04/03/2012 What to do if you are the victim of Identity Theft

Identity theft happens when someone steals your personal information and uses it without your permission, It is a serious crime that can wreak havoc with your finances, credit history, and reputation - and it can take time, money, and patience to resolve, The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation's consumer protection agency, prepared this guide to help you repair the damage that identity theft can cause, and reduce the risk of identity theft happening to you,

If you suspect that someone has stolen your identity, acting quickly is the best way to limit the damage, Setting things straight involves some work, This guide has tips, worksheets, blank forms, and sample letters to guide you through the recovery process, It covers:

• what identity theft victims must do immediately
• what problems may crop up
• how you can reduce your risk of identity theft

Read the Full FTC Guide...
    3/16/2012 Warning Pigeon Drop Con Game in Lincolnwood  PDF Version

  On March 3rd , 2012, An elderly Lincolnwood resident was a victim of a con game that resulted in nearly a $5500.00 loss. Police identified the con game as a "Pigeon Drop", a very common scam portrayed in many movies like "The Sting." Victim's typically fall for a story of woe that may provide them with a windfall of money if they help. 

The con man or woman comes in many different sizes; they are of all races and ages. The con man will typically explain that he found a lot of money; he then asks for help on what to do with the cash, and offers to share some with the victim. There is typically a suggestion that the proceeds came from illegal activity. This is done because that type of loss will most likely not be reported and will play easier on the victim's conscience. At some point a second con man is introduced and appears not to know the other offender. This person offers the help of a friend who plays the role of a lawyer. There is usually a phone call made to the laV\yer who may suggest that the money can't be spent until he verifies there is no claim. He may dictate a fee that needs to be paid prior to the money being awarded or; the con men may encourage all the parties provide their own cash as a show of good faith. In either case the victim withdraws money from their account and turns it over to the con. At some point the con men suggest the victim holds the money until they hear from the lawyer and they pass the victim a package full of scrap paper upon parting ways. The victim doesn't know he has been taken until he opens the package.

The Lincolnwood Police work hard to protect our community but these scams are isolated; they are done with the help of the public and many times go unreported due to embarrassment. In most cases, these predators target the elderly but have been known to target others. We encourage the community to stay aware of the con man by using that old adage; "if it sounds too good to be true, it is." If you're confronted with this type of scam call the police for advice before you become a victim. If you do become a victim; try to get a good description of the offenders, their autos etc. Please file a police report; if we don't know the crime is occurring in our area there is little we can do to help make our community aware of these predators and their scams. 

PDF Version

8/31/2009 Warning about ATM Skimmers

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation is warning consumers to be on the outlook for automated teller machine scams. ATMs have become a widespread part of commerce and can be found just about anywhere today. Unfortunately, organized criminals have found ways to steal and distort consumer financial information. One method of scamming consumers is referred to as ATM skimming. ATM skimmers are devices that criminals install on ATM machines that steal unsuspecting consumers ATM account information. In addition, a small camera is installed in the skimmer or at another location near the ATM to capture the consumers PIN number. Once the information is captured, criminals are then able to make up their own ATM cards along with their associated PIN. Following are tips that consumers can follow to help protect themselves from ATM skimmers:

1. Observe the ATM you are using, don’t use the ATM if you see something that looks out of the ordinary such as wiring or an odd looking device.

2. Use the same ATM as much as possible. If you do this you will be familiar with the ATM and be able to spot if someone has installed a device or tampered with the machine.

3. Be cautious if you see signs or stickers on the ATM that instruct you to “scan here first” or “no tampering”. These are generally placed on the machine by the ATM thieves to divert your attention from the new piece of equipment.

4. Do not use the machine if someone offers to help you with it. Criminals who install skimmers will often pose as another customer or technician working on the machine to assist users with their transactions.

5. Be wary of a jammed ATM machine that forces customers to use another ATM that has a skimmer attached to it.

6. You should always protect your PIN by not writing it down or giving it to anyone. Always cover the keypad while entering your PIN and never allow people to look over your shoulder while entering your PIN.

7. Use ATM machines where video cameras are installed. Criminals are less likely to install skimmers at such locations. 8. Consumers should monitor their account activity via monthly transaction statements or the Web and report any abnormal activity to their financial institution as soon as possible. Report unauthorized transactions or a lost card as soon as possible to obtain protection under the law.



Don't Be an On-line Victim: How to Guard Against Internet Thieves
and Electronic Scams

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) today released an on-line multimedia education tool that consumers can use to learn how to better protect their computers and themselves from identity thieves. The presentation also features actions consumers can take if their personal information has been compromised. Identity theft continues to be one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States, and has ranked as one of the top consumer concerns for the past several years. Identity theft is evolving in more complicated ways that make it harder for consumers to protect themselves, and easier for criminals to set up virtual storefronts on the Internet to sell confidential personal information.

Some of the steps outlined in the presentation that consumers can take to help safeguard their computers and their personal information from identity theft are: never provide personal information in response to an unsolicited telephone or Internet request; never provide a password over the phone or in response to an unsolicited Internet request; review account statements regularly to ensure all charges and transactions are correct; and use a firewall and anti-virus and spyware protection software.

One of the more frustrating aspects if identity theft occurs is restoring your good name and credit. If consumers either suspect that their personal information has been compromised, or have been victimized by identity thieves, they should: contact the fraud department at one of the three major credit bureaus and ask that a fraud alert be placed in their file at all three companies; review their credit reports periodically and carefully and look for inconsistencies or red flags such as accounts they didn't open; debts they can't explain or inquiries from companies they haven't contacted, contact the companies where the fraudulent activity occurred, and follow up any telephone calls in writing; file a police report with local police or the police department in the community where the crime took place and keep a copy of the report; and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.


FDIC Warning E-mail Scam
 Click to View a Multimedia Presentation from The FDIC to learn how to better protect yourself from identity theft.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has been notified that consumers have received e-mails that appear to the reader to be related to banking activities. The fraudulent e-mails request that the recipients respond to a notice from their bank to confirm an online payment to be made for products purchased. The link contained within the e-mail serves as a gateway to the fraudulent Web site. The fraudulent Web site is designed to look like a page from the FDIC's authentic Web page, where the individual is then directed to provide sensitive financial and personal information, such as bank or credit card account numbers.

The use of this type of e-mail scam, seeking to obtain sensitive information from individuals, is referred to as "phishing." The FDIC provides information on its Web site that explains more about phishing and other types of fraudulent activity targeting consumers at http://www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/alerts/index.html The information on this site also provides consumers with tips on protecting personal information from these types of scams.

This alert is intended to warn consumers that the fraudulent e-mail, which could also possibly contain a computer virus, was not sent by the FDIC. Financial institutions and consumers are warned NOT to access the link or submit personal information through this site. Additionally, as a reminder to all consumers, the FDIC strongly recommends that individuals safeguard personal information and refrain from responding to any unsolicited request for personal information. The FDIC was established by Congress in 1933 to maintain stability and public confidence in the nation's financial system.

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Third party web sites may have privacy and security policies different from Brickyard Bank. Links to other web sites do not imply the endorsement or approval of such web sites. Please review the privacy and security policies of web sites reached through links from Brickyard Banks web sites.

Please be advised that Brickyard Bank does not ask for your personal, financial, or account information via email or pop-up window. If you receive an email or pop-up requesting such information, please do not respond and never click on a link contained in a suspicious email. If you suspect you're a victim of Identity Theft, report the fraud immediately.