1/23/14
Banking and Securities Department Warns Consumers About Suspected Scam

The Department of Banking and Securities is alerting the public about an advance fee loan scam being perpetrated under the name Longwood Lending Solutions.

The company solicits personal loans and asks for proof of income and other personal information, as well as “collateral payments” to be sent in Canadian dollars.

Consumers who were solicited for loans, but did not actually apply for loans, alerted the department when they called the department’s Office of Consumer Services to inquire about the legality of such loans.

Longwood Lending Solutions represents itself as a company whose address is 310 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, Pa.  However, no such company is licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities.

Victims of this or any other advance fee loan scam are urged to notify the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities at 1-800-PA-BANKS (1-800-722-2657).


11/21/2013
Banking and Securities Department Warns Consumers About Suspected Scam 

Harrisburg – The Department of Banking and Securities is alerting the public about an advance fee loan scam being perpetrated under the name Northlawn Lending. Over the Internet, Northlawn solicits personal and business loans, as well as debt consolidation services and refinancing.

Several consumers who were solicited for loans, but did not actually apply for loans, alerted the department when they called the department’s Office of Consumer Services to inquire about the legality of such loans.

Northlawn Lending represents itself as a company in Camp Hill, Pa. There is no such company located in Camp Hill or licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities.

“Unfortunately, we are seeing more of this kind of activity as consumers use Internet search engines looking for financial assistance and end up on the websites of unlicensed operators,” says Glenn E. Moyer, Secretary of Banking and Securities. “I urge consumers to take steps to ensure that lenders soliciting them are properly licensed or chartered to do business in Pennsylvania.”

Consumers can call the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities at 1-800-PA-BANKS (1-800-722-2657) or visit www.dobs.state.pa.us to make inquiries or file complaints against financial services providers.


10/29/13
FINRA Issues New Investor Alert: Closed-End Fund Distributions: Where is the Money Coming From?

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has issued a new Investor Alert called Closed-End Fund Distributions: Where Is the Money Coming From? to explain what closed-end funds are, how they differ from traditional mutual funds, what a distribution rate is and what to ask before investing. Closed-end funds have become popular investments because some offer high distribution rates—as high as 6 percent or more. However, investors should be aware that a fund's distribution rate is not the same thing as its return—even if the numbers might look similar. Closed-end funds typically pay distributions to investors on a monthly or quarterly basis, and may increase or decrease the distribution rate from one distribution period to the next. Read more.



10/28/2013
Banking and Securities Department Warns Consumers About Suspected Scam
 
The Department of Banking and Securities is alerting the public about an advance fee loan scam being perpetrated under the name Milburn Financial.
 
The company solicits personal loans and asks for proof of income and other personal information, as well as “collateral payments” to be sent to a recipient in Canada.
 
Consumers who were solicited for loans, but did not actually apply for loans, alerted the department when they called the department’s Office of Consumer Services to inquire about the legality of such loans.
 
Milburn Financial represents itself as a company whose address is 10 East Athens Avenue, Ardmore, Pa.  However, there is no such company located at this address or licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities.
 
Victims of this or any other advance fee loan scam are urged to notify the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities at 1-800-PA-BANKS (1-800-722-2657).

 


9/17/13
FINRA Issues New Investor Alert: Private Placements—Evaluate the Risks Before Placing Them in Your Portfolio

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued a new investor alert called Private Placements—Evaluate the Risks before Placing Them in Your Portfolio to caution investors that investing in private placements is risky and can tie up their money for a long time. A private placement is an offering of a company's securities that is not registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and is not offered to the public at large. Many private placements are offered pursuant to Regulation D of the Securities Act of 1933. In general, you must be an "accredited investor" to invest in a private placement. Read more.



7/10/12
Phishing Scammers Seeking Banking Account Info Via Cell Phone/Text Messages
 
Media and banking institutions are warning consumers about “fraudulent phone calls and text messages claiming that their Visa cards have been deactivated. The calls and texts provide a phone number to call where they are then prompted to enter their card number and PIN in order to reactivate their card.”
 
Consumers are urged to ignore these call or text messages. Credit unions and banks will not request this information from their customers. This is a scam designed to get you to enter information for a valid credit or debit card. Read more about this scam from CBS Channel 21 here.

Victims should also report these incidents to the Federal Trade Commission and the FBI.


4/30/12
Beware Fake Debt Collection Scams
 
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is warning consumers to be on the alert for scam artists posing as debt collectors. It may be hard to tell the difference between a legitimate debt collector and a fake one. Sometimes a fake collector may even have some of your personal information, like a bank account number. You may be dealing with a fake debt collector if the caller:

 • is seeking payment on a debt for a loan you do not recognize;
 • refuses to give you a mailing address or phone number;
 • asks you for personal financial or sensitive information; or
 • exerts high pressure to try to scare you into paying, such as threatening to have
   you arrested or to report you to a law enforcement agency. 

If you think that a caller may be a fake debt collector:

 • Ask the caller for his name, company, street address, and telephone number. Tell the caller that you refuse to discuss any debt until you get a written "validation notice." The notice must include the amount of the debt, the name of the creditor you owe and your rights under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
If a caller refuses to give you all of this information, do not pay! Paying a fake debt collector will not always make them go away. They may make up another debt to try to get more money from you. If you suspect the caller is a fake debt collector, you can also:
 
• Stop speaking with the caller. If you have the caller's address, send a letter demanding that the caller stop contacting you, and keep a copy for your files. By law, real debt collectors must stop calling you if you ask them to in writing.
 
• Refuse to give the caller personal financial or other sensitive information. Never give out or confirm personal financial or other sensitive information like your bank account, credit card or Social Security number unless you are dealing with someone you trust. Scam artists, like fake debt collectors, can use your information to commit identity theft – charging your existing credit cards, opening new credit card, checking or savings accounts, writing fraudulent checks, or taking out loans in your name.

 • Contact your creditor. If the debt is legitimate – but you think the collector may not be – contact your creditor about the calls. Share the information you have about the suspicious calls and find out who, if anyone, the creditor has authorized to collect the debt.

 • Report the call. Contact the Federal Trade Commission or the PA Attorney General with information about suspicious callers.
 
More information on fake debt collectors from the Federal Trade Commission here.


9/1/11
Fraudulent Emails Claiming to be from the FDIC

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has received numerous reports of fraudulent e-mails that appear to be from the FDIC and contain an infected attachment. The fraudulent e-mails have addresses such as "no.reply@fdic.gov" or "notify84zma@fdic.gov" on the "From" line. The message appears, with spelling and grammatical errors, as follows:

Subject line: "FDIC notification"

Message body:

"Dear customer,

Your account ACH and WIRE transaction have been temporarily suspended for security reasons due to the expiration of your security version. To download and install the newest installations read the document(pdf) attached below.

As soon as it is setup, you transaction abilities will be fully restored.

Best Regards, Online Security departament, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation."

The e-mails contain an attachment "FDIC_document.zip" that will likely release malicious software if opened. These e-mails and attachments are fraudulent and were not sent by the FDIC. Recipients should consider these e-mails an attempt to collect personal or confidential information, or to load malicious software onto end users' computers. Recipients should NOT open the attachment.

Financial institutions and consumers should be aware that these fraudulent e-mails may be modified over time with other subject lines, sender names, and narratives. The FDIC does not directly contact consumers, nor does the FDIC request bank customers to install software upgrades.


7/19/11
Banking Department Warns Consumers About Suspected Scam
 
The Department of Banking is alerting the public about an advance fee loan scam being perpetrated on the Internet under the name Ridley Creek Financing Group.
 
The company’s website solicits personal loans and asks for personal financial information, such as Social Security numbers, which could be used to commit identity fraud and drain victim’s accounts.  The company also asks for funds to be wired to process the loan.
 
Consumers who visited the website, but did not apply for loans, alerted the department when they called the department’s Office of Consumer Affairs to inquire about the legality of such loans.
 
Ridley Creek Financing Group represents itself as a Philadelphia-based lender.  However, there is no such company located at the listed address on the website or licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Banking.
 
Victims of these or any other advance fee loan scam are urged to notify the Pennsylvania Department of Banking at 1-800-PA-BANKS (1-800-722-2657).


6/24/11
Banking Department Warns Consumers About Suspected Scam
 
The Department of Banking warns consumers about a suspected online financial scam that uses the name and address of a legitimate, licensed Pennsylvania company. 
 
The department has received complaints regarding an illegitimate outfit offering low-interest, unsecured loans called Central Lending Group, which claims to be located at 12 West School Lane, Yardley, PA.  In fact, there is no company by this name located at the address or licensed by the Department of Banking.  In fact, the Department of Banking does license a company called Central Lending Services, which was formerly located at 12 West School Lane, Yardley, and is now located in Fairless Hills, Pa.
 
The scammer’s website, which is hosted in Canada, contains an electronic loan application that requires payment of an application fee and requests personal information, in including bank account numbers, which can potentially be used to withdraw funds from a victim’s accounts.  In all of these cases, consumers were asked to send money to the so-called lender prior to receiving a loan. These are called “advance fees.” Advance fee loan scams typically target individuals with poor credit histories using promises of guaranteed approvals and no credit checks. After being “approved,” the victim is asked to pay a fee in order to receive their loans.  In the end, the scammer pockets the fee and the victim receives nothing in return. 
 
Central Lending Services is not authorized to accept advance fees.
 
Victims of these or any other advance fee loan scam are urged to notify the Pennsylvania Department of Banking at 1-800-PA-BANKS (1-800-722-2657).


6/3/11
Fraudulent E-Mails Claiming to Be From the FDIC
 
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has received numerous reports of fraudulent e-mails that have the appearance of being from the FDIC.  The e-mails appear to be sent from various "@fdic.gov" e-mail addresses, such as "subscriptions@fdic.gov," "alert@fdic.gov," or "accounts@fdic.gov." They have subject lines that read: "FDIC: Your business account" or "FDIC: About Your Business Account."  The e-mails are addressed to "Business Customer" or "Business Owner" and state "We have important information about your bank" or "…financial institution." 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."
 
These e-mails and the link included are fraudulent and were not sent by the FDIC. Recipients should consider the intent of these e-mails as an attempt to collect personal or confidential information, or to load malicious software onto end users' computers. Recipients should NOT access the link provided within the body of the e-mails and should NOT, under any circumstances, provide any personal financial information through this media.
 
Financial institutions and consumers should be aware that other subject lines and modifications to the e-mails may occur over time. The FDIC does not directly contact consumers in this manner nor does the FDIC request personal financial information from consumers.
 
For your reference, FDIC Special Alerts may be accessed from the FDIC's Website at
www.fdic.gov/news/news/SpecialAlert/2011/index.html.  To learn how to automatically receive FDIC Special Alerts through email, please visit www.fdic.gov/about/subscriptions/index.htm


April 5, 2011
Banking Department Warns Consumers about Email ‘Phishing’ Scams After Security Breaches at Two Companies

Harrisburg – The Department of Banking today warned Pennsylvania consumers to guard against possible financial scams involving their email accounts following recent security breaches at Texas and Massachusetts companies that provide Internet security services.

Scammers could use email addresses and other information recently stolen from Epsilon and RSA Security to try to trick consumers into providing personal information, including bank account or credit card information. These “spoof” emails could appear to be from trusted sources and constitute an identity theft scam known as “phishing.”

Emails from legitimate financial institutions and businesses will not ask for passwords, card numbers or other sensitive information.

Perpetrators of phishing scams can max-out a victim’s credit cards, empty their bank accounts or take out loans in their name. An identity thief can also establish new accounts with banks, credit card companies, utilities and other businesses.

Consumers who believe they have been targeted by phishing or other ID-theft scams should immediately contact the financial institutions or businesses from which the suspicious information appears to have come and also notify local police.

Consumers with questions about possible phishing scams can call the Pennsylvania Department of Banking toll-free at 1-800-PA-BANKS (1-800-722-2657).

The Department of Banking urges consumers to “do their homework” before entering into business with any financial company. Consumers can learn about companies licensed or chartered by the Department of Banking at www.banking.state.pa.us and 1-800-PA-BANKS.


1/12/11
Suspicious Emails Appearing to be Sent from the FDIC
 The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has received numerous reports from consumers who received an e-mail that has the appearance of being sent from the FDIC. The e-mail informs the recipient that "in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security, federal, state and local governments…" the FDIC has withdrawn deposit insurance from the recipient's account "due to account activity that violates the Patriot Act." It further states deposit insurance will remain suspended until identity and account information can be verified using a system called "IDVerify." If consumers go to the link provided in the e-mail, it is suspected they will be asked for personal or confidential information, or malicious software may be loaded onto the recipient's computer.
 
This e-mail is fraudulent. It was not sent by the FDIC. It is an attempt to obtain personal information from consumers. Financial institutions and consumers should NOT access the link provided within the body of the e-mail and should NOT under any circumstances provide any personal information through this media.
 
The FDIC is attempting to identify the source of the e-mails and disrupt the transmission. Until this is achieved, consumers are asked to report any similar attempts to obtain this information to the FDIC by sending information to
alert@fdic.gov. For your reference, FDIC Special Alerts may be accessed from the FDIC's Web site at www.fdic.gov/news/news/SpecialAlert/2011/index.html. 


9/8/2010
Suspicious Telephone Calls Claiming to Be From the FDIC
Suspicious telephone calls claiming to be from FDIC employees are being reported. These calls appear to be illegal schemes to steal money or collect sensitive personal information, such as bank account numbers.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has received numerous reports of suspicious telephone calls where the caller claims to represent the FDIC and is calling regarding the collection of an outstanding debt.

To date, the callers have alleged that the call recipient is delinquent in payment of a loan that was applied for over the Internet or made through a payday lender. The loan may or may not actually exist. The caller attempts to authenticate the claim by providing sensitive personal information, such as name, Social Security number, and date of birth, supposedly taken from the loan application. The recipient is then strongly urged to make a payment over the phone to "avoid a lawsuit and possible arrest." In some instances, the caller is said to sound aggressive and threatening.

These suspicious telephone calls are fraudulent. Recipients should consider them as an attempt to steal money or collect personal identifying information. The FDIC generally does not initiate unsolicited telephone calls to consumers and is not involved with the collection of debts on behalf of operating lenders and financial institutions.

If a caller demonstrates that he or she has the recipient's sensitive personal information, such as Social Security number, date of birth, and bank account numbers, the recipient may be the victim of identity theft and should review his or her credit reports for signs of possible fraud. The individual should also consider placing a "fraud alert" on his or her credit reports. This can be done by contacting one of the three consumer reporting companies listed below. Only one of the three companies needs to be contacted. That company is required to contact the other two, which will place an alert on their versions of the report.

TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289; www.transunion.com; Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, California 92834-6790

Equifax: 1-800-525-6285; www.equifax.com; P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, Georgia 30374-0241

Experian: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742); www.experian.com; P.O. Box 9554, Allen, Texas 75013

Information about counterfeit items, cyber-fraud incidents and other fraudulent activity may be forwarded to the FDIC's Cyber-Fraud and Financial Crimes Section, 550 17th Street, N.W., Room F-3054, Washington, D.C. 20429, or transmitted electronically to
alert@fdic.gov. Questions related to federal deposit insurance or consumer issues should be submitted to the FDIC using an online form that can be accessed at http://www2.fdic.gov/starsmail/index.asp.

For your reference, FDIC Special Alerts may be accessed from the FDIC's website at www.fdic.gov/news/news/SpecialAlert/2010/index.html. To learn how to automatically receive FDIC Special Alerts through e-mail, please visit www.fdic.gov/about/subscriptions/index.html.


9/8/2010
Counterfeit Official Checks
Counterfeit official checks bearing the name Community Bank, N.A., Carmichaels, Pennsylvania, are reportedly in circulation.

Community Bank, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania, has contacted the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to report that counterfeit official checks bearing the institution's name are in circulation.

The counterfeit items display the routing number 043310980, which is assigned to Community Bank. The items display a security feature statement embedded within a darkened top border and along the bottom border between two padlock icons. The words "OFFICIAL CHECK" are in the top center and the word "REMITTER" is displayed in the lower-left corner. One signature line appears in the lower-right corner.

Authentic official checks are green and display the words "OFFICIAL CHECK" below the end of the written dollar amount line on the right side. Two signature lines appear in the lower-right corner.

Copies of a counterfeit item and an authentic check (VOID) are attached for your review. Be aware that the appearance of counterfeit items can be modified and that additional variations may be presented.


5/13/10
Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks

New Tripoli Bank, New Tripoli, Pennsylvania reports that counterfeit cashier's checks bearing its name are in circulation.
 
The counterfeit items display the same routing number assigned to New Tripoli Bank, but are dissimilar to authentic cashier's checks. The counterfeit items display a security feature statement in the top and bottom borders. The bank's name and street address appear in the top-left corner.
 
Authentic cashier's checks display the words "Cashier's Checks" in the top center. The bank's logo, name, P.O. Box and street address appear in the top-left corner.
 
Be aware that the appearance of counterfeit items can be modified and that additional variations may be presented.
 
Anyone with information or questions should contact New Tripoli Bank.
 
Information about counterfeit items, cyber-fraud incidents and other fraudulent activity may be forwarded to the FDIC's Cyber-Fraud and Financial Crimes Section, 550 17th Street, N.W., Room F-3054, Washington, D.C. 20429, or transmitted electronically to
alert@fdic.gov.


1/19/10
Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks
The Dime Bank, Honesdale, reports that counterfeit cashier’s checks bearing its name are in circulation.

The counterfeit items use the same routing number assigned to The Dime Bank and are similar to authentic cashier's checks.

The fake checks also include a security feature statement embedded within a darkened top border and along the bottom border between two padlocks.

Authentic checks have a padlock icon and security statement embedded within the right border.

Anyone with information or questions should contact The Dime Bank.

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