reports detailing the use of the money it receives
Unlike a charity, Smartraiser does not disclose what percentage of the money it receives actually goes toward supporting troops and supplying care packages
Money given to Smartraiser is not tax-deductible
No government body endorses nor is associated with Smartraiser
Attorney General John Kroger and the Oregon Department of Justice are committed to protecting Oregon's marketplace and helping Oregon consumers. If you or someone you know unwittingly donated to a fake charity please call the Consumer Hotline at 1-877-877-9392 for assistance.


FAKE DEBT COLLECTION SCAMS February 2011
The Oregon Department of Justice has received several complaints regarding phony debt collection calls. Scam artists pose as debt collectors or law enforcement officers calling about an outstanding debt from an online payday loan. They frequently use fake phone numbers and official sounding business names. They also do their research. Some Oregonians have been tricked into paying nonexistent debt because the scam artist knew personal information about them, including their Social Security number, home address, e-mail, and names of family and personal references.

The majority of debt collectors abide by the rules of fair debt collection practices. Not only are these phony debt collectors stealing from Oregon consumers, the tactics they are using are illegal. Attorney General Kroger reminds Oregonians that debt collectors may not:
• Harass or abuse you or any third party. Harassment includes using threats of violence, obscene language, or repeatedly calling simply to annoy
• Claim to be a government or law enforcement representative
• Misrepresent the amount owed
• Use a fake company name
• Give false credit information about you to anyone
• Suggest you have committed a crime
• Send fake "official documents" from a court or government agency
• Deposit a post-dated check early
• Take or threaten to take your property unless it can be done legally
Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act collectors must send written notice of the debt within five days of initial contact. The notice should include information about the debt, the name of the creditor, and notice that the consumer has 30 days to dispute the debt in writing.

If you or someone you know has fallen victim to a fake debt collection scam, please call the Consumer Hotline at 1-877-877-9392 for assistance.


Consumer Alert – Fraudulent Email Claiming to be from the FDIC
January 2011

E-mails fraudulently claiming to be from the FDIC are attempting to get recipients to click on a link, which may ask them to provide sensitive personal information. These e-mails falsely indicate that FDIC deposit insurance is suspended until the requested customer information is provided.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has received numerous reports from consumers who received an e-mail that has the appearance of being sent from the FDIC. The e-mail informs the recipient that "in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security, federal, state and local governments…" the FDIC has withdrawn deposit insurance from the recipient's account "due to account activity that violates the Patriot Act." It further states deposit insurance will remain suspended until identity and account information can be verified using a system called "IDVerify." If consumers go to the link provided in the e-mail, it is suspected they will be asked for personal or confidential information, or malicious software may be loaded onto the recipient's computer.

This e-mail is fraudulent. It was not sent by the FDIC. It is an attempt to obtain personal information from consumers. Financial institutions and consumers should NOT access the link provided within the body of the e-mail and should NOT under any circumstances provide any personal information through this media.



BUYER BEWARE: DOOR-TO-DOOR MAGAZINE SALES   August 2010
Attorney General John Kroger warns Oregonians to be on the lookout for unscrupulous door-to-door magazine peddlers.

Door-to-door magazine companies are a perennial source of frustration for Oregon consumers, generating more than 150 complaints in the past year alone. Employees of travelling sales crews - mostly young adults - sell magazines and other products door-to-door using a variety of misleading sales pitches in order to obtain orders.

To read the entire alert visist www.oregonattorneygeneral.gov/beinformed.


E-mail Claiming to Be From the FDIC   July 2010
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has received numerous reports of a fraudulent e-mail that has the appearance of being sent from the FDIC.

The subject line of the e-mails state: "you need to check your Bank Deposit Insurance Coverage." The e-mail tells recipients that, "You have received this message because you are a holder of a FDIC-insured bank account. Recently FDIC has officially named the bank you have opened your account with as a failed bank, thus, taking control of its assets." The e-mail then directs recipients to click on a link stating "You need to visit the official FDIC website and perform the following steps to check your Deposit Insurance Coverage."

This e-mail and associated Web site are fraudulent. Recipients should consider the intent of this e-mail as an attempt to collect personal or confidential information, or to load malicious software onto end users' computers and should not click on the link provided.

The FDIC does not issue unsolicited e-mails to consumers. Financial institutions and consumers should NOT follow the link in the fraudulent e-mail. 

 


Scam Using Fake Allstate Insurance Checks
 
April 2010
Allstate Insurance Co. is warning consumers of an international mail fraud scheme using counterfeit checks with Allstate's name on them.

An individual received a counterfeit check that appeared to originate from Allstate. The fraudulent check was issued for $4,970.20 and came with a letter informing the recipient that they won a $250,000 "Consumer's Promotion Draw" for consumers who shop at a number of the nation's major stores. The letter also explains the $4,970.20 check was issued to cover the "Non-Canadian Residential Tax" the consumer will have to pay to a tax agent. The consumer is also expected to pay $200 in insurance and delivery charges.

The individuals sending these letters and counterfeit checks have no affiliation with Allstate and are illegally using the company's name, according to officials.

Recipients are told that to receive the $250,000 prize, they must cash the check and then send $4,770.20 by Moneygram or Western Union to an address located in Tacoma, WA. Consumers who cash the phony check could find themselves owing their bank more than $4,900.

Tips to consumers to help them avoid falling victim to this type of scheme:

  • Be leery of checks received from companies you do not do business with. The check is most likely fraudulent.
  • If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Be skeptical of any correspondence offering you the opportunity to win a large sum of money in exchange for specific information.
  • If the name of a well-known company is noted on the correspondence received, contact the company to verify the legitimacy of the letter.



WATCH OUT FOR HAITI EARTHQUAKE SCAMS
Oregon Attorney General John Kroger is warning Oregon consumers to be on the lookout for unfamiliar organizations soliciting funds for victims of the recent earthquake in Haiti. Scammers exploit current events – from fears about a swine flu pandemic to the sale of Michael Jackson memorabilia – to defraud consumers. Scammers will seek to gain access to credit card numbers and bank accounts in order to commit identity theft. Unscrupulous charities may also seek donations, even though only a small percentage the money will actually be used to help earthquake victims.

Many legitimate organizations are seeking donations to aid victims of the devastating earthquake in Haiti. To confirm that a charity is registered, visit the Oregon Department of Justice web site: www.oregonattorneygeneral.gov. To help consumers distinguish worthy charities from con artists and unscrupulous non-profits, Attorney General Kroger offers the following tips:

Do not give out personal information such as credit card or bank account numbers over the phone. Legitimate charities will accept contributions by check, which should always be made payable to the organization not the person collecting the donation.  Beware of callers who want your money fast. When solicited by phone, always ask the caller to send you written materials about the charity. No legitimate organization will insist that you donate immediately. Watch out for solicitors who employ dramatic, emotional or heart-tugging stories. Do not donate cash. Legitimate charities will be pleased to receive a contribution by check. Don't send contributions with a "runner," by wire or overnight parcel pick-up service.

Be sure you are contributing to a legitimate organization registered with the Attorney General's Office by searching the Department's online database or by calling 971-673-1880. You can also visit www.guidestar.org, a national clearinghouse of information about charities and their performance.
Scammers, identity thieves and unscrupulous charities pose a significant threat to Oregon consumers. Last year, more than 150 Oregon consumers reported falling victim to some kind of a scam. The Oregon Department of Justice, a national leader in policing non-profits, also took legal action against more than 20 non-profits for using misleading solicitations.

The Oregon Department of Justice is committed to protecting Oregon consumers. Anyone who thinks they may have been contacted by a scammer should call Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-877-877-9392 or go to the Oregon Department of Justice web site: http://www.doj.state.or.us/finfraud/index.shtml

Fraudulent FDIC Emails
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has become aware of emails appearing to be sent from the FDIC that are asking recipients to download and open a “personal FDIC insurance file” to check their deposit insurance coverage. These e-mails are fraudulent and were not sent by the FDIC. The FDIC is attempting to identify the source of the e-mails and disrupt the transmission.

Currently, the subject line of the fraudulent e-mails includes the wording “check your Bank Deposit Insurance Coverage.” The e-mails state: “You have received this message because you are a holder of a FDIC-insured bank account. Recently FDIC has officially named the bank you have opened your account with as a failed bank, thus, taking control of its assets.”

The e-mails ask recipients to “visit the official FDIC website” by clicking on a hyperlink provided, which appears to be related to the FDIC and directs recipients to a fraudulent Web site. The Web site includes hyperlinks that appear to open forms. However, it is believed that clicking on the hyperlinks will cause an unknown executable file to be downloaded. While the FDIC is working with the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) to determine the exact effects of the executable file, recipients should consider the intent of the software as a malicious attempt to collect personal or confidential information, some of which may be used to gain unauthorized access to online banking services or to conduct identity theft. Financial institutions and consumers should NOT access the Web site or download the executable files provided on the Web site.

Information about counterfeit items, cyber-fraud incidents and other fraudulent activity may be forwarded to the FDIC’s Cyber-Fraud and Financial Crimes Section, 550 17th Street, N.W., Room F-3054, Washington, D.C. 20429, or transmitted electronically to alert@fdic.gov. Information related to federal deposit insurance or consumer issues should be submitted to the FDIC using an online form that can be accessed at www2.fdic.gov/starsmail/index.asp.


FAKE U.S. CENSUS SCAM
Attorney General John Kroger is warning Oregonians about con-artists, posing as U.S. Census workers. Conducted every ten years, the U.S. Census is an important process that helps to both define legislative districts, and determine how to allocate $300 billion to local, state and tribal governments each year.

For every person living at an address the U.S., the U.S. Census will ask for a name, age, gender, race, ethnic origin, birth date, marital status, employment status, and other similar information. Con-artists posing as Census employees ask for donations, personal financial information, and/or Social Security numbers.

Here are some tips to tell the difference between a U.S. Census worker and con-artists:
1. U.S. Census Bureau will not contact you by E-mail.
2. U.S. Census workers will not ask you about past debt, solicit money, or in
any way harass you about finances.
3. U.S. Census workers will not ask for you Social Security Number, banking
information, or credit card number.
4. U.S. Census workers will have identification; a copy of the notification letter
you received, or should have received, in the mail describing the survey; and,
depending on the area, a laptop and laptop case bearing the insignia of the U.S. Census Bureau.

If you are unsure whether or not you are the target of a Census-related scam, please call the Oregon Department of Justice Consumer Hotline at 1-877-877-9392.


American Bankers Association (ABA) Warns of Fraudulent Letters, Fake Checks
   Aug 2009
ABA has been alerted that individuals sending cash-prize letters purporting to be from the ABA are part of fake check scam. The con artists are sending letters asking people to call a phone number to find out how to collect a prize -- a popular technique to get personal financial information from letter recipients.

Many of the letters contain one or more fraudulent checks, and a number of individuals have attempted to cash or deposit these fraudulent checks. The check amount is typically between $1,000 and $5,000. ABA is working with law enforcement to identify and disrupt the source of the letters


WEB HOSTING EMAIL SCAM  May 2009
Attorney General John Kroger is warning consumers about an email
spyware scam. The email from “WebHosting” says: “Dear Customer, we have
received your order and will be processing it shortly. The details of the order
are below.”

The email claims that the consumer will be billed $4.99 a month for
the Web hosting and $14.95 annually for domain name registration.
The email has a link to “log in,” but consumers who click on it will
instead end up with spyware installed on their computers. In addition to
collecting information about a computer user’s browsing habits, malicious
spyware can install additional, unwanted software, redirect Web browser
activities and change computer settings, resulting in slow connection speeds,
different home pages, and a loss of Internet functioning.

The Federal Trade Commission’s Web site has information about
what to do if consumers are victimized by spyware.
Consumer Protection Hotline: 1-877-877-9392.
Online: www.doj.state.or.us.


CHECK SCAM VIDEO SHOWS YOU HOW EASY IT IS  May 2009
Think you can’t get faked out? Watch the video:
http://www.fakechecks.org/

CONSUMER TIPS FOR AVOIDING LOAN MODIFICATION SCAMS April 2009 
A consumer advisory to help homeowners avoid mortgage modification and foreclosure scams has is now available. The advisory, which includes scam warning signs and resources to contact for legitimate help, reminds consumers having difficulty paying their mortgages to contact their lender or servicer to discuss options and alternatives.  This new resource is available online HERE.

GRANDPARENTS SCAM  April 2009
A grandparent receives a frantic call from someone they believe to be their grandchild. The supposed grandchild sounds distressed and may be calling from a noisy location. The supposed grandchild claims to be involved in some type of trouble while traveling in Canada, such as being arrested or in a car accident or needing emergency car repairs, and asks the grandparent to immediately wire money to post bail, pay for medical treatment or car repairs. The scammer typically asks for several thousand dollars, and may even call back again several hours or days later asking for more money. He or she may claim embarrassment about the alleged trouble and ask the grandparent to keep it a secret.

A variation of the scam may involve two scammers – the first scammer calls and poses as a grandchild under arrest. The second scammer, posing as some type of law enforcement officer, then gets on the phone with the grandparent and explains what fines need to be paid. Alternatively, the scammer may pretend to be a family friend or neighbor. A common theme of the scam across the nation is the caller's request for the grandparent to wire money through Western Union or MoneyGram or to provide bank account routing numbers. Wire transfers of money are nearly impossible to trace and typically cannot be recovered from the telephone con artists.

In Michigan, grandparents were taken for $33,000. They wire transferred $3,000 to someone they thought was their grandson after he called and claimed he was caught fishing without a license in Canada and needed to pay a $3,000 fine. They were taken for an additional $30,000 after the supposed grandson called again to say that alcohol and drugs were found when his boat was searched, and he needed $30,000 to post bond to get out of a Canadian jail.

Beware of Mystery Shopping Scams  March 2009
The Better Business Bureau is warning of a new mystery shopper scam. People all across the country are getting letters that say you are selected to participate in a consumer research program as a mystery shopper. The letter states that you took a survey and indicated you were interested in additional income. A woman in Washington received the letter and almost fell for it until she realized she had never taken a survey, which sent up a red flag. Another red flag… the letter came with a check. The company wants you to cash the check, keep some money for yourself and wire the rest of it back to them. The Better Business Bureau warns you to not cash that check.

Visa Check Card Compromise  January 2009
MBank has been notified by Visa that some of our customers' – among those from other banks – check card and credit card numbers may have been compromised by a third-party vendor. Banks nationwide have been affected by this compromise. Visa and the authorities are continuing their investigation into this issue and when additional information becomes available, we will share it with you here.

Currently, MBank is monitoring customer check card transactions to assist in preventing fraudulent transactions from occurring. Rest assured that we are committed to doing everything possible to protect you and your account(s). At the same time, Visa is providing us with information of cards that they have identified as being affected. Depending on the nature of the compromise, we may elect to remove certain features of your check card. For instance, MBank may turn off the signature-based credit swipe feature (often used in restaurants or at gas stations) and only allow PIN-based transactions. In some cases it may be necessary for MBank to deactivate your check card completely. If your card is identified as being compromised, MBank will attempt to contact you by phone or send you a letter notifying you that a new card will be mailed to you within the following 7 to 10 days.

As a precaution, we suggest that all cardholders review their account transactions immediately and call us if you believe any unauthorized account activity occurred. As a reminder you are protected with Visa's Zero Liability policy* should you have unauthorized account activity. The most immediate means to review your transaction information is online with MBank’s online banking system. You’re also welcome to visit us at one of our five local offices or call us at (503) 661-8688. Paper statements will be sent on their regular schedule.

If you believe your CHECK CARD has been affected, please call    (503) 661-8688 or (888) 833-3455

If you believe your MBank CREDIT CARD account has been affected, please call (800) 367-7576



Consumer Warning: Text Message Scams
Tens of thousands of people nationwide have received suspicious text messages asking for individuals’ banking information. The messages state that the recipient’s bank account has been closed due to unusual activity, and asks the individual to call a phone number with bank information. If you receive such a text, do not respond. Financial Institutions will not contact you via text messaging asking for your bank information.

Consumer Warning: Fake MBank Survey Calls
Some MBank customers have received a call from someone claiming to be from Merchants Bank and that they are conducting a survey regarding customer service.

MBank is NOT conducting any surveys via phone calls. If you receive a call like this, please hang up and report it to MBank at reportphishing@mbankonline.com.

Consumer Warning: Fake FBI Messages
A Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) press release warns consumers regarding e-mail messages that claim to be sent by top FBI officials in an attempt to defraud consumers. Many of the spam e-mails claim to: be from an “official order” from the FBI’s non-existent Anti-Terrorist and Monetary Crimes Division or from an alleged FBI unit in Nigeria; confirm an inheritance; or contain a lottery notification.

"Consumers should not respond to any unsolicited e-mails or click on any embedded links associated with such e-mails, as they may contain viruses or malware" the press release reports. "It is imperative consumers guard their personally identifiable information."

Consumer Warning: Fake Advertisements from American Bankers Association
“Phishing” scams are not just limited to the internet. The American Bankers Association (ABA) has recently become aware of a scheme using the “American Bankers Association” name that is intended to trick the unwary into disclosing confidential security information related to their savings and checking accounts.

The “phish” works like this:

An advertisement is placed in a local newspaper seeking to hire survey takers to “evaluate” local banks. Those who apply to the position are sent a package of papers from the “American Bankers Association” that includes a list of bank branches and a very elaborate survey. The survey takers are instructed to go to their assigned bank, open an account with their own money, and then forward the survey, account information, and security information to an address in South Carolina. Any individual who complies with the instructions will quickly lose any money that they deposit into that account.

The ABA is in no way affiliated with this bogus “survey.” While unaware of any individuals who have actually experienced a loss as a result of this scam, the ABA is working with law enforcement officials to track down the individuals behind the attempted fraud.