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Beware Charity Scams

Sadly, when tragedies happen, con-artists and thieves take advantage of the kind-hearted.

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, we have seen an increase in malicious emails and websites targeting those who want to lend a helping hand. Please be wary of those seeking to exploit your interest to help those impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

Exercise caution in handling any email with subject line, attachments, or hyperlinks related to Hurricane Harvey, even if it appears to be sent from a trusted source. Fraudulent emails often contain links or attachments that direct users to phishing or malware-infected websites. Emails requesting donations from deceitful charitable organizations commonly appear after major natural disasters.

Use care when encountering these types of email messages and take the following preventative measures to protect yourselves from phishing scams and malware campaigns:

  • Do not follow unknown hyperlinks in received emails.
  • Do not open mail attachments. Refer to the US-CERT Tip Using Caution with Email Attachments to find out how to handle email attachments safely.
  • Keep all computer software up-to-date, including antivirus and operating systems.
  • Do not fall victim to social engineering attacks. Refer to the Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks for more information.
  • Be aware of various scams involving charities by reading the Federal Trade Commission article on Charity Scams.

 

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What You Will Need Close Warning

Applying is fast and easy. Here’s what you’ll need to have ready:

  1. Your Social Security Number or Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN)
  2. A US government-issued photo ID (e.g. Driver’s License, Passport, or State)
  3. A credit or debit card to fund your new account
  4. A valid email address

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT PROCEDURES FOR OPENING A NEW ACCOUNT

To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, Federal law requires all financial Banks to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account.

What this means for you:
When you open an account, we will ask for your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you. We must also ask to see your driver’s license or other identifying documents.

Online Applications are available for residents of our service area including Kent, Newaygo, Muskegon, Ottawa, Montcalm, Oceana, Osceola, Ionia, Mecosta, Lake, Allegan, and Barry Counties in Michigan.