Fraud Alert

Keep Your Personal Information Safe

Banks, insurance agencies, retailers and credit card companies continue to be targeted with fraudulent phishing, spoofing, and scamming attacks. But you can reduce the chances of becoming a victim by remembering these tips.

Phishing attacks involve the mass distribution of spoofed e-mail messages with return addresses, links and branding which appear to come from a trusted organization. While we are unaware of any recent incidents involving Mission Valley Bank, or our clients—over the past few years, our customers (and those of other financial institutions) have reported receiving fraudulent e-mails that appear to be from our bank (and others).

Please be advised that use of our name and logo in these “phishing” schemes is done without our consent in an attempt to obtain sensitive, personal information. It’s important for our valued customers to know that Mission Valley Bank will NEVER send you an e-mail from info@missionvalleybank.com. This e-mail address is used only for incoming e-mails to the bank. Additionally, Mission Valley Bank will NEVER initiate a request for sensitive information such as your social security numbers, account numbers, or passwords from you via e-mail. To learn more about current online scams, visit the FTC website.

Reminder — Please remember to safeguard your personal information. Mission Valley Bank will never call or email you to verify your sensitive information or pass codes.


SCAM ALERT from the FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

April 2, 2018

According to Colleen Tressler, Consumer Education Specialist with the FTC, they’re at it again...tax scammers scheming new ways to steal personal information and money.

A sign that says "Rip Off Warning."In the first scenario, identity thieves file a fake tax return and have the refund deposited into your bank account. The thieves then contact you, often by phone, and — posing as the IRS or debt collectors for the IRS — demand you return the money to the IRS. But following the thieves’ instructions actually sends the money to them.

In another version, after you get that erroneous refund, you get an automated call, allegedly from the IRS, threatening you with criminal fraud charges, an arrest warrant, and “blacklisting” of your Social Security number. The caller gives you a case number and a telephone number to call to return the refund.

Don’t take the bait. If you or someone you know gets an unexpected tax refund, follow the guidance outlined by the IRS for how to return the funds to the agency. The steps for returning paper checks and direct deposits differ.

In a different scam, criminals are using imposter tax preparation sites and phone numbers to steal peoples’ personal information. Here's how this scam works: You go online to find a tax preparation service to prepare and e-file your tax return. But instead of landing on a legitimate site, you mis-click to a look-alike site created by scammers. The site looks real, and it’s set up to collect personal information that can be used to commit fraud, including identity theft.

The FTC has these tips to fight tax identity theft:  (more…)

IRS Cautions Taxpayers to Watch for Summertime Scams

July 21, 2017

WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service issued a warning (June 26, 2017) that tax-related scams continue across the nation even though the tax filing season has ended for most taxpayers. People should remain on alert to new and emerging Sign on IRS headquarter building in downtown Washington, DCschemes involving the tax system that continue to claim victims.

“We continue to urge people to watch out for new and evolving schemes this summer,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “Many of these are variations of a theme, involving fictitious tax bills and demands to pay by purchasing and transferring information involving a gift card or iTunes card. Taxpayers can avoid these and other tricky financial scams by taking a few minutes to review the tell-tale signs of these schemes.”

(more…)

FTC Releases Alert on Identity Theft

June 30, 2017

Original release date:  May 25, 2017
FTC Alert on Identity Theft

FAKE EMAILS COULD COST YOU THOUSANDS

Social media network graphic, 3d illustration

Think you got an email from a business you know? Scammers sometimes use emails that look legit to trick you into sending money to them. The email might say it’s from a real estate professional you’re working with, telling you there’s a last-minute change and you should now wire your closing costs to a different account. Or it could seem to be an email – with an invoice – from your utility company, telling you to wire payment. Whatever the story, if you wire that money, it goes to the scammer – and you may never see your money again. These scammers might get your information by hacking into a business. Once they know about you, they send an email that seems to come from the business, telling you where to send money.  So, how can you spot these scams? (more…)

Business Travelers Beware!

May 5, 2017

Courtesy of CYBERHEISTNEWS
There is a new spin on an existing phishing scam you need to be aware of.  Bad guys are doing research on you personally using social media and find out where and when you (might) travel for business. Next, they craft an email especially forYoung woman in airport looking at flight information board you with an airline reservation or receipt that looks just like the real thing, sent with a spoofed "From" email address that also looks legit. (more…)

IRS, States and Tax Industry Renew Alert about Form W-2 Scam Targeting Payroll, Human Resource Departments

March 10, 2017

IRS -2017-10

Internal Revenue Service sign with a traffic signal in the foreground indicating a red light.

WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service, state tax agencies and the tax industry today renewed their warning about an email scam that uses a corporate officer’s name to request employee Forms W-2 from company payroll or human resources departments.
This week, the IRS already has received new notifications that the email scam is making its way across the nation for a second time. The IRS urges company payroll officials to double check any executive-level or unusual requests for lists of Forms W-2 or Social Security number. (more…)

New Scam – Done ‘Old School’

April 22, 2014

Police crime scene

From OnGaurdOnline.gov

In a recent twist, scam artists are using the phone to try to break into your computer. They call, claiming to be computer techs associated with well-known companies like Microsoft. They say that they’ve detected viruses or other malware on your computer to trick you into giving them remote access or paying for software you don’t need.

These scammers take advantage of your reasonable concerns about viruses and other threats. They know that computer users have heard time and again that it’s important to install security software. But the purpose behind their elaborate scheme isn’t to protect your computer; it’s to make money.

(more…)

Tips for Small Businesses to Combat Fraud

September 25, 2013

Cybercriminals are targeting small businesses with increasingly sophisticated attacks. Criminals use spoofed emails, malicious software and online social networks to obtain login credentials to businesses’ accounts, transfer funds and / or steal private information, a fraud referred to as “corporate account takeover.”

Combating account takeover is a shared responsibility between businesses and financial institutions. Bankers can explain the safeguards small businesses need and the numerous programs available that help ensure fund transfers, payroll requests and withdrawals are legitimate and accurate. Companies should train employees about safe internet use and the warning signs of this fraud, because they are the first line of defense.

As part of National Cyber Security Awareness Month coming in October, Mission Valley Bank offers small businesses these tips to help prevent account takeover: Protect your online environment. It is important to protect your cyber environment just as you would your physical location. Do not use unprotected internet connections. Encrypt sensitive data and keep updated anti-virus and anti-spyware protection on your computers. Change passwords from the default to something complex, including at point-of-sale terminals.

  • Partner with your bank for payment authentication. Talk to your banker about services that offer call backs, device authentication, multi-person approval processes, batch limits and other tools that help protect you from unauthorized transactions.
  • Pay attention to suspicious activity and react quickly. Put your employees on alert. Look out for strange network activity, do not open suspicious emails and never share account information. If you suspect a problem, disconnect the compromised computer from your network and contact your banker. Keep records of what happened.
  • Understand your responsibilities and liabilities. The account agreement with your financial institution will detail what commercially reasonable security measures are required in your business. It is critical that you understand and implement the security safeguards in the agreement. If you don’t, you could be liable for losses resulting from a takeover. Talk to your banker if you have any questions about your responsibilities.
IMPORTANT: If you are a customer of Mission Valley Bank and have already responded to a suspicious e-mail, and provided any personal or sensitive information, please contact us immediately at (818) 394-2300.