Baylake Bank Provides Tips to Keep Finances Festive
December 15, 2011 --
You're getting ready for company, preparing a huge holiday meal, finalizing
Christmas lists, and busily wrapping gifts. The last thing you want to worry
about right now is your money; your guard is down, and scammers know it.
Scams occur year-round, but the holidays are prime time for criminals to take
advantage of preoccupied shoppers and merry-makers. They prey upon unsuspecting
consumers by contacting them and asking for specific account information, such
as PIN, account numbers, and other personal information. If successful, the
scammer gains access to the victim's bank accounts, credit cards, and other
There are three basic steps to prevent scammer disaster during the holidays and
throughout the year:
1. STOP – Do not
respond immediately to voicemails, e-mails or text messages requesting
personal information. Request the caller's name and contact information;
oftentimes, scammers will hang up if they sense your suspicion. Never give
out any of your personal information unless you have initiated a phone call,
and have verified the legitimacy of the phone number you are calling.
2. THINK – Ask yourself why your bank would need this information
when they already have it. A legitimate financial institution will never
request specific account information via phone, e-mail, or text message.
They can look that information up in their records.
3. CALL – call the number for your bank that appears on your bank
statement, not the number in the voice message or e-mail soliciting your
information. Contact local law enforcement if you think you've been a victim
of a scam.
One of the most common tactics used during the holidays, which is also peak
shopping season, is a message notifying the consumer that their bank account
has been frozen and they must call an 800 number or respond to an email with
their account information in order to have it reinstated. Remember: Stop
– even though the temptation to respond immediately is pressing, resist
giving out any personal information; Think – if your account had
truly been frozen, your bank would ask you to visit your local branch or
office, not give out your information; and, Call – call your bank
(using the number on your statement) and verify your account's status. They
will be able to help you sort out the situation.
So, as you scurry through the holidays, remember that scammers are equally
busy targeting their next victims. Just remember to "Stop, Think, Call" and
you'll be free to enjoy the festivities!
Baylake Bank, a Baylake Corp company and Member FDIC/Equal Housing Lender,
serves its Wisconsin communities from financial centers in Brown, Door,
Green Lake, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Outagamie, Waupaca, and Waushara counties
and from its website at www.baylake.com. For more information call (920)
743-5551 or 1-800-267-3610