Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

President, CEO of 1st Bethany Bank: Consumers Should Be Clever about Their Finances - ID Thieves Are

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

President, CEO of 1st Bethany Bank: Consumers Should Be Clever about Their Finances - ID Thieves Are

Article excerpt

From Canadian "lotteries" to "vishing," identity thieves are coming up with more and more sophisticated ways of getting their hands on your identity - and your money.

The financial and legal problems that can result make it more important than ever to ride herd on your bank and credit accounts, and opt out if a business's privacy policy is to give out your data to others, said Jane Haskin, president and chief executive officer of First Bethany Bank and Trust Co.

Haskin, who is also a certified public accountant, said one of the latest scams some of her bank's customers are running into is a letter informing them that they have won a lottery prize.

"They usually come out of Canada," she said.

All the recipient has to do, she said, is wire a couple thousand dollars to a bank, in order to release their prize.

Haskin said a clever twist on that one involves customers receiving a letter accompanied by a check for, say, $5,000 as prepayment for money they've won. They are told to cash the check, but send $4,000 back to pay taxes on their winnings.

"The check obviously comes back because it's fraudulent," she said.

Haskin said it is far more difficult to catch and recoup money from thieves in other countries.

"Usually, the people do end up losing their money," she said.

Haskin said another scam is an e-mail that looks like it is from the Internal Revenue Service, asking people to send information to verify their records.

"It looked very official," she said. "But it was just people trying to gather information."

Haskin said people are also receiving e-mails that look like they come from a real bank, when they really direct responses to an ID theft site.

"Your personal information, if someone wants that, you should get a name and a number and call that number back to make sure that it's legitimate, or call your local branch," she said. "That's the best thing to do. Call someone that you actually know."

Often, Haskin said, call-back numbers or verification numbers on so-called checks direct people to the scammers themselves.

"These people are very creative," she said. "They keep up with the technology."

Buy a cross-cut shredder, Haskin recommended, to dispose of credit card offers and any other mail that could lead ID thieves your way. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.