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WBA Statement on the Heartbleed Bug’s 
effect on bank customers

Statement on the Heartbleed Bug’s effect on bank customers from Rose Oswald Poels, president/CEO of the Wisconsin Bankers Association
WBA Press Release, April 10, 2014

“Consumers are protected from unauthorized transactions by their banks despite the far-reaching effects of the Heartbleed Bug. Banks use many different systems to protect customers’ information including rigorous security standards, encryption, and fraud detection software.

Financial institutions in Wisconsin are examining their systems with a fine-toothed comb and are applying security patches and updating encryption keys where needed. In many cases, internet banking applications are not impacted by this bug. Most financial institutions have a layer of security that prevents this type of exploitation while others don’t even use OpenSSl so this vulnerability isn’t an issue for them.

We do encourage consumers to be vigilant and review their accounts. Any unusual activity should be reported to their bank as soon as possible.

Consumers need to also be aware of phishing scams that may try take advantage of the typical security concerns that could arise with news of the Heartbleed Bug. Do not respond to emails with links claiming that your account is in jeopardy. If you do have concerns with any service provider due to the Heartbleed Bug, WBA encourages you to contact those businesses directly to avoid becoming a victim of a scam.”

 

Scam Alert

International Lotto Scam

Be aware of letters, phone calls or emails pertaining to comments below.

“Congratulations! You may receive a certified check for up to $400,000,000 U.S. CASH!
One Lump sum! Tax free! Your odds to WIN are 1-6.”

“Hundreds of U.S. citizens win every week using our secret system!
You can win as much as you want!”

Sound great? It’s a fraud.

Scam operators — often based in Canada — are using the telephone and direct mail to entice U.S. consumers to buy chances in high-stakes foreign lotteries from as far away as Australia and Europe. These lottery solicitations violate U.S. law, which prohibits the cross-border sale or purchase of lottery tickets by phone or mail.

Still, federal law enforcement authorities are intercepting and destroying millions of foreign lottery mailings sent or delivered by the truckload into the U.S. And consumers, lured by prospects of instant wealth, are responding to the solicitations that do get through — to the tune of $120 million a year, according to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, says most promotions for foreign lotteries are likely to be phony. Many scam operators don’t even buy the promised lottery tickets. Others buy some tickets, but keep the “winnings” for themselves. In addition, lottery hustlers use victims’ bank account numbers to make unauthorized withdrawals or their credit card numbers to run up additional charges.

The FTC has these words of caution for consumers who are thinking about responding to a foreign lottery:

  • If you play a foreign lottery — through the mail or over the telephone — you’re violating federal law.
  • There are no secret systems for winning foreign lotteries. Your chances of winning more than the cost of your tickets are slim to none.
  • If you purchase one foreign lottery ticket, expect many more bogus offers for lottery or investment “opportunities.” Your name will be placed on “sucker lists” that fraudulent telemarketers buy and sell.
  • Keep your credit card and bank account numbers to yourself. Scam artists often ask for them during an unsolicited sales pitch.

The bottom line, according to the FTC: Ignore all mail and phone solicitations for foreign lottery promotions. If you receive what looks like lottery material from a foreign country, give it to your local postmaster.

Report Scams

If you believe you’ve responded to a scam, file a complaint with:

 

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