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  • 10/03/2017 - FTC Warns Of Vishing Increase Following Equifax Breach

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is sending out warnings to consumers about an uptick in vishing following the recent data breach of one of the three major credit bureaus, Equifax. Vishing is a form of phishing, where the scammers place a phone call to a potential victim requesting sensitive or personal data. The warning emphasizes that any calls from anyone claiming to be from Equifax are fraudulent.

The agency also is providing additional tips to help consumers after the breach that allowed cybercriminals to access names, address, social security numbers, birth dates, and some credit card numbers of about 44% of the U.S. consumer population.

  • Don’t trust the caller ID that appears on the phone display. Scammers can easily spoof, or imitate actual numbers on those displays to make you think it’s from a legitimate caller.
  • Hang up on robocalls without pressing numbers or saying anything. Don’t worry. A robot won’t be offended.
  • Consider freezing your credit. This is reasonable if you don’t need to provide access to your reports to anyone. However, it doesn’t prevent you from temporarily unfreezing when you do apply for credit or fill out an application for housing, for example.
  • Monitor all payment card charges. Since credit reports include card numbers for your accounts, it’s possible these thieves have them all. So, check statements regularly and report anything that looks unfamiliar to the card issuer immediately.
  • Check your credit reports on a regular basis. You can get them at the website at no charge. Get one every four months to stay on top of them.
  • File your income taxes early. The earlier you can do this, the less likely someone can do it first and get your tax return. So far, the IRS does not have any sort of protection mechanism in place for this. It’s up to you to take the first steps.

Remember that the more information criminals have about you, the easier it is to not only trick you via the telephone and steal from you, but they can also craft very realistic phishing email messages and texts too. So be on the lookout for those as well. It’s up to each one of us to be proactive about protecting our finances and our identities.

Source : SOS Daily News

  • 07/21/2017 - Caller ID Spoofing Alert

It has come to our attention that a fraudster is contacting people in the area and claiming to be from Bank of Brodhead. They are "spoofing" or faking the Caller ID information in an attempt to make the calls seem more genuine.

Please remember that the Bank of Brodhead will never telephone you, send an email, or text message you requesting your password, passcode or your personal account information. If you receive a suspicious call please contact us immediately at (608)897-2121. For more information click on this link which will take you to an article on the subject by the Federal Trade Commission. 

  • 02/10/2017 - OCC Scam Alert

Consumers have reported fictitious text messages and telephone calls, allegedly initiated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) or other government entities, regarding funds purportedly under the control of the OCC.

Any communication claiming that the OCC is involved in holding any funds for the benefit of any individual or entity is fraudulent. The OCC does not participate in the transfer of funds for, or on behalf of, individuals, business enterprises, or governmental entities. Click here for the full article

  • 11/18/2016 - Increase in Number of "Microsoft Support" Scams Detected

There has recently been in increase in the number of "Microsoft Support" scams. The scam itself has been around for years but there has recently been a resurgence.

How it works -  

There are many variations of the scam but it boils down to someone claiming to be either from Microsoft or from an "Authorized Partner" of Microsoft. When in contact with these scammers they will attempt to convince you that there is something wrong with your computer. They will tell you your computer either has a virus or it's been hacked or something serious is wrong. They will of course need to remote into your computer to fix it...or they will try and get you to download software (which will end up being malware) that will fix whatever issue they say you have.

Their goal is to either get you to give them username and password information, install malware on your computer so they can search for those things themselves, or get you to pay for their service by giving your credit card information to them directly. There have been reports of victims giving out their online banking username and password as well.


Neither Microsoft nor it's "Authorized Partners" will EVER contact you about support issues on your computer. Microsoft doesn't even have any way of knowing if there is something wrong with your computer.

Neither Microsoft nor it's "Authorized Partners" will EVER contact you and ask for any of the following:

  • Personal Information
  • Account Numbers
  • User Names
  • Passwords 
  • PINs 
  • Credit Card Numbers

These scams can be initiated with a phone call directly to the victim where the scammer will ask for the victim by name. The scam can also be initiated with a pop-up message or what appears to be an error message on your computer directing you to call a specific phone number for support. (Note: Legitimate error messages will never include a phone number to call for support. They usually give an error number and then direct you to search for more information.)

In one example we have seen the scammers even try to make their call sound more genuine by telling the victim to be careful of scams and that "if someone calls saying they are from Microsoft it's a scam."

Traditionally the bulk of these scams were reported to be coming out of call centers in India.

What you can do -

  1. Put the phone down. Get rid of the caller and move on with your life. It is not a legitimate call.
  2. During your conversation, don't provide any personal information. This is a good rule for any unsolicited call. And certainly never hand over your credit card or bank details.
  3. Don't allow a stranger to guide you to a certain webpage, or instruct you to change a setting on your PC or download software.
  4. If possible get the caller's details. You should certainly report any instance of this scam to the FBI's IC3 (Internet Crime Complaint Center)
  5. Finally, change any passwords and usernames that could plausibly have been compromised, and run a scan with up-to-date security software. Then ensure that your firewall and antivirus/antimalware are up to date and protecting your PC.
  6. Tell everyone about it. This scam preys on people's insecurity about lack of tech knowledge. It is very easy to be a victim, and the best defense is sharing knowledge. It is much easier to put the phone down if you are forewarned.

What to do if you have been a victim

First of all don't beat yourself up. This could happen to anyone (and does). You need to change all the personal data that you can change. As much as you might like to you can't change your date of birth, and changing your name and address seems extreme. But you can change all of your passwords and usernames, starting with your main email account and any bank and credit card logins. Also, contact your bank(s) to ask them to be on the lookout for anything suspicious. You can contact Bank of Brodhead at (608)897-2121 and ask for customer service.

Again, use up-to-date security software to scan and cleanse your PC, and if the scammer did get you to do something to your PC using System Restore to roll back the settings is always a good idea. And tell the police. If you have lost money, it's possible your credit card company or insurance may cover the loss.

  • 11/4/2016 - Local Area Credit/Debit Card Skimmers Detected

There is an increased amount of debit card fraud among our cardholders. Local authorities have detected at least one skimmer installed in a gas pump at a local gas station.

A skimmer is a device placed on an ATM, gas pump, or similar machine where a debit/ATM card is swiped. When the card is swiped it passes through the skimmer and on to the actual card reader, therefore providing the criminal with all debit card info from the magnetic strip. The cardholder is unsuspecting because their transaction completes successfully. The criminal then removes or remotely downloads the information from the skimmer once it has gathered numerous cardholder’s information and in turn conducts fraudulent transactions against those cardholders.

Please be cognizant when swiping your card at ATMs and gas stations. If anything looks suspicious or out of the ordinary, please do not use that terminal.

We at Bank of Brodhead check our ATM regularly for skimming devices but if you ever see anything out of the ordinary please let us know immediately.

Quick tips:

  • Skimmers tend to be installed in pumps that are on the edges of the gas station lot or that are harder for the gas station clerk to see.
  • Often times there are security seals that if broken COULD indicate the gas pump has been tampered with but keep in mind that an intact security seal isn't a guarantee as the criminals could have placed a new one there when they were finished.
  • If in doubt, pay inside.

To learn more about Gas Pump skimmers click here

To learn more about skimmers of all types click here

If you have any questions or concerns about your Credit/Debit Card please contact us at (608)897-2121 and ask to speak to customer service.

Note: The Bank of Brodhead will never telephone you, send an email, or text message to you requesting you to verify your personal or account information.

Please call the Bank of Brodhead before you respond to any request for personal or account information.