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Are you protecting your money?

September 26, 2019

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You may buy and sell things online. You may mail checks from your mailbox. If you do, this is for you! We want to make sure you’re doing everything possible to keep yourself, your loved ones, and your money safe. Here are some things to be on the lookout for:

Check Overpayment Scams

These scams use online auction sites to target unsuspecting sellers. Let’s say you post an item for sale on a site. The buyer contacts you and offers to pay with a bank check. They send the check to you for more than the agreed upon price and ask you to deposit the check and send the extra money back to them in a money order or gift cards. Then, the check comes back as fraudulent and you are liable for the entire amount. Remember – no legitimate buyer is going to pay you MORE than you asked for. Stay watchful and follow your instinct if something doesn’t seem right.

Mail Fraud

Scammers often target mailboxes with their flags up looking for checks. They then “wash” the checks (changing names and amounts) and cash them. Our tellers are trained to watch for these checks, but sometimes thieves are so good it is very hard to identify the washed checks. When you have to mail a check, make sure you are mailing it in a designated, locked Post Office mailbox. Always avoid mailing checks from unsecured mailboxes near your home. There are alternative options to mailing checks including online bill pay provided by your bank.

Proactive Steps to Take

In addition to being aware of potential scams, it’s important that you always keep your bank up to date with your current cell phone number and email address. If there’s ever a situation that you need to be contacted to confirm details of a check you’ve written or suspicious activity on your debit card, your bank needs to get in touch with you as soon as possible. It’s good practice to confirm your contact information on an annual basis.

Your bank works hard to protect your money and keep it safe. Please be aware and always ask questions if something doesn’t feel right.

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