President’s Message

Ted Gerber, President / CEO

Recognizing & Avoiding Scams

Routinely I’m emailed by Nigerian millionaires, Canadian lottery officials, and attorneys from long lost relatives.  Many phone calls  remind me that my warranty has expired, I have money waiting for me at the Canadian border, or that my relative is in jail in New Jersey.  Other calls tell me that my computer won’t work, but if I enter my password and debit card number a helpful representative can address the issue.  Better yet, if I give them access to my internet banking they can take care of it right away.  I have received a check for $39,925 which I could keep if only I wired $4850 to a bank in Texas.  Another time I was informed that the SBA had an issue with my PPP loan which could be rectified if I sent a money order to Cincinnati, at least according to the letter I received yesterday.

I’m not alone in this; we all receive these same emails, phone calls, fraudulent checks and bogus letters every day.  Unfortunately, too many fall for the scam and end up losing hundreds, and sometimes thousands of dollars.  These scammers are very good at what they do, preying upon people when they are at their most vulnerable.

So how do you combat these scammers?  Remember these things:

  • In most cases, the best defense is common sense. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Don’t make any rash decisions. If someone pressures you to give them information, or access, or money, it’s probably because they are trying to rip you off.
  • If you don’t understand something, ask a trusted source for help. Call a friend, the bank, or even the police – all can help you decide if what is being asked of you is legit.
  • Protect your personal information. Think about it in these terms – would I let this stranger into my house?  Of course not!  Then why would I give them my personal information?

Following these simple steps will help you save a lot of time, effort and money.  We all could use more of those!

~Ted Gerber

Community Bank President / CEO


 

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