President Nate introduced his colleague from Old National Bank, Melody Fanslau – Tecumseh Banking Center Manager, who spoke to us today about “fraud” and “financial exploitation”. The most prominent example of fraud today, however she said was “phishing” – people trying to access other’s computers for information and steal your identity. The cost of fraud to creditors and consumers is a staggering $36.5B per year, Melody said!


Melody said that her bank started to use chip cards on their debit cards yet there is still a way for fraudsters to retrieve information from them. People who are most at risk are those who are on line a lot. Wiring money is also risky she said. Protection for people might be placing safeguards on their personal accounts especially when calling a bank about your personal account and would be asked for the password that was assigned to you.


Melody said there is actually a “typical” fraud season that extends from October to March each year. Common scams include: IRS scams, Advance Free scams, Telemarketing/Mystery Shopper/Work from Home scams, Identity Theft, and Lottery scams.


Things, Melody shared with us, that we can do if we are victims include: Notify your local bank, contact all three of the Credit Bureaus and place a fraud alert, contact your local law enforcement agency, contact the Social Security Administration Fraud Hotline at 800-269-0271, contact the IRS at 800-908-4490 and file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at 866-447-7559.


So, watch for these and many other scams from those wishing to access your information especially during the holiday season. Thanks, Melody, for this enlightening information.