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Fraud Alert

Beware of these scams.

Learn more about Safe Banking Tips.
 

March 30, 2020 - Fraud in the wake of COVID-19

10 Tips to stay safe.

Protect your identity and stay safe online.

Cyber criminals may use the current events to trick people into revealing sensitive information online. Stay informed and stay vigilant. Here are some common scams to watch for.

  1. Watch out for phishing scams.
    Phishing scams include fraudulent emails, texts, phone calls and websites to trick recipients into sharing private account or login information. Never click on links or open attachments from unknown sources, and NEVER give your password, account number or PIN to anyone.
  2. Ignore offers for a COVID-19 vaccine, cure or treatment.
    Fake test kits. Vaccines. Cures for COVID-19. Beware. Scammers are impersonating health organizations and businesses to take advantage of the fears associated with this pandemic. Be wary of any offers like these. If there is a medical breakthrough, it is unlikely to be reported through unsolicited emails or online ads.
  3. Rely on official sources for the most up-to-date information on COVID-19.
    Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization and your state’s health department websites to keep track of the latest developments.
  4. Remember the Bank is the safest place for your money.
    Money deposited at a chartered bank is insured by the FDIC. Your personal safety is at risk, as well as loss of these assets, when you hold large amounts of cash or cashier’s checks.
  5. Do some research before making a donation.
    Scammers often seek donations for illegitimate or non-existent organizations. Do your research before making a charitable donation. Be wary of any business, charity or individual requesting COVID-19-related payments or donations in cash, by wire transfer, gift card or through the mail.
  6. Keep your computers and mobile devices up to date.
    So you receive the newest available fixes, turn on automatic updates for your mobile devices and computer to have the best defense against the online threats from scammers. Having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system is the best defenses against viruses, malware and other online threats.
  7. Recognize and avoid bogus website links.
    Cybercriminals are clever. They often replicate a trusted website and embed malicious links to download malware onto devices or route users to bogus websites. Hover over suspicious links to view the actual URL that you are being routed to. Fraudulent links can be disguised by simple changes in the URL.
  8. Enable multi-factor authentication in security settings.
    Multi-factor authentication, or MFA, is a second step to verify who you are, like a text with a code, which adds another level of security to your online accounts.
  9. Watch out for investment scams.
    Before you make any investments, remember that there is a high potential for fraud right now. Be skeptical of any company claiming the ability to cure or prevent the coronavirus. If in doubt, ask an established investment advisor. If you do not have one, reach out to your community bank.
  10. Beware of stimulus check or economic relief scams.
    The government is offering assistance programs to help alleviate the economic impact of COVID-19. The government will NOT charge you a fee to receive funds.
Help others by reporting coronavirus scams.
Visit the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov to report suspected or confirmed scams. You can also stay up-to-date on the latest scams by visiting the FTC’s coronavirus page at ftc.gov/coronavirus.

For more information on fraud related to COVID-19, please visit:https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2020/03/06/defending-against-covid-19-cyber-scams

To review our safe banking tips, please visit: Safe Banking Tips

   

March 26, 2020 - Consumer Alert Following Reports of Federal Stimulus Scams 

DEPARTMENT OF ATTORNEY GENERAL
AG/ NEWS 

Ml Attorney General Dana Nessel Issues Urgent 
Consumer Alert Following Reports of Federal Stimulus Scams 
Contact: Ryan Jarvi 517-599-2746 
Agency: Attorney General 

LANSING - Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel today issued an urgent consumer alert urging Michiganders to be on high alert for bad actors aiming to coerce them out of their personal information in a new federal stimulus payment scam. 
Scammers are using the news that the federal government will send one-time payments to millions of people across the country as part of the federal economic relief response to COVID-19 to steal personal information. 

The Michigan Department of Attorney General has already received reports that residents are getting emails from websites appearing to be official demanding that they provide PayPal, bank account or other financial information to receive the $1,200 federal stimulus payment immediately. 
The Attorney General's office is reminding anyone who receives a text, email or phone call from someone claiming to be from the government with a check for them - DO NOT FALL FOR IT. These fake phishing scams will likely ask for a person's bank account information and insist $1,000 or more will be deposited directly into his or her bank account. 

Personal information should not be given to anyone unless the provider of that information is absolutely certain of the identity of the person requesting it. 
For the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding the federal stimulus payment and specific disbursement details, only visit the IRS website.


  

January 2020 - Never give out your passwords or PIN via phone or text. 

Scammers are sending fake texts and making fraudulent phone calls posing as Macatawa Bank and other local financial institutions claiming there has been fraud on an account. Macatawa Bank has not experienced any data breaches. The scammers may say they have your personal information and ask you to verify it, giving you a false sense of security. Remember Macatawa Bank will never ask you for passwords or your ATM PIN. Never give that information out. The call or text might say:   “ATTENTION. Fraudulent activity has been detected on your account. Act Now.”  These calls and texts can be very convincing.

Here is how to avoid falling victim to this scam:

Verify the issue
Do not trust a phone number provided to you in a phone call or text. Look up the bank’s phone number online or on your statement and call us directly to verify if there is an issue. Log into your online banking account so see for yourself if any fraudulent activity has occurred on your account.

Never give out personal information
We will NEVER ask you for your password or PIN.

Be cautious of links sent via text
Scammers might send a fraudulent text message that looks like it’s from Macatawa Bank. They might ask you to enter your account information. If you enter it, the scammers then have access to your accounts online. Do not trust links texted to you.

If you think you have fallen victim to this scam, call our Customer Care team at (877) 820-2265.

Sept 2018 - Scammers pose as MasterCard® to gain debit card information.

Scammers are calling consumers posing as MasterCard, claiming that MasterCard has blocked their debit card due to fraud and asking consumers to push 1 for their Security Department. When the consumer pushes 1, they are prompted to input their Debit Card number. A legitimate fraud alert phone call would never require you to enter your Debit Card number. If you have fallen prey to this scam please contact our Customer Experience team by calling 877-820-2265 so they can close your card and order you a new one to prevent fraudulent charges to your account.
   

Sept 2018 - Scammers have been targeting Instagram to recruit victims.

What is happening? Scammers are making large deposits to Instagram account users' bank accounts. The check appears to be from a reputable company. The consumers are then withdrawing funds from their bank accounts. When the check is found to be fraudulent the consumer must repay the funds.

  • When something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be cautious. Trust your instincts.
  • Never give out your personal information, social security number, bank card numbers, PINs or online banking login credentials.
  • Many scammers try to create a sense of urgency or threaten your safety or the safety of those you love.
  • Scammers know how to appeal to your emotions. They know when feelings are involved, defenses go down.

  

May 2018 - Mortgage Scam 

Postcards are being sent to individuals, said to be Macatawa Bank mortgage or equity loan customers, asking for a return call regarding an important matter relating to the loan. The card includes a “Mortgage ID #” and references “Mortgage Protection Services” in the footer. This organization is in no way associated with Macatawa Bank and you’re encouraged to ignore their attempts to engage with you.  


Mortgage and equity loan information is a matter of public record.  No data or systems have been breached at Macatawa Bank.

fraudulent letter
 

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