I would like to take this opportunity to inform our Spring Arbor Township residents to be aware of some fraudulent activities/scam activity that has resurged in our township.
A caller contacting you to inform you that a family member or friend has been; involved in an accident and needs money for medical attention, been arrested and needs money for an attorney, a judicial court notifying you of a warrant for your arrest and need money to cancel the warrant, a police department calling to threaten you with arrest if a money is not sent to them for an arrest warrant they have, IRS call indicating you need to pay your taxes or be arrested.
These type of incident will usually ask for you to send “cash” through the USPS or other delivery service. NO legitimate organization will conduct business in this manner. The scammer is good at what they do and in advertently gets you to release information about your family member or friend to give you the impression that the call is legitimate. Never release any personal information over the phone on an “unsolicited” phone call you are receiving about you, family or neighbors.
If you are unsure of the call, get ahold of the family member or friend or call the organization involved by looking up the information on line or through information, DO NOT accept the phone number given to you by the caller, to verify the person’s identity calling you and the circumstances.
Sweepstakes entries with call back numbers can be checked by going to the Better Business Bureau site or Googling the Sweepstakes promotor, financial institution and phone numbers in the document. Usually there is already a scam alert for the promotor, financial institution or any of the numbers on the entry form. The entry forms created can be very convincing with recognizable logos from legitimate financial institutions and promotions but have fictitious addresses and phone numbers or are legitimate addresses and phone numbers but ask you to mail the money to yet another address not associated with the entry form.
These type of incidents will usually ask for money to pay taxes on your “winnings” or registration fees to enter, usually cash or by check with your account number. Legitimate sweepstakes do not ask for money up front to pay taxes, obviously the taxes are paid out of your winnings should you be so lucky.
Remember if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
- Computer/ cell phones/Ipads etc.:
Be skeptical of promotions/offers over the internet or accepting computer/software maintenance suggestions, especially when the company wants to have remote access to your device. Once the scammer has remote access to your device, any of your on-line banking information from that particular device becomes vulnerable.
As a Spring Arbor Township resident you are more than welcome to contact me in person, leave me a voice mail or bring any documentation you receive via USPS/internet or any other delivery service by my office for review. I ask you to please do not take the incidents mentioned at face value. If it is situation that needs immediate response contact 911 and a police car will be sent to your home.
Chief Howard Keith Noppe
Scam Alert From Independent Bank
At Independent Bank, we strive to keep you aware of the latest information to help keep your personal and financial information secure. Please continue reading to learn about the most recent scam that has come to our attention.
Scammers are impersonating financial institutions to trick victims into thinking that they are speaking with a Customer Service Representative. They are then asking for personal data and using it to access victims’ Online Banking accounts.
What you need to know:
- Scammers claiming to be from Independent Bank may call or text saying there is a fraud alert regarding suspicious account activity that they need to confirm with you.
- In most cases, they are fraudulent “pending charges” to make it seem legitimate. They may also claim that unauthorized access to your Online Banking has occurred and they need to help secure it.
- During the call, the scammer may ask you to provide your Online Banking user ID, password, answers to your Online Banking security challenge questions, or for the one-time authorization code (OTP) that was sent to your phone via text message. They may even ask you to sign into your Online Banking account to confirm a recent charge or credit/refund. Do not ever give personal information over the phone.
- Independent Bank does make outbound calls to our customers, however, when we call we will NOT ask you to provide or verify the following:
- Full Social Security Number
- Your One-Time Passcode (received via text message or email)
- Online Banking User ID
- Online Banking Password
- Answers to Online Banking Security Challenge Questions
- When logging into Online Banking, you may receive a One-Time Security Code, to verify your account. We will never ask for those codes over the phone.
Scammers are using this information to reset credentials and log into your Online Banking account. Independent Bank does send emails regarding changes to your account, such as user ID and password changes. If you receive an email from Independent Bank regarding these changes that you DID NOT initiate, please call us immediately at 800.355.0641.
What to do:
- If you receive a call requesting any of the information above,IMMEDIATELY hang up and call us at 800.355.0641.
- If you receive a suspicious call like this, begin to review your banking accounts daily. Account alerts can be set up in Online Banking to monitor your account balance and transactions.
- If you discover a fraudulent transaction on your Independent Bank account, IMMEDIATELY contact us at 800.355.0641.
At Independent Bank, we work to keep your accounts safe and secure, whether you’re accessing them online, through your mobile device, through an ATM, or in one of our branches.
For questions or concerns, please contact Customer Service at 800.355.0641 Monday-Friday, 8 am-8 pm (ET) or Saturday-Sunday, 8 am-6 pm (ET).