In addition to physical safety, online security and protection from financial fraud are also important to be aware of as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic as a Village.
As we strive to keep abreast of the latest COVID-19 and related news, scammers are attempting to take advantage of the situation. Due to the increase in scammer activity, Village Bank would like to share the following online safety and financial fraud impact tips to keep you and your finances safe.
General Online Safety
The Federal Trade Commission offers the following tips to help keep the scammers at bay:
- Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. They could download viruses onto your computer or device.
- Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts saying they have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about the Coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
- Ignore online offers for vaccinations. There are currently no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) — online or in stores.
- Do your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding sites. Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it.
In summary, be cautious with emails, keep anti-virus software up-to-date, and be suspicious of charities, products or investment opportunities related to COVID-19.
Financial Impact Fraud
During times like this, we encourage heightened diligence to ward against scammers who may use fear to perpetuate their crimes. As a friendly reminder:
- Never disclose sensitive information such as passwords, credit card numbers, social security numbers, secret words or personal identification numbers (PIN) over the phone, in an email or through a website.
- Village Bank (and other credible financial institutions) will never request our customers to renew or verify information about their accounts through correspondence.
- Be wary of calls, text messages, letters and emails from scammers pretending to be FDIC employees. The scammers falsely claim that banks are limiting access to deposits or that there are security issues with bank deposits. The scammers, along with trying to sow distrust, are also after bank account and other personal information.
- “Customers’ deposits remain safe in these banks, as does customer access to their funds. Banks continue to offer ATM, mobile, or online banking services, and many continue to provide services via drive-through window,” the FDIC said in a statement. Further, the FDIC insures every depositor up to $250,000 in each bank where they hold deposits, making banks a safe and secure place to keep money.
- Take time to visit the EDIE Calculator to check your coverage.
If you suspect you have been a victim of financial fraud, please contact your banker, or to report a lost or stolen debit card after business hours please call 1-800-472-3272.
As always, we are grateful to be part of your Village, and welcome the opportunity to serve you through this challenging time.
Helpful Info about COVID-19