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Stolen Mail in Red Wing
Customers in Red Wing, Hampton and the surrounding areas have reported an increase in stolen mail, including people who use their mailbox for outgoing mail.
We’d like to remind all customers to be cautious when sending or receiving personal information, bank account information or checks through the mail. To protect yourself or your business, consider following these recommendations from the Federal Trade Commission:
- Take outgoing mail to post office collection boxes or the post office.
- Promptly remove mail that arrives in your mailbox. If you won’t be home for several days, request a vacation hold on your mail.
- When you order new checks, don’t have them mailed to your home, unless you have a secure mailbox with a lock.
“Can You Hear Me?” Scam
The Better Business Bureau is warning individuals to be cautious when answering your phone. If someone asks “can you hear me?,” just hang up. By answering “yes” your voice may be recorded and used to authorize a purchase you didn’t make.
Some of our customers have also recently fallen victim to lottery scams. If you or someone you know is asked to send money to someone else in order to receive a monetary prize, that’s a red flag. Be skeptical of any offers…if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Phone Calls Regarding Bad Credit
We have also had customers report receiving phone calls from an agency claiming to help customer fix bad credit history in order to obtain personal and bank account information. Please be cautious of any communication (phone call, email or website pop-up page) asking you to provide personal information. If you don’t know who is calling, ask the caller to provide more information, do your research and end the call if you are not comfortable.
Merchants Bank will never ask for your personal information unless you have previously initiated a conversation with us about your accounts or an application.
Chip Card Security
After issuing new MasterCard EMV Chip Debit Cards at the end of 2016, Merchants has seen a decrease in fraudulent debit card transactions. Our new chip debit cards provide enhanced security when paying in-store by generating a one-time use code that can only be read by a register enabled to read chip cards. The code is created from the small chip on the front of your card and is hard to counterfeit, which prevents fraud.
If you do not have a Merchants Bank Debit Card, you can request one by contacting our Electronic Banking department. Debit cards are free with all Personal and Business Checking and Savings Accounts.
Next Steps If You’ve Experienced Fraud
If you think your bank account information has been compromised or you are a victim of identity theft, contact your local Merchants Bank and ask to speak to a Customer Service Representative.