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Bank scam targets local residents

Farmers State Bank would like to make the community aware of recent e-mail phishing and phone scams that have circulated within the local area. The individuals that send out the e-mails copy financial institution logos and imitated the look and feel of genuine messages and Web sites to try and persuade recipients that the e-mails or phone calls were authentic. Scammers may even pose as government agencies such as the Social Security Administration, the IRS or the FDIC.A “phishing” scam is defined as a fraud method in which the perpetrator sends out legitimate-looking e-mails requesting a customer to either call a phone number or click on a link to a Web site in an attempt to gather personal and financial information from recipients.In both the e-mail and phone scams, the scammers send automated messages stating they are from your local financial institution. The message then states that your account has been locked and that you must call a toll free number or click on a link to a fake, but realistic looking Web site to unlock your account. Once the phone number is called, the caller is then asked to enter the debit/credit card number, the card’s expiration date and the pin number associated with the card. Once the thieves obtain these three items of information from you, they have the ability to create fake cards and gain unauthorized access to your account.Farmers State Bank asks anyone who responded to these scams to contact their financial institution.Your bank or credit union, credit card company and the FDIC would never contact customers for personal information. Assume any such unsolicited request – by phone, fax or e-mail – is fraudulent. Also, don’t rely on a phone number provided in an unsolicited call, e-mail or fax. Any time you want to call your bank or credit union, credit card company, government agency or other organization regarding matters involving personal or financial information, use the phone number provided in the phone book or another resource you trust – not the number listed in a voice-mail message, e-mail or fax.Another fraud to beware of involves faxes. Recently, the FDIC uncovered a scam in which fake FDIC notices were faxed to businesses and consumers in an attempt to collect confidential information.

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