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FRAUD NEWS

American Bank of Commerce is committed to preventing fraud and identity theft. 
Visit this page for updates on recent types of fraud and identity theft.

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July 6, 2012: The Better Business Bureau Issues a Nationwide Scam Warning

A new scam is sweeping the nation by claiming that President Obama will pay your utility bills through a new federal program.

How the Scam Works:

Consumers have been contacted in person and through fliers, social media and text messages with claims that President Obama is providing credits or applying payments to utility bills.

To receive the money, scammers claim they need the consumers' social security and bank routing numbers. In return, customers are given a phony bank routing number that will supposedly pay their utility bills. In reality, there is no money, and customers believe they have paid their bills when in fact they have not.

Tips to Avoid Falling for this Scam:

  • Never provide your social security number, credit card number or banking information to anyone requesting it over the phone or at your home unless you initiated the contact and feel confident with whom you are speaking.
  • If you receive a call claiming to be your utility company and feel pressured for immediate payment or personal information, hang up the phone and call the customer service number on your utility bill.
  • Never allow anyone into your home to check electrical wiring, natural gas pipes or appliances unless you have scheduled an appointment or have reported a utility problem. Also, ask utility employees for proper identification.
  • Always think safety first. Do not give in to high pressure tactics over the phone for information or in person to get into your home.

For more information about scams in your area, check out BBB's complete scam directory.


Most Recent Press Releases From the Internet Crimes Complaint Center (IC3)

The IC3 was established as a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) to serve as a means to receive Internet related criminal complaints and to further research, develop, and refer the criminal complaints to federal, state, local, or international law enforcement and/or regulatory agencies for any investigation they deem to be appropriate. The IC3 was intended, and continues to emphasize, serving the broader law enforcement community to include federal, as well as state, local, and international agencies, which are combating Internet crime and, in many cases, participating in Cyber Crime Task Forces.

Click here to view the most recent IC3 press releases
October 24, 2011:  Counterfeit checks being issued bearing the name of American Bank of Commerce as the paying bank.

American Bank of Commerce has received several calls regarding checks being issued through Craigslist ads.   The checks bear the name of American Bank of Commerce as the paying bank, contain a fictitious account number, and a fictitious customer name “Triple D Construction Inc". These checks appear to be part of a “Check Overpayment Scam” and are COUNTERFEIT.  
 
“Check overpayment” scams target consumers selling cars or other valuable items through classified ads or online auction sites. Unsuspecting sellers get stuck with a big loss when scammers pass off bogus cashier’s checks, corporate checks, or personal checks. The Federal Trade Commission has issued a new consumer alert, “Check Overpayment Scams: Seller Beware,” that explains this scam and offers consumers tips on how to protect themselves and their pocketbooks.
According to the FTC, a check overpayment scam begins when a scam artist replies to the classified ad or auction posting and offers to purchase the item for sale with a check, then comes up with a reason for writing the check for more than the purchase price for the item. The scammer asks the consumer to wire back the difference after the check is deposited. Later, the scammer’s check bounces, leaving the consumer liable for the entire amount. The FTC says the scam is able to progress because, though the checks are counterfeit, they may look good enough to fool bank tellers.
The FTC gives the following tips to avoid check overpayment scams:
o     Know who you are dealing with – independently confirm your buyer’s name, street address, and telephone number.
o     Never accept a check for more than your selling price.
o     Never agree to wire back funds to a buyer – a legitimate buyer will not pressure you to do so, and you have limited recourse if there is a problem with a wire transfer.
o     Resist pressure to “act now.” If the buyer’s offer is good now, it should be good when the check clears.
o     If you accept payment by check, ask for a check drawn on a local bank or a bank with a local branch. You can visit that bank branch to determine if the check is legitimate.
o     Consider an alternative method of payment, such as an escrow service or online payment service. If the buyer wants to use a service you have not heard of, be sure to check it out to be sure it is reliable – check its Web site, call its customer service hotline, and read its terms of agreement and privacy policy. If you do not feel comfortable with the service, do not use it.
 
The FTC’s alert is available at www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt014.shtm. Consumers who have been victims of check overpayment scams should file a complaint with the FTC at www.ftc.gov. For more information on buying or selling goods on Internet auction sites, visit www.onguardonline.gov/topics/online-shopping.aspx.

September 15, 2011:  E-mail Claiming to be From the FDIC

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has received numerous reports of a fraudulent e-mail that has the appearance of being sent from the FDIC.

The e-mails appear to be sent from various "@fdic.gov" e-mail addresses, such as "insurance@fdic.gov," "subscriptions@fdic.gov," "alert@fdic.gov," or accounts@fdic.gov.

The e-mails have subject lines, such as: "FDIC: Your business account;" "FDIC: About your business account;" "Insurance coverage of your business account;" or something similar.

The e-mails are addressed to "Dear Business Owner," and state, "We have important news regarding your bank." They then ask recipients to "Please click here to find details." They conclude with, "This includes information on the acquiring bank (if applicable), how your accounts and loans are affected, and how vendors can file claims against the receivership."

This e-mail and link are fraudulent. Recipients should consider the intent of this e-mail as an attempt to collect personal or confidential information, or to load malicious software onto end users' computers. Recipients should not click on the link provided.

The FDIC does not issue unsolicited e-mails to consumers or business account holders.
September 2, 2011:  Fraudulent Emails Appearing to Come from NACHA.

Further to previous notices since February 2011, NACHA has been the victim of sustained and evolving phishing attacks in which consumers and businesses are receiving emails that appear to come from NACHA. The attacks are occurring with greater frequency and increased sophistication. Perpetrators are sending these fraudulent messages to email addresses globally.

Click here for more information
August 9, 2011:  FBI Officials Continue to be the Target of Spam E-mail

Various government agencies and high ranking government officials have been the target of previous spam attacks. In their attempts to lure victims, criminals continue to explore new avenues to obtain their goal.

A new version of the spam e-mail uses the names of FBI officials along with the names of specific units within the FBI. The e-mail alerts the recipient that two "Trunk Boxes" containing a large sum of money were intercepted at an international airport. The funds are allegedly from the Office of the Ministry of Finance, Federal Government of Nigeria.

The boxes contain documents bearing the recipient's name as the owner of the funds. The fraudsters advise an additional document called the "Diplomatic Immunity Seal of Delivery" is needed to protect the recipient from violating the Patriot Act. The recipient is required to contact the fraudsters, via email, for instructions to obtain the document. The fraudsters further inform the recipient of the consequences if they fail to comply and are told not to contact any bank in Africa, or any other institution.

Do not respond. These e-mails are a hoax.

Neither government agencies nor government officials send unsolicited e-mail to consumers. United States government agencies use the legal process to contact individuals.

Consumers should not respond to any unsolicited e-mails or click on an embedded link associated with such e-mails, as they may contain viruses or malware.