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Fraud Alerts

signature bank coronavirus

Be Cautious of Scammers taking advantage of COVID-19!

The Federal Trade Commission is updating scams here:

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2020/02/coronavirus-scammers-follow-headlines 

We will summarize alerts we learn about on this page.

Economic Impact Payments

Per new guidance from the IRS, all CARES Act checks for individual Americans will be referred to as "Economic Impact Payments." We will be using this term in our communications from 4/3 forward. Please take a moment to review these helpful tips from the IRS:

The IRS reminds taxpayers that scammers may:

  • Emphasize the words "Stimulus Check" or "Stimulus Payment." The official term is economic impact payment.
  • Ask the taxpayer to sign over their economic impact payment check to them.
  • Ask by phone, email, text or social media for verification of personal and/or banking information saying that the information is needed to receive or speed up their economic impact payment.
  • Suggest that they can get a tax refund or economic impact payment faster by working on the taxpayer's behalf. This scam could be conducted by social media or even in person.
  • Mail the taxpayer a bogus check, perhaps in an odd amount, then tell the taxpayer to call a number or verify information online in order to cash it.

 

SBA Loan Fraud and Scams

Advice from the Office of Inspector General at the US Small Business Administration:

  1. SBA does not initiate contact on either 7a or Disaster Loans. If you are proactively contacted by someone claiming to be from the SBA, suspect fraud.
  2. SBA does not provide grants to small businesses. SBA provides guarantees to lenders to encourage them to make loans to small businesses. If you are contacted via social media about a SBA grant program for small businesses, suspect fraud.
  3. If you are contacted by someone promising to get approval of an SBA loan, but requires any payment up front or offers a high interest bridge loan in the interim, suspect fraud.
  4. Look out for phishing attacks/scams utilizing the SBA logo. These may be attempts to obtain your Personally Identifiable Information (PII), to obtain personal banking access, or to install ransomware/malware on your computer. 
  5. If you are in the process of applying for an SBA loan and receive email correspondence asking for PII, ensure that the referenced application number is consistent with the actual application number. 
  6. SBA limits the fees a broker can charge a borrower to 3% for loans $50,000 or less and 2% for loans $50,000 to $1,000,000 with an additional 1/4% on amounts over $1,000,000. Any attempt to charge more than these fees is inappropriate.
  7. Any email communication from the SBA will come from accounts ending in .gov.
  8. The presence of an SBA logo on a webpage does not guarantee the information is accurate or endorsed by SBA. Please cross-reference any information you recieve with information available at sba.gov
  9. If you have a question about getting a SBA disaster loan, call 1-800-659-2955 or send an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. You may also contact your Signature Banker or our call center at 1-877-855-7550 or info@sbofa.com
  10. If you have questions about other SBA lending products, call SBA's Answer Desk at 1-800-827-5722 or send an email to answerdesk@sba.gov

Download this information as a flyer here.

Merchant Service Provider Scams

Businesses across the country have reported calls seemingly from a merchant service provider. This phony provider will inform you that your current provider is shutting down due to COVID-19, and you'll need to switch to their platform. 
Please call us if you come across this situation. Our providers are open and equipped to serve our customers throughout this pandemic. 

As you shift to more digital processing, let us know if we can help you identify new tools to serve your business. From mobile swiping and expanded online shopping to virtual terminals you can run from your own computer, our connections have the resources for your success and safety.  

Only Trust Your Bank with your Economic Impact Payment 

Jeff Rossen is ABC News' Chief National Consumer Correspondent. 

Please take note of his advice to avoid potential scams spurred from the National Government's upcoming plan to provide stimulus money to American households: 

The Treasury Department has proposed sending checks to Americans to help aid in the economic relief efforts around the novel coronavirus. Criminals could have a field day with this by trying to pose as government agencies or officials and asking for private information like bank account numbers or PINs.

Watch the video above to learn more about how you can protect yourself. (Clicking will take you to 40/29's Rossen Reports page)

Can't access sound at the moment? Here's the transcript: 

"Hey guys, If the government ends up sending checks to every American family, it's like a field day for criminals. Why? Because most of you don't know how it works. This is uncharted territory. So they can pose as government agencies or officials and say things like, Hey, this is Jeff from the Treasury Department. We need your bank account information and pin number to get this money into your account today, the FTC, with some easy to understand tips to protect you. So let's get right into this. First of all, the government will not call you to ask for private information like your Social Security number, your bank account information or your credit card number. Anyone who does that is a scammer. Next, the government will not ask you to pay anything up front to get the money like, hey, send us this amount of money so we can deposit this money in. Then you'll get it back. Don't fall for that trick. Not true, not how it works. Also, the government will not call you promising to getyou Maur money than everyone else or get it to you faster. If you do something, if you're going to get a check. It'll be no strings attached. Everyone will get it around the same time. And anyone who tells you otherwise is a scammer. We are in unprecedented times, you know. And for the most part, people are coming together to help each other. But criminals are criminals, and this is a huge opportunity for them to scam us, especially the elderly. We're gonna keep watching out for these camps. We're gonna stay ahead of these guys and bring you the latest information back to you."

Source: https://www.4029tv.com/article/rossen-reports-coronavirus-scam/31789077

A Note to those with Student Loans: 

Our partners at Raymond James have provided guidance related to student loan payment suspensions

Reliable information can always be found from the government regarding Federal Student Aid during the Coronavirus outbreak at: https://studentaid.gov/announcements-events/coronavirus 

Beware of this Call Scam reported in California: 

This scam was reported IN NORTHWEST ARKANSAS:

Two men came to a woman's door saying they were from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and they wanted to test her for COVID-19 since she was older and in the high-risk category. Then they made her pay money and stole her information.

Not only did they walk away with her check for $50, they also took her social security number, debit card and PIN numbers, credit card number, and date of birth.

Source: https://www.5newsonline.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/scammers-pretend-to-be-cdc-doing-covid-19-testing/527-1b39fcde-49cd-4d0d-a186-89f8a4e377cd

 

Below is an example image of a text received by customers of Northwest Bank in Pennsylvania:

fraud alert, covid-19, coronavirus, bank scam
  • Signature Bank of Arkansas will NEVER ask for information about your account, Social Security Number, Personal Identification Number (PIN), or passwords via text, call, or email.
  • Please be extra cautious when you receive emails with links to click to "protect" yourself and/or your assets. 
  • COVID-19 will not change the operation of our electronic banking products.
  • Also know that our call center is staffed with real, local people in Fayetteville.
  • If you receive a phone call from a suspicious voice or a recording, hang up and please notify us at 479-684-3700 or 877-888-8550 toll-free. Our Call Center representatives will help you determine if the call is legitimate.

False Advertising in a Cure for Coronavirus:

Please be advised of the following information provided by the Federal Trade Commission

The FTC and FDA have jointly issued warning letters to seven sellers of unapproved and misbranded products, claiming they can treat or prevent the Coronavirus. The companies' products include teas, essential oils, and colloidal silver. The FTC says the companies have no evidence to back up their claims -- as required by law. The FDA says there are no approved vaccines, drugs or investigational products currently available to treat or prevent the virus.

The seven companies are:

  • Vital Silver
  • Aromatherapy Ltd.
  • N-ergetics
  • GuruNanda, LLC
  • Vivify Holistic Clinic
  • Herbal Amy LLC
  • The Jim Bakker Show

FTC Consumer Alert: Undelivered Goods

Please be advised of the following information provided by the Federal Trade Commission:

Online sellers claim they have in-demand products, like cleaning, household, and health and medical supplies. You place an order, but you never get your shipment. Anyone can set up shop online under almost any name -- including scammers.

What to do: Check out the seller by searching online for the person or company's name, phone number and email address, plus words like "review," "complaint" or "scam." If everything checks out, pay by credit card and keep a record of your transaction. 

FTC Consumer Alert: Fake Charities

Please be advised of the following information provided by the Federal Trade Commission:

When a major health event -- like the Coronavirus -- happens, you might be looking for ways to help. Scammers use the same events to take advantage of your generosity. Some scammers use names that sound a lot like the names of real charities. This is one reason it pays to do some research before giving. Money lost to bogus charities means less donations to help those in need.

What to do: Use these organizations to help you research charities. When you give, pay safely by credit card -- never by gift card or wire transfer.

Email Scams

Sophos Security discovered this extortion email designed to scare you into giving away your personal information:

In addition, scammers are posing as your CEO or IT department.
You may be asked to wire money, transfer funds, send gift card codes, etc. by "your CEO."
If you are directed to download special software to work from home or asked for your password, give your IT department a call. If they did send the message, they'll be grateful for your vigilance in protecting your entire company from malicious hackers. 

 

General tips on fraud prevention:

-If you receive a call from anyone asking for information about your debit card, mobile banking, checking accounts, or online banking credentials, hang up immediately as we would never call and ask for this information.

-Never provide to anyone your Personal Identification Number (PIN) or your user name and password used to access online banking or mobile banking. There is NEVER a legitimate reason to provide this information, no matter how insistent a caller may be. In fact, the more insistent the caller, the more confident you can be they are a scammer.

MSN Money has 7 Tips for Avoiding Coronavirus Scams. In summary:

  1. Check Email Sender Addresses
  2. Don't Click Through Links in Emails (you can Google any link from this email!)
  3. Stay Away from Online Vaccination Offers
  4. Avoid Giving Personal Information
  5. Be Wary of "Investment Opportunities" Related to the Coronavirus
  6. Carefully Vet Charities Before Donating
  7. Stay Away from Those who use Pressure Tactics

Federal Trade Commission tips to help you keep the scammers at bay:

  1. Don't click on links from sources you don't know. It could download a virus onto your computer or device. Make sure the anti-malware and anti-virus software on your computer is up to date.
  2. Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts saying that have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about the Coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
  3. Ignore online offers for vaccinations. If you see ads touting prevention, treatment, or cure claims for the Coronavirus, ask yourself: if there's been a medical breakthrough, would you be hearing about it for the first time through an ad or sales pitch?
  4. Do your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding sites. Don't let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don't do it.
  5. Be alert to "investment opportunities." The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is warning people about online promotions, including on social media, claiming that the products or services of publicly-traded companies can prevent, detect, or cure coronavirus and that the stock of these companies will dramatically increase in value as a result.

Want more information on the latest scams the FTC is seeing? Sign up for their consumer alerts.

For more detail on recognizing and reporting bank scams, visit usa.gov

Locations

  • Springdale

    Address

    Har-Ber Meadows / 1071 Har-Ber Lakes Drive
    P. O. Box 8200
    Springdale, AR  72762
    Phone:  (479) 361-6677

    Lobby Hours

    Mon - Fri 7:30 AM - 5:00 PM

    Drive Thru Hours

    Mon - Fri 7:30 AM - 6:00 PM

  • Rogers

    Address

    3712 Pinnacle Hills Pkwy Suite 102
    P.O. Box 1170
    Rogers, AR 72758
    Phone:(479) 326-5800

    Lobby Hours

    Mon - Fri 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

    Drive Thru Hours

    Mon - Fri 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

  • Fayetteville

    Address

    Signature Plaza / 3878 N. Crossover Rd.
    P. O. Box 8550
    Fayetteville, AR 72703
    Phone: (479) 684-3700

    Lobby Hours

    Mon - Fri 7:30 AM - 5:00 PM

    Drive Thru Hours

    Mon - Fri 7:30 AM - 6:00 PM

  • Bentonville

    Address

    Fountain Plaza / 700 SE Walton Blvd.
    P.O. Box 89
    Bentonville, AR 72712
    Phone:(479) 254-2970

    Lobby Hours

    Mon - Fri 7:30 AM - 5:00 PM

    Drive Thru Hours

    Mon - Fri 7:30 AM - 6:00 PM

  • Bank of Brinkley North

    Address

    1405 N. Main
    P. O. Box 727
    Brinkley, AR  72021
    Phone:  (870) 734-3133

    Lobby Hours

    Mon - Thurs 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    Fri 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

    Drive Thru Hours

    Mon - Thurs 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    Fri 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

  • Bank of Brinkley

    Address

    130 S. New Orleans Ave.
    P. O. Box 727
    Brinkley, AR  72021
    Phone:  (870) 734-3133

    Lobby Hours

    Mon - Thurs 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    Fri 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

    Drive Thru Hours

    Mon - Thurs 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    Fri 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM