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Traditional Fraud These are scams that normally involve physical documents or contact with another person.

Job scams: An unsuspecting victim accepts a job in which they are paid a commission to facilitate money transfers through their account or apply for a job that asks them to set up a new bank account or prepay for a large insurance policy with the promise of repayment once the job starts. These job scams can be initiated via unsolicited email or through reputable online job boards. They offer work-at-home jobs, accounting positions or overseas positions. The job scam offers the victim a retained portion of the funds being moved through their account(s).

Lottery or sweepstakes scams: Victims receive unsolicited communication that they are the winner of a lottery that they did not enter. The communication will direct them to pay a small percentage for fake taxes or other fees in order to receive their prize.   The victim may also receive the check that appears to be official.  If in doubt, you may bring it to your local branch and explain your concerns for further research before depositing it or returning any money.

Dating scams: Victims are usually found in an online dating site or chat room where the criminal asks them to send money for a variety of reasons, including a need for urgent surgery, to make travel arrangements to meet in person, or to help them facilitate receipt of their inheritance.  The con artist may pose as students, tourists or overseas military personnel.

Internet auction scams: Victims may receive a check for something they sold over the Internet. The check will be made out for more than the selling price. The victim will be instructed to deposit the check, but send back the difference in cash.  In most cases the check or money order is fraudulent or counterfeit.  If in doubt, you may bring it to your local branch and explain your concerns for further research before depositing it or mailing the item sold.

Telephone scams: It is an old technique but criminals still scan the phone book in order to cold call victims hoping they reach customers of a bank they are claiming to be calling on behalf of. If the call is not initiated by the customer, the customer should ask for information from the caller, never give out sensitive information.  If you are in doubt, hang up and call United Bank's First Impression Department immediately at 1-800-423-7026.

Nigerian Scam Letters: This type of scam involves unsolicited letters and emails that are sent to individuals and companies offering the recipient something of value for their assistance in transferring millions of dollars to American banks. These "old-fashioned fraud schemes" have existed for a long time. Examples are bogus business opportunities, chain letters, "free goods", work-at-home schemes, diet scams, etc. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a list of the most common schemes at www.ftc.gov. Should you receive one of these letters, please do not reply, but report the letter to the Internet Fraud Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.

Red Flags-  Always remember the old adage, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 

Many of these scams involve the use of money orders, traveler's checks or "official" checks.  Most of the time, they are in multiples usually of the same denomination and will generally total large sums of money.  These money orders or cashier's checks may appear to be drawn on U.S. Postal Service, Wal-Mart or other banks but are usually  counterfeit. 

 

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