Community & Bank News
Beshear: Mobile Deposit Scam Leaves Victims Repaying the Bank
Frankfort County resident lost $10,000 to counterfeit bank loan
FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 27, 2018) – A new scam warning was issued by Attorney General Andy Beshear today after a mobile deposit scam left a Franklin County resident with a $10,000 bank tab.
Beshear said reports from legitimate local banks and Kentuckians indicate scammers are succeeding in their efforts to put a new twist on the old counterfeit check scam.
“Falling victim to a counterfeit mobile deposit scam often results in the scammer getting away with the money and the victim repaying the bank,” said Beshear. “Before making or approving a bank deposit from an unverified source we recommend Kentuckians first confirm with a valid bank that it is not a scam.”
The latest scam report includes a victim who provided her online bank account information to what appeared to be a legitimate banking institution to deposit a $10,000 personal loan. Shortly after, the “lender” claimed there was an issue and that the money must be returned and reissued. After sending the money back using an untraceable method of payment, the victim’s bank detected that the loan check was counterfeit and the victim was stuck repaying the bank.
Beshear said Kentuckians must be even more vigilant about protecting their online banking information as banking technology advances. The Office of the Attorney General offers the following tips to help Kentuckians avoid banking related scams:
Know your responsibilities.
Until the bank confirms that the funds from a check, including cashier, business or personal checks or a money order, you deposited have cleared you are responsible for any funds you withdraw against that check. Even if the funds appear to be immediately available, that does not mean the check is good.
Verify checks and loans before depositing.
Ask for a check to be drawn on a local bank or a bank with a local branch so you can visit to make sure the check is valid. If you are unable to personally visit the bank where the check was purchased, independently verify the bank’s phone number and call to verify.
Never use untraceable methods of payment.
If you are asked to wire money or use untraceable methods of payment, it is most likely a scam.
Secure your online bank information.
Be wary of ever disclosing your banking username and password. Take advantage of security measures your bank may offer, like dual security checks and fraud alerts, to protect your account from scams. If you mistakenly provide your account number, password or PIN in an email or text or on a website that might be fraudulent, call your bank right away.
To report scams or identity theft to the Office of the Attorney General fill out the online consumer complaint form. For additional information from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on how to avoid fake check scams, visit the FTC website.
Beshear recommends all Kentuckians stay ahead of scammers by signing up for his office’s Scam Alerts. To enroll text the words KYOAG Scam to GOV-311 (468-311) or online at ag.ky.gov/scams and select text message or email alert.
The number of debit cards compromised at ATMs, merchants and restaurants in the U.S. rose by 10 percent last year, according to newly released information from Fair Isaac Corp., or FICO.
Swiping your plastic presents an inherent risk. ATMs and card payment terminals in stores and restaurants can be rigged by criminals trying to steal card numbers. T.J. Horan, vice president of fraud solutions at FICO, says: “The number of compromises and the number of card members impacted set a new record last year. While most devices are safe, fraudsters are developing new technology and methods for hacking ATMs.”
If you can’t prevent debit card fraud by abandoning your card, monitor your bank account closely. Watch for transactions you don’t recognize. That way, if your card is compromised and someone makes fraudulent charges using your card numbers, you’ll at least know about it early on. United Bank offers alerts through online banking so you can receive automated email or text message notifications of the types of transactions you choose.
Some hackers have figured out how to outsmart credit cards with EMV chip technology. Here's how to safeguard your cards – and your money. The tiny computer chips embedded in the front of credit and debit cards are designed to make the cards less vulnerable to fraud compared with cards that have only a magnetic strip on the back. But that doesn’t mean chip cards are invulnerable.
CBS New York reports that it appears some thieves have found ways around the microchip, sometimes called an EMV (Eurocard, MasterCard, Visa) chip. One consumer tells the news outlet that she discovered five “suspicious” transactions totaling about $2,300 on her chip card. Another consumer discovered a $200 withdrawal from an ATM in another city that she did not make.
According to CBS New York: “It only takes small modifications to skimming devices to bypass the chip and enable unauthorized uses of these cards, just like with the magnetic cards.”
So what’s a consumer to do when even the latest and greatest payment technologies show vulnerabilities?
Monitor all cards closely. You should report problems as soon as they discover them. That means you must regularly monitor activity on all of your debit (and credit) cards — regardless of what type of technology they feature. Develop a routine that affords you time to log into your bank and credit card accounts online regularly, ideally daily. It should take no more than a few minutes to skim the latest charges for anything suspicious.
Information for this news item was excerpted from MoneyTalksNews.com
United Bank participating in the Highway Clean Up Day
Fort Thomas, Kentucky – United Bank & Capital Trust Company (the “Bank”) will be participating in the Adopt-A-Highway program for 2018. Saturday, April 7th, 2018 will be their inaugural work day.
The Adopt-A-Highway program is a promotional campaign undertaken by U.S. states, provinces and territories of Canada to encourage volunteers to keep a section of a highway free from litter. United Bank has adopted a portion of Memorial Parkway and will be responsible for the upkeep four times a year.
Employees of United Bank’s Newport, Alexandria, Fort Thomas and Highland Heights branches, plus their spouses, children and grandchildren will be picking up trash and debris for 2 miles from Waterworks to River Road along Fort Thomas Avenue. Highland Heights Branch Manager Megan Volski states, “We are excited about the opportunity to adopt one of our busy roads. Our employees live here and work here; we’re proud of our communities and want to help make Northern Kentucky beautiful.”
United Bank & Capital Trust Company Raises Awareness for National Consumer Protection Week
Frankfort, KY – Nearly three decades after the internet was introduced, the web continues to transform the lives of many users, revolutionizing the way consumers shop, pay bills, and transfer money online. As these advancements make common tasks hassle-free, consumers are urged to take extra precautions, allowing them to navigate the web safely and avoid online crime.
“Banks are constantly innovating to make it easier for customers to manage their money online,” said Elizabeth Hardy, Senior Vice President, Retail Delivery and Remote Banking. “At the same time, we’re always looking for ways to help customers combat cyber threats.”
In recognition of National Consumer Protection Week March 4-10, United Bank & Capital Trust Company is offering these tips to help users safeguard their personal information and navigate the web safely:
- Keep your computers and mobile devices up to date. Having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats. Turn on automatic updates so you receive the newest fixes as they become available.
- Set strong passwords. A strong password is at least eight characters in length and includes a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
- Watch out for phishing scams. Phishing scams use fraudulent emails and websites to trick users into disclosing private account or login information. Do not click on links or open any attachments or pop-up screens from unfamiliar sources.
- Forward phishing emails to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at email@example.com – and to the company, bank or organization impersonated in the email.
- Keep personal information personal. Hackers can use social media profiles to figure out your passwords and answer those security questions in the password reset tools. Lock down your privacy settings and avoid posting things like birthdays, addresses, mother’s maiden name, etc. Be wary of requests to connect from people you do not know.
- Secure your internet connection. Always protect your home wireless network with a password. When connecting to public Wi-Fi networks, be cautious about what information you are sending over it. Consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) app to secure and encrypt your communications when connecting to a public Wi-Fi network. (See the Federal Trade Commission’s tips for selecting a VPN app.)
- Be careful in the cloud. While using the cloud makes it easier to store and share large amounts of files, understand that it also opens other avenues for attack.
- Shop safely. Before shopping online, make sure the website uses secure technology. When you are at the checkout screen, verify that the web address begins with https. Also, check to see if a tiny locked padlock symbol appears on the page.
- Read the site’s privacy policies. Though long and complex, privacy policies tell you how the site protects the personal information it collects.
- Report any suspected fraud to your bank immediately.
NCCIC/US-CERT encourages taxpayers to review the IC3 Alert and read the Tips on Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks for more information. If you believe you have been a victim of a phishing campaign, report it to IC3 at www.ic3.gov
Fraudsters and thieves often use tax-related phishing emails to get victims to provide personally identifiable information, click on a malicious link, or pay a ransom. They will send out bogus messages that appear to be from a company or government agency you may or may not do business with. These messages will attempt to convince you to either click on a link or call a number in order to get you to reveal information that can be used to steal your identity and/or access your accounts. Phishing messages may come through email, instant messages, and even text messages. The best steps to take if you believe a message may be legitimate is contact the company using contact information that you know is valid, such as a number from the phone book or by typing the company’s web address into your browser's address bar.
United Bank Celebrates National Family Caregiver Day
Frankfort, KY - According to the Caregiver Action Network, more than 90 million Americans care for a loved one living with a disability, disease or experiencing reduced financial capability as a result of aging. Financial caregivers, such as those with a power of attorney, trustee or a federal benefits fiduciary, play an important role in ensuring that all finances -- from routine to complex -- are managed wisely, helping their loved ones maintain the best quality of life possible. In recognition of National Family Caregiver Day, United Bank is helping financial caregivers better understand their role.
“Millions of Americans are designated to provide financial care to their loved ones,” said Rickey Harp, Executive Vice President, Chief Trust Officer. “As a financial caregiver, it is extremely important that you stay up to date on any changes in laws and regulations that may impact your role as a fiduciary and your ability to take care of your senior.”
United Bank is offering the following tips to help individuals understand their role as financial caregivers:
- Learn the rights and restrictions that apply to your role. Financial caregivers, such as those with a power of attorney, trustees, and federal benefits fiduciaries, are fiduciaries with a duty to act and make decisions on their loved one’s behalf. Learn the legal responsibilities of your assigned authority in order to better execute your role.
- Manage money and other assets wisely. Financial caregivers may be in charge of daily, unexpected and future expense their loved one may incur. Especially if the beneficiary has a fixed income or limited finances, it is extremely important that caregivers minimize unnecessary costs and budget accordingly to ensure that all money is properly allocated.
- Recognize danger signs. Seniors have become major targets for financial abuse and fraud. Make sure to stay alert to signs of scams or identity theft that may put your loved one’s assets in peril.
- Keep careful records. When acting as a financial agent, proper documentation is not only encouraged but required. Make sure you keep well-organized financial records, including up-to date lists of assets and debts and a streamline of all financial transactions.
- Stay informed. Monitor changes in financial status of the beneficiary and take appropriate action, as needed. Also, be sure to stay up to date on changes in the laws affecting seniors.
- Seek professional advice. Consult a banker or other professional advisors when you’re not sure what to do.
In addition, United Bank is providing an explanation of the various roles and responsibilities of three types of financial caregivers: power of attorney, trustee and federal fiduciary.
Understanding your role as a power of attorney.
POA is designated by your loved one and gives you the authority to act and make decisions on their behalf, including managing and having access to their bank and other financial accounts. Authority continues if loved one becomes incapacitated and ends when power is revoked or loved one dies.
Understanding your role as a trustee.
Authority is given once you are named as trustee or co-trustee of a revocable living trust. As a trustee your authority applies only to the property noted in the trust, authorizing you to protect, manage and distribute the trust’s assets as directed in the trust document. Authority may continue after the death of the trust creator or grantor.
Understanding your role as a federal benefits fiduciary.
A federal benefits fiduciary is appointed to accept and delegate federal government benefit payments, such as Social Security and Veterans Affairs benefits, in the beneficiary’s best interest. Funds for the beneficiary are received through an account set up solely for this purpose. As a representative payee for Social Security benefits or a VA fiduciary for VA benefits, you are required to keep detailed records of all transactions related to the beneficiary and file annual reports detailing how benefits were used.
To learn more information about National Family Caregiver Day and your role as a financial caregiver, visit www.caregiveraction.org.