At Sooner State Bank, one
of our responsibilities that we take very seriously is
the safeguarding of your personal and financial
information. Whether you're banking online, by phone or
visiting one of our branches, we are committed to
protecting your personal information. You also have our
commitment to keep you informed about the different
fraud schemes that may arise and threaten your personal
and financial information. Check back occasionally for
The Nigerian Purchase Scam is a new form of fraud taking
victims in the online space. This is becoming widespread
in auction sites and on business' ecommerce websites.
Read more about what the Nigerian
Purchase Scam is and how to protect yourself from
becoming a victim.
Passwords are the keys to your personal information.
There are some
easy steps that
you can take to
from having your personal information compromised.
Phishing is a technique used to gain personal
information for the purposes of Identity Theft, using
fraudulent email messages that appear to come from their
financial institution or legitimate businesses.
More information on Phishing.
you suspect credit card fraud:
If your credit cards are lost or stolen, contact the
issuer(s) immediately. Most credit card companies have
toll-free numbers and 24-hour service to deal with these
emergencies -- they are eager to avoid credit card
According to Federal Regulations, once you have reported
the loss or theft of your credit card, you have no more
responsibility for unauthorized charges. Further, your
maximum liability under federal US law is $50 per
consumer credit card -- and many credit card issuers
will even waive that fee for good customers. Read more
Credit Card Fraud Prevention Tips.
official Checks and Money Orders
Con artists know that consumers trust cashier's checks,
money orders and other official bank checks because the
bank guarantees the funds. That's why con artists are
increasingly counterfeiting official checks, especially
for use when dealing with individuals over the Internet
and face-to-face transactions with large ticket items.
(e.g., someone selling a used car through an ad in the
Another element of the fraud may involve a cashier's
check for more than the amount originally intended. For
example: You're selling a $5,000 item online to a buyer
overseas who offers to pay with a cashier's check from a
bank in the U.S. When the official check arrives it is
for $10,000, and you are instructed to deposit the
$10,000 check into your bank account and wire the excess
amount to the buyer's account abroad. You comply... and
later find out that the cashier's check is not genuine.
Depending on the circumstances and state law, you may be
held responsible for the entire amount of the fraudulent
cashier's check that you deposited into your account.
Using our example, you may need to reimburse the bank
for $10,000, even if its far more money than you have in
Please note, just because
your bank has made the proceeds of an item available to
you, that does not mean that the item cannot be returned
and charged back against your account. If you have any
reason to be suspicious of a check you deposited into
your account, you should contact the bank on which it
was drawn and request confirmation that the item was
paid. You should also alert the manager of your bank to
What can you do to protect yourself? Independently
confirm the name, address, home number and work number
of the purchaser by consulting a phone book, directory
assistance, or an Internet database. Insist on an
official check drawn on a local bank or a bank that has
a local branch, so you can make sure it's valid. If
that's not possible, call the bank where the check was
purchased (get the bank's phone number from directory
assistance or an Internet database, not from the person
who gives you the check) and confirm with the bank that
the check is good. As an alternative, ask
your bank to inquire about the check.
Skimming is the practice of stealing ATM,
Debit/Check Card and Credit Card account numbers off the
card's magnetic strip by swiping it through a portable
card swipe. It is a small, inexpensive device that is
inserted into an ATM, ready to swipe the information
from an unsuspecting customer. In addition, a camera is
usually present to capture the keystrokes used to enter
the password. With this information, the thieves can
easily create a duplicate card and get into the account.
What can you do?
Don't write the
Cover the keypad
while you enter the number
give the PIN number out to anyone
where the security cameras are located. While many
ATM have cameras, they won't be positioned to record
to any offers of 'help' with your ATM transaction.
suspicious of a machine that has signage indicating
you should use a specific machine.
a different machine if you feel uncomfortable about
the ATM instructions
anything that seems suspicious or strange about the
ATM machine to your financial institution.
immediately at 1-800-724-2440 to any suspicious
activity around an M&T ATM. This could include
anyone who offers to help you, tries to look over
your shoulder or is taking pictures in the area.
at 1-800-724-2440 right away if your card is
retained by the machine.
the lookout for fraudulent withdrawals on your
monthly statement and real time through Web Banking.
Emails Seek to Capture Consumer Information
You should be aware of "Spam" emails that appear to come
from familiar companies. The exact scam may vary, but
the objective always is to gather information. The email
will claim there may be a problem with your account or
an order has been mistakenly placed and you need to
cancel that order. You are asked to submit personal,
financial and even password information to a website.
This type of activity is often referred to as
Through the use of a familiar looking web page or email
address. Sooner State Bank will never ask you to
reveal account numbers, passwords, User Ids or PINs. If
you are unsure of any email correspondence, call Sooner
Consumers have reported to the Federal Trade Commission
(FTC) receiving requests from foreign nationals politely
promising big profits in exchange for help in moving
large sums of money out of their country. In the event
you should receive such an offer, the FTC suggests you
stop and ask yourself two important questions: why would
a perfect stranger pick you - also a perfect stranger -
to share in a financial fortune; and why should you
share your personal or business information, including
your bank account numbers or your company letterhead,
with someone you don't know? If you receive such a
request via email from someone claiming to need your
help in getting money out of Nigeria, or any other
country - forward that information directly to the FTC
The Federal Trade Commission reports instances of
consumers receiving calls from companies offering to
register consumers for the national "Do Not Call"
database. Calls have also been made requesting
confirmation of "Do Not Call" registrations. Please keep
in mind that the FTC does not allow private companies or
other third party entities to "register" consumers or
confirm information for the "Do Not Call" registry.
Websites or phone solicitors that make such claims -
especially those who charge a fee - are not legitimate.
Registration on the new national "Do Not Call" registry
is free. The FTC reminds us that once a consumer enrolls
in the "Do Not Call" registry, there are no confirmation
calls or any other requests for personal information.
Pretexting is the practice of getting your personal
information under false pretenses; including fraudulent
statements and impersonation. It is also known as social
engineering. Pretexters sell your information to
individuals, who use it for illegitimate purposes, such
as establishing an account in your name, steal your
assets, or to investigate or sue you. Pretexting is
against the law.
Pretexters use a variety of tactics to get your personal
information. For example, a pretexter may call claiming
to be a survey firm representative, needing to ask you a
few questions. Pretexting can lead to "identity theft."
Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal
information to open new charge accounts, order
merchandise, or borrow money.
If you think you've been a victim of pretexting, contact
the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP.
Are You A
Target Of...Telephone Scams?
If you're age 60 or older, you may be a special target
for people who sell bogus products and services by
phone. It's easy enough to fall prey to their sales
pitches. Telemarketing fraud is a multi-billion dollar
business in the United States. Every year, thousands of
consumers lose anywhere from a few dollars to their life
savings to telephone con artists. That's why the Federal
Trade Commission (FTC) encourages you to be skeptical
when you hear a phone solicitation and to be aware of
the Telemarketing Sales Rule that requires telemarketers
to make certain disclosures and prohibits
misrepresentations. They give you the power to stop
unwanted telemarketing calls and provides state law
enforcement officers the authority to prosecute
fraudulent telemarketers who operate across state lines.
For more information on the Telemarketing Sales Rule,