Stay safe – Stay secure – Stay informed

Commercial Bank of Oak Grove is committed to providing our customers with the resources and tools to help protect their personal information. Today there are many ways that fraud can occur, and we are committed to assisting you in every way that we can.

Financial Awareness

The best way to avoid becoming a victim to any sort of fraud is to always be aware and use caution to protect your assets. There are many different types of fraud and below are a few examples and how you can help yourself.

Identity Theft

Over 27 million Americans have experienced some form of identity theft. Here are some steps you can follow to assist you:

  • Do not give out any financial or personal information such as account numbers, social security number, date of birth unless you KNOW the person or the organization.
  • Report lost or stolen checks immediately.  The bank can place a stop payment against a single check or a range of checks.
  • Notify your bank of suspicious phone inquiries that ask for account information to verify a statement or to award a prize.
  • Guard your ATM card and PIN.
  • Shred any financial solicitations for loans or credit cards and any statements before disposing of them.
  • Send all outgoing mail from a secure, official Postal Service collection box.
  • Call the company if you fail to receive any of your regular bills and statements.
  • Don’t ignore unknown or questionable items on your statements, investigate immediately to stop any possible fraud.
  • Periodically contact the major credit reporting companies to review your file and to make certain that the information is correct.

If you become the victim of Identity Theft, please contact all your financial institutions that you do business with to notify them. Place fraud alerts with the credit reporting bureaus and call the police.

Credit Report Bureaus

Equifax (www.equifax.com)
Place a fraud alert: 1-888-766-0008
Order a credit report: 1-800-685-1111
Experian (www.experian.com)
Place a fraud alert: 1-888-397-3742
Order a credit report: 1-888-397-3742
TransUnion (www.transunion.com)
Place a fraud alert: 1-800-680-7289
Order a credit report: 1-800-888-4213

ATM/Debit/Credit Card Safety

  • Keep your cards safely secured in your purse or wallet.
  • Sign your cards and write “ask for ID” on your cards.
  • Memorize your PIN numbers. Do not write them on the card or store them in your wallet. Do not share them with anyone.
  • Check the transaction before signing or applying your PIN for accuracy.
  • Review the charges on your statements for accuracy. Promptly report any unauthorized charges.
  • Watch carefully if possible as clerks process payments on your card to prevent a dishonest clerk from cloning your card for unauthorized use.
  • Retain receipts to verify against your statements. Shred them when they are no longer needed.
  • Exercise caution when making online or telephone purchases.
  • Never disclose your account number over the phone unless you have initiated the call.
  • Never leave your cards unsecured or unattended anywhere.
  • Avoid using ATMs after dark. Whenever possible use ATMs in well-lit areas. Try to have someone you trust with you.
  • Prepare your transaction in advance. Don’t spend too much time at the ATM.
  • Be aware of those around you in crowded spaces. And be observant of your surroundings. If something or someone does not seem right, immediately leave the area and return to a safe location.
  • If confronted by an assailant demanding money, COMPLY.
  • Don’t forget to take your receipts with you after the transaction is completed.
  • If an ATM retains your card, immediately contact your bank to have the card replaced. Do not reenter your PIN on the keypad.
  • Report a lost/stolen card immediately to the bank.

Telemarketing Fraud

Use caution when sending money or supplying your personal or account information to people that you do not know personally. Beware of the following statements when talking with a telemarketer:

  • You must act now, or the offer will not still be good.
  • You have won a gift, vacation, or prize BUT you must pay for the postage and handling or other such charges.
  • You must send money or give a credit card number or account number to receive this offer.
  • You can’t afford to miss this high-profit, no-risk offer.
  • There is no need to check out the company with the Better Business Bureau, your attorney, your family or your friends.

Once you have provided cash or account or other personal information to a telemarketer, it is tough to get your money back. If you hear these or similar statements from a telephone salesperson, just say no thank you and hang up the phone. To avoid receiving these types of call, sign up for the National Do Not Call list. The number of calls that you receive will subside.

To help you avoid becoming a victim to Telemarketing Fraud here are a few guidelines to follow:

  • Don’t buy from a company you don’t know.
  • Always ask for and wait to receive written material about any offer or charity before you send or invest money. Have someone you trust review the materials with you if you are not sure.
  • Obtain the caller’s name, the name and address of the business, the telephone number and the business license number before you transact business. Verify the information with the Better Business Bureau, the state Attorney General’s office, the National Fraud Information Center or other watchdog group. Before you give money to a charity or investment, find out what percentage of the funds will be paid in commissions and what percentage will go to the charity or be invested,
  • Pay for services only after they are delivered.
  • Take your time making decisions. Legitimate companies will not pressure you to make a snap decision.
  • Never pay for a “free prize”. If the caller tells you the payment is for taxes, he or she is violating federal law.
  • Never respond to an offer that you do not fully understand.
  • It is never rude to wait and think about an offer.
  • Remember if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.

If you have information about a possible telemarketing or other fraud, please report it to your local, state or federal law enforcement agencies.

Email Fraud

Phishing emails schemes change frequently and often have links or attachments sent along with the email. The sender is pretending to be someone from your bank or another company that you may do business with. They trick consumers into disclosing personal information such as your name and address, your date of birth, your social security number, passwords, account numbers, etc. They use the information to try to get access to your accounts.

To help you avoid being a victim of Phishing, here are a few helpful tips:

  • Never click on a link or open an attachment of an email that you received and do not know the sender.
  • Look for clues in the link such as misspelling the name of the company.
  • Do not fall for scare tactics. Fraudulent emails try to make you believe that something bad will happen if you do not promptly respond to the email and supply them with the requested information.
  • Never include any information in an email that you would not write on a postcard.
  • No reputable business will ever ask you to provide confidential information (account numbers, passwords, social security number, etc.) in emails or text messages.
  • Watch for poor grammar and misspelled words.

Missouri Attorney General’s Office

  • Consumer Protection: 800-392-8222
  • No-Call Team: 866-662-2551
  • Medicaid Fraud: 800-286-3932
  • https://ago.mo.gov

Kansas City Better Business Bureau

National Fraud Information Center