|Phone scams target financial institution's debit card customers (updated)
Updated February 20th, 2009
We have been alerted by customer's from several branches that they have received automated calls from a company claiming that their "account had been compromised and their debit card restricted". The message instructs callers to call a toll free number where they are prompted to enter their full card number and other information from the card. The name of the bank is not our bank.
These calls are a scam, and we would like to remind everyone that they should never give their card number to an unsolicited caller, in person or via a recorded message.
Read about similar phone scams below or visit this page to learn how you can help protect yourself.
Updated October 27th, 2008
FNB's Debit Card Risk Office Team was notified of a continued scam involving random calls seeking information on Debit Cards.
Customers at other institutions have received computer-generated calls claiming to be from their financial institution. The calls claim their accounts have been frozen and then direct the cardholder to call a toll-free number to leave their debit card information in order to reactivate any cards. The toll-free number includes a recorded message that asks for the customer to key their account number, card expiration date and PIN.
Cardholder awareness is the key in combating fraud. Should you receive any questionable calls, please contact the bank immediately at the phone number you know to be correct (or from your statement, in the phone book, etc.).
In addition, please keep the following common sense rules in mind...
Make sure you, the cardholder, initiate contact and that an employee of our institution verifies your identity with questions that only you would know.
If you are unsure that a call is legitimate, hang up and call the bank or visit our website, using phone numbers or internet addresses from our bank statements or account documentation or the phone book. Do not call back a number provided over the phone or click a link in an email for any reason.
Most fraudulent communication will include something that will concern or excite the victim.
If you have been the victim of a scam, contact your financial institution first to mitigate the damages, then file a complaint with your local law enforcement agency.
The following information was shared with The First National Bank of Talladega by the Community Bankers Association of Alabama. Due to the proximity of FNB to the Calhoun County area, we are forwarding this information on to the visitors of our website.
"Over the weekend, there was a telephone scam that targeted people of the Calhoun County area. The telephone calls were computer generated calls that were allegedly from Farmers & Merchants Bank. During the calls a computerized voice warns that the recipient's account has been suspended due to suspicious activity. The person is then advised to call another number and is asked for their credit card number, expiration date and PIN. The Caller ID also has shown multiple numbers that the calls supposedly came from. One of the numbers on the Caller ID says Farmers & Merchants Bank with our actual phone number. This scam affected customers and non-customers in every city with a Farmers & Merchants branch (Piedmont, Anniston, Jacksonville and Oxford). Farmers & Merchants Bank in Centre also had customers and non-customers calling them. For more information, contact Greg Rosser at F&M in Centre or Kay Pope with F&M in Piedmont."
The First National Bank would like to remind our customers that we will never contact you and request any type of information including, but not limited to: account numbers, passwords, personal information such as date of birth or tax ID information, credit card or debit card numbers, security codes, PIN numbers, or expiration dates. If this information is ever requested of you via postal mail, e-mail or phone, immediately contact your nearest branch and do not give out any information.
New Phone Scam Targets Local CU
A phone scam very similar to the one above has been reportedly targeting phone numbers in the Talladega County area. The recordings make reference to a local Credit Union and request the 'customer' call another phone number and then are prompted to submit information such as credit or debit card and PIN numbers.
FNB reminds you that we will never contact you and request this information. If you ever receive a call requesting this information, hang up and contact your nearest branch immediately.
|Nationwide Cashier's Check Scam
New Cashier's Check Scam (October 15, 2008)
FNB has been notified that a new scam is currently being run involving cashier's checks appearing to be drawn on The First National Bank of Talladega. Our investigation has concluded that these checks are indeed counterfeit checks.
The checks are accompanied by a letter from Atlantic Lottery Corporation. The letter informs the recipient that a ticket with their lucky numbers was dawn and they have one a cash prize. The letter further informs that the initial check (usually for around just under $5000) is to cover several thousand dollars in taxes and fees. The recipient is instructed to call a "Claims Agent" for further instructions on wiring money to pay the "taxes" via a MoneyGram Wiring Facility.
The enclosed checks to date have had the correct routing number and account number for FNB's cashier's checks, with a blank Pay to the Order Of space, an the name Bill Butler in the remitter space. These checks are counterfeit and will not be paid. FNB does not issue cashier's checks without typing all applicable information on the check.
If you receive one of these checks, contact your local law enforcement and the postal inspectors office. Do not attempt to cash or deposit the check. If you are a Financial Institution and have a customer presenting this check, please call our main office at 256-362-2334.
Cashier's Check Scam
As of March 30th, The First National Bank of Talladega has been contacted by several banks throughout the continental United States concerning an alleged scam involving Shadow Shopper letters and Cashier's Checks drawn on The First National Bank of Talladega. Our investigation has concluded that these checks are indeed counterfeit checks.
If you have received one of these letters and checks, do not attempt to cash or deposit the check. If a fraudulent or counterfeit check is deposited by you and is routed to our bank for payment, it will be returned to the bank of deposit and the individual depositing the funds will be ultimately responsible for any funds drawn on these counterfeit checks. It is strongly recommended that you contact your local law enforcement officials and the U.S. Postal Inspectors office immediately.
The counterfeit checks in question have the FNB logo in blue on a check with a light blue grid pattern background. The Routing Number is the correct routing number for FNB, and should not be used as the only verification that the check is valid. The majority of the checks to date have been in the amount $4,955.00 and are made payable to the individual presenting the check.
If you are a bank and would like to verify if a Cashier's Check on hand is valid, please contact our office at (256) 362-2334.
The check is accompanied by a cover letter detailing instructions for the person to follow as well as a Customer Service Evaluation Tool (CSET) for the person to fill out upon completion of their transaction. A sample of both documents are displayed below.
Investigation of information included with the letter have revealed that there is an actual Shadow Shopper website (www.shadowshopper.com) but efforts to reach their management have been unsuccessful to this point. The email address listed on the CSET form does not match the email address given for www.shadowshopper.com. The email address was actually created on an anonymous mailer system. Efforts to reach their management have been unsuccessful to this point.
As a reminder, it is recommended that people always be on the lookout for these types of scams. In many cases, the individual being preyed upon has the most to lose. It is recommended that you investigate any offer that is too good to be true or offers of large sums of money for very little work. If you are in doubt about the validity of information, or if you receive any type of unexpected check, contact your local bank for assistance. Never, under any circumstances, should you cash or deposit a check given to you by a person or organization you are not associated with or were not expecting money from, especially if instructions with the check advise you to immediately wire or purchase another guaranteed money instrument to be sent to another person or organization.
This information is being released as a public service announcement to individuals and other banks. If you have information or questions concerning one of these counterfeit checks, please use the contact us link at the top of this website.