In The News
6/4/2013 - Going on Vacation?
by Rosario Méndez ttorney, FTC
What does summer mean to you? Barbecues? Darting in and out of splash pads in the park? Vacations with your family and friends? Planning a vacation can be overwhelming. And while there may be options for virtually every budget, there also are lots of pitches made that, frankly, may be a little generous for the situation. “Five star” accommodations may be on a scale of 15; “best location” may be okay for someone else’s priorities but not for yours; “all-inclusive” may be slightly misleading in terms of costs or services. The key to avoiding travel trouble? Ask a lot of questions and don’t commit until you get the answers in detail.
Some tips to get you started:
- Ask about refund and cancellation policies. Get them in writing.
- Speak to a person who is on the property about the details. Get current photos.
- Confirm all the travel arrangements yourself.
- Get details behind vague promises like “five-star” resort or “luxury” cruise.
- Read reviews critically – and evaluate the positives and the negatives.
Before you research travel offers, prepare yourself. Read these trip tips; and for a different take on vacation tips, see Gear Up for A Great Trip.
The complete article can be read or printed online at Website: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/going-vacation
5/30/2013 - Cyber Criminals Using Photo-Sharing Programs to Compromise Computers
The FBI has seen an increase in cyber criminals who use online photo-sharing programs to perpetrate scams and harm victims’ computers. These criminals advertise vehicles online but will not provide pictures in the advertisement. They will send photos on request. Sometimes the photo is a single file sent as an e-mail attachment, and sometimes the victim receives a link to an online photo gallery.
The photos can/often contain malicious software that infects the victims” computer, directing them to fake websites that look nearly identical to the real site where they originally saw the advertisement. The cyber criminals run all aspects of these fake websites, including “tech support” or “live chat support,” and any “recommended” escrow services. After the victim agrees to purchase the item and makes the payment, the criminals stop responding to correspondence. The victims never receive any merchandise.
The FBI urges consumers to protect themselves when shopping online. Here are a few tips for staying safe:
- Be cautious if you are on an auction site and lose an auction and the seller contacts you later saying the original bidder fell through.
- Make sure websites are secure and authenticated before you purchase an item online. Use only well-known escrow services.
- Research to determine if a car dealership is real and how long it has been in business.
- Be wary if the price for the item you’d like to buy is severely undervalued; if it is, the item is likely fraudulent.
- Scan files before downloading them to your computer.
- Keep your computer software, including the operating system, updated with the latest patches.
- Ensure your anti-virus software and firewalls are current – they can help prevent malware infections.
If you have fallen victim to this type of scam, file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center, http://www.ic3.gov/.
The complete article can be read or printed online at http://www.ic3.gov/media/2013/130530.aspx.
5/22/2013 - FDIC Consumer Newsletter Features Tips on Banking in a High-Tech World
Other topics include debt collection, branch closings, bank mergers, and buying a CD from a broker
New technology can dramatically change the way that people manage and save money. To help consumers learn more about banking in a high-tech world, the Spring 2013 issue of FDIC Consumer News features practical tips on how to reap the benefits and avoid potential problems. Other timely topics include dealing with debt collectors, finding affordable small loans, thinking about your options after a branch closing or a bank merger, and taking precautions before buying a bank certificate of deposit (CD) from a deposit broker instead of directly from a financial institution.
The latest issue can be read or printed online at www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/news/cnspr13.
The FDIC encourages financial institutions, government agencies, consumer organizations, educators, the media and anyone else to help make the tips and information in FDIC Consumer News widely available. The publication may be reprinted in whole or in part without advance permission. Organizations also may link to or mention the FDIC Web site. See the Web site above for more details.
The goal of FDIC Consumer News is to deliver timely, reliable and innovative tips and information about financial matters, free of charge. Current and past issues are online at www.fdic.gov/consumernews.
Please forward this e-mail to anyone else you think would be interested in reading FDIC Consumer News or learning about the FDIC’s other products and services for consumers. Others wishing to subscribe to this free online delivery service should follow instructions posted on the FDIC Web site at www.fdic.gov/about/subscriptions/index.html.
5/21/2013 - “Green Card” Lottery Scams
Consumer Education Specialist, FTC
The results for the 2014 Diversity Visa Lottery are now available at dvlottery.state.gov.
That’s good news for people who are hoping to become “lawful permanent residents” in the US (sometimes referred to as “getting a green card”).
But it’s also a good opportunity for scammers to try to confuse hopeful applicants.
If you’ve entered the diversity visa lottery, don’t be fooled by emails that say you’ve won, or that ask you to send money to claim your spot.
The truth is, the only way to check the status of your application is to visit dvlottery.state.gov. If you get an email or letter from someone telling you that you won, it's a scam.
If your entry is selected, you'll have to pay an application fee to the US Embassy or Consulate Cashier, but only when you go for your scheduled appointment. The US government will never ask you to send money in advance by check, money order, or wire transfer.
If you want to know more about the rules of the diversity visa lottery, check out this video. Link to Watch the Video: http://bcove.me/n9hzjm3e
If you suspect you’ve been contacted by a scam artist, please report your experience to the FTC.
The complete article can be read or printed online at http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/green-card-lottery-scams
5/15/2013 - Innovation & Job News
Ann Arbor State Bank is in the news for adding staff and opening two locations in 2012. Read more...
5/10/2013 - The Affordable Care Act: When Scams Follow the News
The Affordable Care Act is in the news lately. And one thing we’ve learned at the Federal Trade Commission is that scams often follow the news. Natural disaster? Charity scams will follow. Implementation of a major new law affecting millions of people? Scammers will be there.
To cut through some of the clutter in the environment with all the articles and discussion of the Act, here’s one key fact to hold onto that can help spot and avoid scams:
You can’t sign up yet.
Enrollment in the new Health Insurance Marketplace doesn’t start until October 1, 2013. Anyone who claims to be able to sign you up sooner is trying to scam you. Please report them.
We’ve heard from consumers and from other federal agencies that scammers are trying to convince people to act now. Scammers always want to get your money before you have time to stop and think. So remember that date: October 1, 2013. That’s the first time anyone, anywhere can sign up for health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace under the Affordable Care Act.
And please: if you see someone trying to enroll people for health insurance under the Act before October 1, 2013, say something. We can only investigate the scams we know about, so every report helps us find and stop the bad guys. Thanks in advance!
The complete article can be read or printed online at http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/affordable-care-act-when-scams-follow-news.
5/2/2013 - UNAUTHORIZED BANK ACCOUNT ACCESS IN THE PAYDAY LOAN SCAM
The payday loan scam involving threats and TDoS attacks was highlighted in the February 21, 2012 Public Service Announcement titled “New Variation On Telephone Collection Scam Related To Delinquent PayDay Loans” and in the January 7, 2013 IC3 Scam Alerts.
Based on IC3 complaint information, it appears the tactics used by the subjects continue to evolve. Information revealed subjects are now making unauthorized deposits for payday loans into victims’ bank accounts. The proceeds range from $200 to $300. After the initial deposit, victims reported unauthorized withdrawals every two weeks in increments between $60 and $90. The withdrawals are applied to accrued interest only, making it impossible to pay the loan in full. Victims reported all efforts to return the unwanted loan proceeds or pay the loan in full were unsuccessful. Some reported closing their bank account and holding the loan proceeds to prevent further fraud to their account. It has yet to be determined how the subjects are obtaining the victims’ bank account information, because some of the victims claim they have never applied for a payday loan.
The complete article can be read or printed online at http://www.ic3.gov/media/2013/130502.aspx.
5/2/2013 - FAKE EMAILS FROM HSBC WITH ATTACHED PAYMENT_ADVICE.ZIP CONTAINS TROJAN
MX Lab featured the following article on March 27, 2013
MX Lab, started to intercept a new trojan distribution campaign by email with the subject “Payment Advice – Advice Ref:[B32454525694]“. Please note that the numbers used in the subject and mail from may vary. The email is sent from the spoofed address “firstname.lastname@example.org ” and has the following body:
Upon your request, attached please find payment e-Advice for your reference. Yours faithfully,HSBC
We maintain strict security standards and procedures to prevent unauthorised access to information about you. HSBC will never contact you by e-mail or otherwise to ask you to validate prsonal information such as your user ID, password, or account numbers. If you receive such a request, please call our Direct Financial Services hotline. Please do not reply to this e-mail. Should you wish to contact us, please send your e-mail to email@example.com and we will respond to you. Note: it is important that you do not provide your account or credit card numbers, or convey any confidential information or banking instructions, in your reply mail. Copyright. The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited 2005. All rights reserved.
The attached ZIP file has the name Payment_Advice.zip and contains the 96 kB large file Payment_Advice.exe.
The trojan is known as W32/Trojan.IWRE-9169, PWS.Win32.Fareit.AMN (A), W32/Yakes.B!tr, Trojan.Agent.RVGen5.
At the time of writing, 11 of the 46 AV engines did detect the trojan at Virus Total. Virus Total and SHA256:
The complete article can be read or printed online at http://www.ic3.gov/media/2013/130502.aspx.
4/25/2013 - BEWARE OF POSSIBLE FRAUD ASSOCIATED WITH THE BOSTON MARATHON EXPLOSIONS
The FBI reminds the public there is the potential for fraud in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings. The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center has received indications that individuals may be using e-mail and social networking sites to facilitate fraudulent activities.
The FBI is aware of a spam e-mail with the subject line "Boston Marathon Explosion" and similarly themed messages being circulated to lure potential victims to malicious software and exploits. Spam e-mails and Web sites to which they are linked use a wide variety of deceptions to trick a user into taking actions that put the user’s computer at risk for infection. Common techniques include links to compromised Web sites and pop-up messages prompting users to download software to view pictures, videos or other files.
Social media is another avenue criminals use to solicit donations. The FBI is aware that an account on a popular social media service using the Boston Marathon name and official logo was created soon after the explosions. Communications from the account represented that $1 would be donated to the Boston Marathon victims for every communication other users sent to the account. Though the account was suspended by the social media service, others may use similar methods to commit fraud.
The FBI is also aware of numerous questionable domains registered within hours of the Boston Marathon explosions. Though the intentions of the registrants are unknown, domains have emerged following other disasters for fraudulent purposes.
Individuals should always exercise reasonable caution and vigilance when using e-mail and social networking Web sites. Based on experiences from previous times of tragedy, it is reasonable to believe that criminals will continue to exploit such events to solicit fraudulent donations, to obtain victims’ personally identifiable information (PII), and to further other illegal activities.
Individuals can limit exposure to cyber criminals by taking the following preventative actions when using email and social networking Web sites:
- Do not agree to download software to view content. Messages may contain pictures, videos, and other attachments designed to infect your computer with malware.
- Do not follow a link you receive via e-mail to go to a website. Links appearing as legitimate sites (example: fbi.gov), could be hyperlinked to direct victims to another website when clicked. These sites may be designed to infect your computer with malware or solicit personal information.
Verify the existence and legitimacy of organizations by conducting research and visiting official websites. Be skeptical of charity names similar to but not exactly the same as reputable charities.
- Do not allow others to make donations on your behalf. Donation-themed messages may also contain links to websites designed to solicit personal information, which can be routed to a cyber criminal.
- Make donations securely by using a debit/credit card or write a check made out to the specific charity. Be wary of making donations via money transfer services; legitimate charities do not normally solicit donations using this method of payment.
If you believe you have been the victim of fraud by someone soliciting funds on behalf of disaster victims or want to report suspicious e-mail solicitations or fraudulent Web sites, please file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, http://www.ic3.gov/
The complete article can be read or printed online at http://www.ic3.gov/media/2013/130425.aspx.
4/24/2013 - Protect Your Computer from Malware (Video)
Malware is short for “malicious software." It includes viruses and spyware that get installed on your computer or mobile device without your consent. These programs can cause your device to crash and can be used to monitor and control your online activity. Learn more about how to avoid, detect, and get rid of malware.
Would it surprise you to learn that millions of computers in the US are infected with malware? That's a lot of computers. So what's malware, and why should you care?
Malware, short for malicious software, includes viruses and spyware that get installed on your computer or mobile device without you knowing it. Criminals use malware to steal personal information and commit fraud. For example, they may use malware to steal the login information for your online accounts or to hijack your computer and use it to send spam. An infected computer can lead to serious problems, like identity theft.
The good news, there's a lot you can do to protect yourself and your computer. One of the most important steps you can take, install security software from a reliable company and set it to update automatically. The bad guys constantly develop new ways to attack your computer, so your software must be up to date to work.
Set your operating system and your web browser to update automatically too. If you're not sure how, use the help function and search for automatic updates. Don't buy security software in response to unexpected calls or messages, especially if they say they scanned your computer and found malware. Scammers send messages like these to trick you into buying worthless software, or worse, downloading malware.
What else can you do? Use a pop up blocker, and don't click on links and popups. Don't click on links or open attachments in emails unless you know what they are, even if the emails seem to be from friends or family.
Download software only from websites you know and trust. Free stuff may sound appealing, but free downloads can hide malware. Make sure your web browser's security setting is high enough to detect unauthorized downloads. For example, use at least the medium security setting.
Even if you take precautions, malware can find its way onto your computer. So be on the lookout for these signs. Your computer runs slowly, drains its battery quickly, displays unexpected errors or crashes, it won't shutdown or restart, it serves a lot of popups, takes you to web pages you didn't visit, changes your home page, or creates new icons or toolbars without your permission.
If you suspect malware, stop doing things that require passwords or personal info, such as online shopping or banking. Use a different computer, maybe one at work or at your local library, to change your passwords. Update your security software and run a system scan. Delete files it flags as malware.
If you can't fix the problem on your own, get help from a professional. Your computer manufacturer or internet service provider may offer free tech support. If not, contact a company or retail store that provides tech support.
Keep in mind, the most important thing you can do to prevent malware is to keep your computer software up to date. And remember, it's easy to find trusted information about computer security. Just visit onguardonline.gov, the federal government site to help you stay safe, secure, and responsible online.
The Video & Source: http://www.onguardonline.gov/media/video-0056-protect-your-computer-malware
4/22/2013 - Fraud Affects 25 Million People: Recognize Anyone You Know?
The FTC is always working to know more about the types of fraud being committed and who spends money on them. Consumers provide us with useful information through periodic surveys that ask them to share the important details about their recent marketplace experiences and a bit about themselves.
Last year, we asked people about their experiences with 17 types of fraud, and learned that nearly 11 percent of U.S. adults, or an estimated 25.6 million people, had paid for fraudulent products and services in 2011. The most-reported frauds involved weight loss products, prize promotions, unauthorized billing for buyer’s clubs or internet services, and work at home programs.
We learned that how people get product information and choose to pay relates to the likelihood they’ve been defrauded. People who made a first time purchase by internet or telephone after getting a telemarketing call, watching a TV ad or infomercial, or opening a spam email, were three times as likely to be victims of at least one fraud as people who didn’t buy in those circumstances.
Those who’d faced a serious negative life event — such as divorce, death of a family member or close friend, serious injury or illness in the family, or job loss — in the two years prior to the survey experienced more fraud than people who hadn’t. They experienced nearly four times as much debt-related fraud, three times as many fraudulent prize promotions, and twice as much fraud in general.
Fewer than one in ten (9 percent) of non-Hispanic whites experienced at least one fraud. Among Hispanics, 13 percent experienced at least one fraud; among African Americans 17 did. People age 45-54 were more likely than others — from age 18 to 75+, to spend money on a fraudulent product or service.
The complete article can be read or printed online at http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/fraud-affects-25-million-people-recognize-anyone-you-know
4/2/2013 - Infographic: How Criminals Guess Your PIN
Forget the security issues surrounding the ecosystem surrounding the nascent epayment economy for a minute. There’s a bigger problem – and it’s as obvious as your Personal Identification Number, or PIN.
Odds are you’ve used a four-digit PIN a lot. And that means a field day for criminals. Plain and simple, as the infographic below demonstrates, most folks don’t care or don’t bother to set up a four-digit PIN that’s difficult to guess after about 20 tries.
Try this on for size. According to a study of 3.4 million PINs by Data Genetics, nearly 27 percent of PINs could be guessed at correctly after just 20 tries. That isn’t just because popular pins like 1234 and 8888 reign – the most popular 1234 PIN accounted for 10 percent of the exposed PINs it studied. It’s also because, with four digits, there are only 10,000 possible combinations. Couple the two and you’ve got a situation that stands to expose an awful amount of people to a whole lot of felony theft — all over a PIN.
What to do? Check out the infographic and make sure your PIN isn’t among the most popular. Never write yours down. Change it frequently. And don’t be lazy about it. PIN theft is booming, for sure. But it takes two – you and the PIN thief working in concert – to tango.
The complete article can be read or printed online at http://www.techpageone.com/technology/with-holiday-shopping-well-upon-us-criminals-celebrate-too-are-they-using-your-pin-to-do-it-heres-a-great-infographic-with-facts-and-analysis-around-the-question-of-how-safe-your-pin-is-reall/
3/27/2013 - ANN ARBOR: PACE program helping to finance energy projects in local businesses
Five area businesses will soon kick off projects that will help reduce energy expenses and boost property values, thanks to Ann Arbor’s Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program.
Energy-efficient lighting, high-efficiency heating and cooling systems, upgraded cooking equipment, roof and wall insulation, and solar shingles are just some of the projects that will receive financing through the first PACE program to launch in Michigan.
PACE financing, which is made available through the sale of a bond and repaid by property owners through annual special assessments, features long-term, low, fixed interest rates.
“PACE is a direct $560,000 investment in the local economy that will result in annual energy savings for local businesses of more than $56,000,” Mayor John Hieftje said. “The annual electricity and natural gas savings of the first five PACE projects will be equivalent to the electricity used by more than 50 homes in a year. Our city’s Climate Action Plan calls for reducing greenhouse gas emissions 8 percent from 2000 levels by 2015, and these projects – and others like them – are an important part of helping Ann Arbor reach its sustainability goals.”
The Ann Arbor City Council authorized the sale of PACE bonds during its Feb. 19 meeting. The first bond sale was completed with Ann Arbor State Bank, which had been awarded the bond during a Request for Quotes process that opened in January.
With this successful sale, the City of Ann Arbor is the first Michigan municipality to sell PACE bonds, joining dozens of municipal governments across the country in taking advantage of this financial tool to improve energy efficiency.
Proceeds from the sale of the PACE bond, estimated to be approximately $560,000, will be assigned to owners of five commercial properties within the city that have completed a thorough eligibility and application process in order to participate in the program. These properties include: Arrowwood Hills Cooperative Housing, Big Boy Restaurant, Bivouac, Goodyear Building, and Kerrytown Market & Shops.
Energy project work, which ranges in size from $16,000 to $245,000, is expected to begin immediately and be completed within 90 days. While the property owners are entering into financing reservation agreements with the city now, the funds will not be disbursed until energy projects are completed and inspected.
Property owners will repay PACE assessments annually, beginning in June 2014. As determined by the terms of the bond sale, property owners have 10 years to repay assessments at 4.75 percent interest.
“Besides the immediate impact of employing area contractors and energy experts, PACE will have a lasting benefit in the years to come,” said Peter Schork, president of Ann Arbor State Bank. “We anticipate that property values will increase with these investments, utility expenses will decrease, and the improved, energy-efficient properties become an asset for the entire community.”
In 2010, with the assistance of local state lawmakers Senator Rebekah Warren and Representative Jeff Irwin, the State of Michigan enacted the Property Assessed Clean Energy Act (Public Act 270 of 2010), enabling local governments to create special assessment districts to offer financing to commercial and industrial property owners for eligible energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy systems.
Under Ann Arbor’s program, interested property owners completed a thorough application process to ensure their properties complied with eligibility requirements regarding project size, scope, and payback period; property value; and debt ratios. Energy assessments were also performed on the properties to identify project and savings opportunities.
The Ann Arbor PACE program was developed and administered through a partnership between the city and Clean Energy Coalition. Funding for program development was made possible by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. For information about PACE, visit a2energy.org/PACE.
The complete article can be read or printed online at http://www.heritage.com/articles/2013/03/27/ann_arbor_journal/news/doc51530c13204f0083393734.txt?viewmode=fullstory
3/27/2013 - Smartphone hacking comes of age, hitting US victims
Security researchers at Symantec warn that the next target for hackers will be your mobile device. NBC News' Bob Sullivan gets a demonstration of just how easy it is to hack a phone.
Not for long.
Criminals have been probing the systems that protect U.S. smartphone users for years, searching for the right combination of programming tricks and social engineering that would allow them to sneak onto users' phones. Recently, one hacker group hit the jackpot.
They took a year-old mobile virus named NotCompatible, which allows hackers to take complete control of a phone, and posted the malicious code on websites. Then they sent out enticing spam emails with links to the booby-trapped sites. The emails were all the more tempting because they appeared to come from friends or others on the recipients’ contact list. Victims who clicked on the link from their phones and downloaded the file surrendered control of their Android phones to the criminals. Security firm Lookout says 10,000 customers per day are still being tricked to click on the bogus link and landing on the booby-trapped pages, and virtually all of them are in the U.S.
Tim Strazzere, Lookout’s lead research and response engineer, said the sudden "staggering increase" in detection of the of the NotCompatible, which initially appeared one year ago, shows that the marriage of spam and mobile malware might be a recipe for real trouble.
"This Android malware is unique," he said. "It's exactly the same scheme and end game as before, but it's just being circulated through different means. And it's working."
U.S. smartphone users have been spared much grief from mobile malware so far for a variety of reasons. Chief among them: Most users get their apps from a centralized and safe source. Apple keeps tight controls on its App Store, so malware writers are largely ignoring that platform. And while Google's Play Store for Android is not as tightly controlled, criminals haven't had much luck sneaking infected software onto that platform, either. That leaves hackers with time-consuming, clumsy methods, such as tricking users to visit a rogue website and electing to install an app.
Android attackers in other parts of the world have an easier time. In China, for example, it's hard to access Google's Play store, so consumers often get their apps from websites. That means rogue apps on random websites raise less suspicion.
But Strazzere warns that the criminals behind NotCompatible have found a way to make U.S. users almost as vulnerable as those in Asia – a direct email invitation from a friend to install what turns out to be a bogus app.
Those who might dismiss this scenario should beware: Last month, when a report by Mandiant Corp. alleged that hundreds of U.S. companies had been hacked by an arm of the Chinese military, the initial method of attack was almost the same -- a "spear-phishing" email that appears to come from a co-worker or friend, sent to entice the recipient into clicking on a virus-laden link.
Smartphone users might fear that a criminal with access to their devices might destroy all their data, "brick" the phone or prank call all their contacts. But the real nightmare from a hacked phone is much more subtle, and can be much more expensive, than having to replace a phone.
Vikram Thakur, a researcher at Symantec Corp., studied one mobile phone hacker who turned compromised devices into an estimated $1 million annually.
“We found a mobile phone botnet, which had … maybe 200,000 cellphones which were compromised and in control of just this one person," he said. "(He) was able to send text messages, make these phones view videos, which were in turn giving him money; and he was doing so about 25,000 times a day."
Cellphone hackers don't do anything to call attention to themselves. Instead, their programs are designed to run in complete silence, in the background. And they cover their tracks. There's no log of calls placed to dicey overseas numbers, no evidence of text messages sent that can run up a monthly bill.
“Your phone bill might have extra data usage toward the end of the month,” Strazzere said. "That might be the only way you'd know." Hackers around the world have clearly trained their attention on the fertile ground of phone hacking. Kaspersky Labs, another security firm, says there has been "explosive growth," and offers numbers to back that up. In January 2011, it counted only eight new malicious mobile malware programs. At the end of 2012, it counted 6,300 such programs monthly.
Nearly all of that activity has until now targeted overseas users, sometimes with devastating results. A program aptly named "BillShocker" by researchers infected 620,000 users earlier this year, mostly in China, and ran up hefty bills through premium text message services.
Mobile malware writers are also developing hybrid threats designed to counterattack online banking security systems. In one sophisticated attack, criminals hacked both a victim's computer and cellphone, then lurked until an online banking transaction was initiated on the PC. When the bank sent a so-called "out of band" text message as a security confirmation, the criminals intercepted them and approved the transactions. A malicious program named Eurograbber is blamed for stealing $47 million from 30,000 bank accounts this way, according to a report by security firm F-Secure.
Those victims were in Europe, but now there are other indications that mobile hackers are circling the waters, aggressively looking for more ways into the U.S. market.
Computer security expert Brian Krebs reported earlier this month on his blog that criminals are selling authorized Google Play developer accounts on underground bulletin boards. A developer account would theoretically give a criminal the ability to post rogue software onto the Google Play store.
NotCompatible is a little less ambitious. Its main goal is to control a smartphone and turn it into a "proxy" device for overseas criminals, so they could pretend they were ordering expensive merchandise from within the U.S. Because many online sellers use geographic location to filter out fraud, and many trust cellphone location information, a hacked phone can be a perfect tool for foiling fraud-fighting software.
"Companies block transactions when someone in Romania is trying to buy concert tickets in the U.S., for example," said Strazzere. "NotCompatible allows them to hide where they are coming from ... gives them a little more mobility based on where they want to come from. With a hacked cell phone, they will look like they are where the endpoint is."
Strazzere sees the blended threat – part virus, part spam – as ushering a new style of cellphone attacks, just as such blended threats gave hackers the upper hand in the personal computer world during the last decade.
“This shows the progression of malware authors and what they are doing to experiment,” he said. It also shows impressive coordination in attacks. “It’s still a new space for them. But they are figuring things out.”
The complete article can be read or printed online at http://redtape.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/03/21/17390282-smartphone-hacking-comes-of-age-hitting-us-victims?lite&ocid=msnhp&pos=1ims .
3/12/2013 - Beware of Bogus IRS Emails
In reality, it's a scam known as "phishing," attempting to trick you into revealing your personal and financial information. The criminals then use this information to commit identity theft or steal your money.
The IRS has this advice for anyone who receives an email claiming to be from the IRS or directing you to an IRS site:
•Do not reply to the message
•Do not open any attachments. Attachments may contain malicious code that will infect your computer
•Do not click on any links in a suspicious email or phishing website and do not enter confidential information. Visit the IRS website and click on 'Identity Theft' at the bottom of the page for more information
Here are five other key points the IRS wants you to know about phishing scams.
1. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email or social media channels to request personal or financial information
2. The IRS never asks for detailed personal and financial information like PIN numbers, passwords or similar secret access information for credit card, bank or other financial accounts;
3. The address of the official IRS website is www.irs.gov. Do not be misled by sites claiming to be the IRS but ending in .com, .net, .org or anything other than .gov. If you discover a website that claims to be the IRS but you suspect it is bogus, do not provide any personal information on their site and report it to the IRS
4. If you receive a phone call, fax or letter in the mail from an individual claiming to be from the IRS but you suspect they are not an IRS employee, contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 to determine if the IRS has a legitimate need to contact you. Report any bogus correspondence. Forward a suspicious email to firstname.lastname@example.org
5. You can help the IRS and other law enforcement agencies shut down these schemes. Visit the IRS.gov website to get details on how to report scams and helpful resources if you are the victim of a scam. Click on "Reporting Phishing" at the bottom of the page.
The complete article can be read or printed online at http://www.bizactions.com/n.cfm/page/e105/key/224941095G242J4397360P0P10235243T0/
Winter 2012/2013 – Ann Arbor State Bank is pleased to announce that our Board of Directors approved the promotion of six of our employees in recognition of their hard work and commitment to the success of the Bank.
Congratulations are in order for the following staff:
Jeremy Shaffer promoted to Vice President.
Kimberly Pearsall, Michelle Vesey, Jason Robinson, Nicole Mourning and Craig Orndorf promoted to Assistant Vice President.
3/6/2013 - Jackson Company Line: Nicole Mourning receives promotion at Ann Arbor State Bank!
2/14/2013 - Scheduled Website Maintenance for 2-18-2013
Our website www.a2sb.com will be down from approximately 9AM - 1PM on Monday, February 18th for maintenance but you will still have access to online banking by using this link. Please save this link if you know that you will need access to your online banking on Monday. We apologize for this inconvenience and thank you for both your patience and understanding.
2/6/2013 Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office has released an advisory for a Credit Card Scam Warning:
Be wary of those who come bearing gifts. The most recent credit card scam works like this:
A phone call from someone who says that he is from some outfit called: "Express Couriers" asking if someone was going to be home because there is a package, and the caller says that the delivery would arrive at your home in roughly an hour. And sure enough, about an hour later, a delivery man turns up with a beautiful basket of flowers and wine. What a surprise for you (especially if there is no special occasion or holiday), and no-one certainly expects anything like that! Intrigued you ask who the sender is. The deliveryman's reply was, he is only delivering the gift package, but allegedly a card is being sent separately; (the card never arrives). There is also an official looking ‘consignment’ note with the gift. He now goes on to explain that because the gift contains alcohol, there is a $3.50 ‘delivery charge’ as proof that he had actually delivered the package to an adult, and not just left it on the doorstep to just be stolen or taken by anyone. Sounds logical doesn’t it? You offer to pay cash but he tells you that the company requires the payment to be by credit or debit card only, so that no ‘cash’ is exchanged and everything is properly accounted for. You take out your (or your husbands) credit/debit card and the "delivery man" asks you to swipe the card on the small mobile card machine which has a small screen and keypad where you now enter the card's PIN and security number. A receipt is printed out and given to you.
Next week you will find that money has been charged/withdrawn from your credit/debit account at various ATM machines all over the country. It appears that the "mobile credit card machine" which the deliveryman carried now has all the info necessary to create a "dummy" card with all your card details, after you have swiped the card and entered the requested PIN and security number.
Please be aware of this most recent scam and share this information with your family, friends, and neighbors. Any suspect description or suspect vehicle information should be reported to your local police agency.
1/22/2013 - Skype Users change your Privacy Settings to only allow calls from people you have added to your contact list.
Skype users change your Privacy Settings to only allow calls from people you have added to your contact list.
It's easy to learn more about managing your privacy settings in Skype for Windows. The complete article can be read or printed online at
1/7/2013 - Most Popular 2012 Passwords Revealed
SplashData.com recently published the following information regarding the most popular 2012 passwords on the web. The ranking was based on password information from compromised accounts posted by hackers online. The article was also featured on blogs.avg.com. This year, the list is back! So it's time to see how, if at all, users have learned their lessons about what makes a strong password. The complete article can be read or printed online at www.ic3.gov/media/2013/130107.aspx.
12/17/2012 - A2SB Employees Adopt Two Family's
Ann Arbor State Bank Employees were happy to spread the Christmas cheer by sponsoring two family's this Holiday Season. We wanted to give back to the community and make Christmas brighter through the Salvation Army's Adopt-A-Family program.
For more information on adopting a family click on the link below: http://www.usc.salvationarmy.org/usc/www_usc_washtenaw.nsf
11/27/2012 - Poetry Night in Ann Arbor
The Neutral Zone is presenting “Poetry Night in Ann Arbor” with Patricia Smith, Shira Erlichman and Volume Youth Poets.
Please click on the link below for more information on these award winning poets.
The event is Thursday, 11/29/12 at Rackham Auditorium, 915 E Washington at 7:00 p.m.
11/21/2012 - HOLIDAY SHOPPING TIPS
The FBI continues to remind shoppers to be wary of Internet fraud during the holiday shopping season. Scammers use many techniques to deceive potential victims, including creating fraudulent auction sales, reshipping merchandise purchased with a stolen credit card, selling fraudulent or stolen gift cards through auction sites at a discounted price and using phishing e-mails to advertise brand-name merchandise for bargain prices or e-mails to promote the sale of merchandise that is counterfeit.
In advance of the holiday season, the FBI, in partnership with the Merchant Risk Council (MRC), would like shoppers to be informed of the common scams that affect consumers and E-commerce. The MRC is an organization that works to increase networking and information sharing among merchants to better enable members to successfully fight online fraud.
Purchasing any new product or gift card on an auction or classified advertisement site where the price is significantly lower than any sale prices in retail outlets
Many of these sellers, especially for gift cards and tickets, have purchased these items with a stolen credit card. Most likely, the gift card or ticket will be deactivated by the time the recipient uses the card or ticket.
Never provide credit card numbers, bank account information, personally identifiable information or wire money to a person who advertises items on these sites at a too good to be true price. Many times, fraudsters will post a popular item to obtain this information, and the goods will never be mailed, but your card or identity will be used fraudulently later. If you make a purchase from these sites, we encourage you to check a seller’s ratings and feedback to ensure he or she is reputable.
Phishing and scam e-mails, text messages or phone calls
Many times, e-mails, texts or phone calls will look or sound like they are coming from a well-known retailer, stating a need to “verify” the full credit card number you used for a purchase or ask you to click a link to update personal account information. If you receive an e-mail that asks you to click a link to verify information, delete it. Type the retailer’s or financial institution’s website into a browser to log into your account. If the fraudster is insistent, ask him or her to read you the card number first or ask to call back. If it is a legitimate call, the company representative will have no problem with your calling back through the customer service line.
"One Day Only" websites featuring the sale of a "hot item"
During the holiday season, there will be an increase in websites created to sell specific items in high demand. Typically, the cardholders never receive the product, but the credit card information they entered is used for fraudulent purchases. It is important to only make purchases with companies and sellers who have a history and can be identified when searching reviews and ratings.
Postings of popular items for free or drastically reduced prices
There are many gift card offers on social media sites claiming to be from major retailers. These offers are typically used to gain access to consumers’ social media accounts either to log in to other accounts you may have tied to this account or to post illegitimate offers on your behalf. Purchasing an item at a reduced rate based on a posting from someone you do not know can often lead to a credit card compromise or the purchase of a counterfeit item.
"Work from home" offers, to act as a private reshipper, often fronting the shipping costs on behalf of the fraudster
Offers to work from home to reship items to another country or another person often means the goods were purchased with stolen credit cards. Having these goods shipped to your home and sending them to another person could have legal implications. Also, many times the money promised for completing this service is never paid. These scams can sound legitimate at first, so be leery of anyone offering a lot of money for a simple task.
Remember, if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Consumers are urged to be very skeptical of people offering a great deal outside of any established retail business.
Here are some tips you can use to avoid becoming a victim of cyber fraud:
•Do not respond to unsolicited (spam) e-mail.
•Do not click on links contained within an unsolicited e-mail.
•Be cautious of e-mail claiming to contain pictures in attached files, as the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders. Scan the attachments for viruses if possible.
•Avoid filling out forms contained in e-mail messages that ask for personal information.
•Always compare the link in the e-mail to the link you are actually directed to and determine if they actually match and will lead you to a legitimate site.
•Log on directly to the official website for the business identified in the e-mail, instead of “linking” to it from an unsolicited e-mail. If the e-mail appears to be from your bank, credit card issuer, or other company you deal with frequently, your statements or official correspondence from the business will provide the proper contact information.
•Contact the actual business that supposedly sent the e-mail to verify if the e-mail is genuine.
•If you are requested to act quickly or there is an emergency, it may be a scam. Fraudsters create a sense of urgency to get you to act quickly.
•Verify any requests for personal information from any business or financial institution by contacting them using the main contact information.
•Remember if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
11/8/2012 - The Washtenaw County Cyber Citizenship Coalitoin (WC4) Plans Cyber Security Class
The Washtenaw County Cyber Citizenship Coalition (WC4) is hosting a class on how to protect your business from cyber-attack. “Cyber Security for Business 101” will be led by local cyber security professionals Joe Eastman, Adjunct Faculty at Eastern Michigan University and Jeff Haller, consultant, Information Assurance.
"Understanding how vulnerable you are to attack and what you can do about it today is the first step to protecting your computers and data," says class facilitator Noël Quiton, an Information Assurance Independent Trainer.
A second class will be held on November 12 at the Ann Arbor Chamber of Commerce, 115 West Huron, third floor; the session starts at 9a.m. (Parking at First and Huron)
The classes will cover topics ranging from demonstrations on how easy it is for any business to become a target of a cyber-attack and what it looks like to get hacked, to providing insight on what happens when bad guys get in your system. A question and answer session will follow the discussion. Get information on simple steps you can take to make your computers and data less of a target as well as details about what to do if your business becomes a victim.
Founded in 2009, the mission of WC4 is to raise awareness and provide county residents with the tools and resources to be good cyber citizens. Coalition members include members of local, state and federal agencies who are involved in keeping residents and businesses safe online.
WC4 strives to empower community members through awareness and education to use the Internet and related technology safely and securely.
Participants are encouraged to pre-register.
• For the November 12 class,
For more information, contact:
Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Regional Chamber of Commerce
email@example.com / 734-665-4433
For more information check out WC4’s website at http://washtenawcybercoalition.org
10/24/2012 - 12th Annual Treat Parade in downtown Ann Arbor - Wednesday, October 31, 2012.
Stop by for your *treat at our Main Office and our Residential Lending Department from 11 AM - 5 PM.
Visit the website for participating businesses and other detailed
*Treats while supplies last.
10/15/12 - Credit is a fact of life for most Americans. Yet, the choices people make on how to use their first credit card, or handle their first loan, can change their life for years to come. That's why it's so critical to educate young people on the use of credit. View recommended credit resources http://www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/moneysmart/young.html .
10/12/2012 - SMARTPHONE USERS SHOULD BE AWARE OF MALWARE TARGETING MOBILE DEVICES AND SAFETY MEASURES TO HELP AVOID COMPROMISE
The IC3 has been made aware of various malware attacking Android operating systems for mobile devices. Some of the latest known versions of this type of malware are Loozfon and FinFisher. Loozfon is an information-stealing piece of malware. Criminals use different variants to lure the victims. One version is a work-at-home opportunity that promises a profitable payday just for sending out email. A link within these advertisements leads to a website that is designed to push Loozfon on the user's device. The malicious application steals contact details from the user’s address book and the infected device's phone number.
FinFisher is a spyware capable of taking over the components of a mobile device. When installed the mobile device can be remotely controlled and monitored no matter where the Target is located. FinFisher can be easily transmitted to a Smartphone when the user visits a specific web link or opens a text message masquerading as a system update.
Loozfon and FinFisher are just two examples of malware used by criminals to lure users into compromising their devices.
Visit the website for Safety tips to protect your mobile device. http://www.ic3.gov/media/2012/121012.aspx
9/11/12 - September 17 is Constitution Day! On this day in 1787, all 12 state delegations that attended the Constitution Convention in Philadelphia ratified the new U.S. Constitution.
To help commemorate this important event, and to bring a greater understanding of our unique form of government to students, local lawyers in Ann Arbor are volunteering their time in our middle schools to help explain the Constitution to students in 6th, 7th and 8th grades. Ann Arbor State Bank’s legal counsel, Kevin Corbin, is working with 8th grade students at Forsythe Middle School.
“I appreciate the opportunity to work with other local attorneys to visit our schools and help students better understand our government. Everyone at Ann Arbor State Bank is committed to our community and our schools, and we are all very happy to be able to contribute to this learning experience,” said Kevin Corbin, Ann Arbor State Bank Vice President and General Counsel.
If you have middle school aged children, ask them about their experiences in school on Constitution Day. If you want more information about our Constitution, you can find it here at the United States National Archives website: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution.html .
8/27/12 - FDIC Consumer Newsletter Features Tips on Getting the Most From a Bank Account. Other topics include managing a mortgage and adding others to accounts. The Summer 2012 issue of FDIC Consumer News features tips on how to choose and effectively use a bank account for routine financial needs. Also in this issue are practical suggestions for navigating the mortgage process -- from before a consumer buys a home through the final loan payment -- and a look at potential risks when adding other people to a deposit or loan account. The latest issue can be read or printed online at www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/news/cnsum12.
7/24/12 - With a perfect "0" Texas Ratio, Ann Arbor State Bank was recently listed as one of the top 359 banks in America. Click here to read the whole story at money.msn.com.
2/27/12 - Ann Arbor State Bank is a sponsor of an upcoming Lunch & Learn featuring Alison Davis-Blake, Edward J. Frey Dean of the Ross School of Business, the University of Michigan. The event is Wednesday, March 7, 2012 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Ann Arbor City Club located at 1830 Washtenaw Avenue. The topic is The Future of Business Education. Reservations are required by March 2, 2012. Call 734-662-3279, ext 1 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2/7/12 - We continue to see a variety of phishing attempts coming into our email at Ann Arbor State Bank and are sure that our customers are seeing them also. We have found that several entities that experience a lot of phishing attempts have mailboxes where phishing emails can be forwarded to report them. Here is a short list:
For email claiming to be about a cancelled EFT, ACH Payment or wire transfer that appears to be coming from NACHA, forward to: email@example.com
For email claiming to be from the IRS regarding a cancelled EFTPS payment or other tax payment, forward to: firstname.lastname@example.org
For email claiming to be from Paypal regarding a suspended account or problem with an account, forward to: email@example.com
For email claiming to be from Western Union regarding a failed transfer, forward to: firstname.lastname@example.org
For email claiming to be from Intuit for a failed order or expiring accounting credentials, forward to email@example.com
12/15/11 - Ann Arbor State Bank is in the news for our participation in the US Marine Corp's Toys for Tots Program and having a beautiful antique sleigh on display. The bank is displaying a sleigh made in 1889 by the Ann Arbor Carrigage Company. This local company was known it its day for making top of the line carriages and light sleighs. It was a jewel for the City of Ann Arbor providing two vehicles to President Grover Cleveland's adminstration. The display is complete with two reindeer and loads of presents along with a decorated Christmas tree. The public is invited to come to the bank now through December 20th to make a donation to Toys for Tots and view the display of this hidden Ann Arbor Treasure.
11/30/11 - Consumers have important decisions to make when it comes to managing money and saving for their future, particularly in a tough economy when every dollar counts. To help consumers make choices based on practical information from reliable sources, the Fall 2011 issue of FDIC Consumer News offers simple strategies in three areas: saving for retirement, improving credit scores and buying vs. renting a home. In addition, the issue offers new tips and information related to Internet Banking.
Click here to be directed to the FDIC website to read or print the latest issue.
11/28/11 - On December 14, 2011, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time, Visa will host a free webinar titled "U.S. Small Merchant Data Security and Authentication." This webinar will provide small merchants with an overview of the data security landscape, including potential impacts of new technologies such as chip, point-to-point encryption and tokenization. It will also cover Visa's recent announcement regarding accelerated chip migration in the United States. This one hour event is open to an unlimited number of Visa acquirers and merchants. To register click here.
11/15/11 - Ann Arbor State Bank supports 826michigan a local nonprofit writing and tutoring center in their second annaul festival of student-written one-act plays, "Five Bowls of Oatmeal: The Return of Oatmeal". The event will be held at Rackham Auditorium (913 E. Washington St) at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 17.
10/24/11 - The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has received numerous reports of a fraudulent e-mail that has the appearance of being sent from the FDIC. The e-mail appears to be sent from an "FDIC.gov Alert Service [mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org]" e-mail address and has a subject line that reads: "SA-28-2011: Counterfeit Cashier's Checks Alert".
The e-mail attempts to trick the recipient into clicking on a link directing the recipient to a fraudulent web site. This e-mail and link are fraudulent. Recipients should consider the intent of this e-mail as an attempt to collect personal or confidential information, or to load malicious software onto end users' computers. Recipients should not click on the link provided.
The FDIC does not issue unsolicited e-mails to consumers or business account holders.
9/15/11 - After spending nearly three years with the start up Ann Arbor State Bank, Barb Furman is retiring. The employees wish her a happy and enjoyable retirement. She will be greatly missed by both employees and customers.
8/22/11 - Mortgage rates are at historic lows. Now is a great time to call us for a no-cost, no-obligation personal analysis of your current mortgage. Contact us at 734-761-1475.
8/15/11 - Ann Arbor State Bank is proud to support the United Way of Washtenaw County by being a pacesetter company. We recognize how important it is to secure funds to meet the growing demands toward basic needs.
7/31/11 - William Broucek, CEO of Ann Arbor State Bank, has announced that Phil Weiss has recently joined the team as Vice President of Commercial Banking. Mr. Weiss will be specializing in business lending and Government Sponsored Loan Programs, including SBA 504 and 7A Loans, USDA Loan Programs and MEDC Loans.
7/14/11 - The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has received numerous reports of fraudulent emails that have the appearance of being from the FDIC. The emails appear to be sent from various "@fdic.gov" email addresses such as email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
The messages have various subject lines that read: "Update your banking account" or "ACH and Wire Transfers disabled" and "Banking Security Update".
The fraudulent emails are addressed to "Dear Clients" and state "Your Account ACH and Wire transactions have been temporarily suspended for your Security, due to expiration of your security version". The email requests the recipient to download and install updates by clicking on a link in the message.
The FDIC reminds Financial Institutions, businesses and consumers alike that the FDIC does not directly contact consumers in this manner. Recipients should NOT access the link provided in the email and should NOT, under any circumstances, provide personal financial information through this media.
07/11/11 - The Washtenaw County United Way and Young Leaders Society are hosting an Executive Lunch at the Carlyle Grill on July 26, 2011. Ann Arbor State Bank President, Peter Schork, is on the panel of speakers discussing economic trends in Michigan. Click here to read more.
6/6/11 - Congratulations to our very own Chairman and CEO, Mr. William Broucek! Mr. Broucek was recognized for over 53 years of experience in banking and business by being awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science in Business degree from Cleary University on June 4, 2011. Mr. Broucek was the key note speaker at the commencement ceremony and spoke to the graduates about how to be successful in business.
5/31/11 - Ann Arbor State Bank would like to thank the readers of Current Magazine for voting Ann Arbor State Bank as runner up for the Reader's Choice of favorite bank or credit union. Check out all of the Reader's Choice winners and runners up by clicking here to visit ecurrent.com.
5/10/11 - Ann Arbor State Bank Chairman and CEO, Bill Broucek, will address Cleary University Graduates on June 4, 2011. Mr. Broucek will also be awarded an honorary Doctor of Science in Business degree, click here to read more.
3/11/11 - Ann Arbor State Bank is sponsoring the NEF's March 17th event "Secrets of the Investor/Investee Relationship". Click here to read more.
2/3/11 - Ann Arbor State Bank achieves profitability in second year and adds staff, click here to read more.
01/29/11 - Ann Arbor State Bank is in the news for hiring Brad Johnson, Vice President Commercial Banking. Brad will be focused on servicing the needs of Jackson County where he is a lifelong resident.
01/12/11 - The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has received numerous reports from consumers who received an e-mail that has the appearance of being sent from the FDIC. The e-mail informs the recipient that "in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security, federal, state and local governments…" the FDIC has withdrawn deposit insurance from the recipient's account "due to account activity that violates the Patriot Act." It further states deposit insurance will remain suspended until identity and account information can be verified using a system called "IDVerify." If consumers go to the link provided in the e-mail, it is suspected they will be asked for personal or confidential information, or malicious software may be loaded onto the recipient's computer. This e-mail is fraudulent. It was not sent by the FDIC. It is an attempt to obtain personal information from consumers. Financial institutions and consumers should NOT access the link provided within the body of the e-mail and should NOT under any circumstances provide any personal information through this media.
The FDIC is attempting to identify the source of the e-mails and disrupt the transmission. Until this is achieved, consumers are asked to report any similar attempts to obtain this information to the FDIC by sending information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
01/04/11 - The Washtenaw County United Way and Young Leaders Society are hosting their first Executive Lunch at the Bell tower Hotel on January 19, 2011. Ann Arbor State Bank President, Peter Schork, is one of the featured speakers. Click here to read more.
01/01/11 - The Board of Directors at Ann Arbor State Bank is pleased to announce the election of a new Board Member, Toni Rodgers. Toni is the owner/operator of four local McDonald's restaurants. Toni earned her BA degree through Michigan State University in social work and later her MBA from the University of Detroit in marketing and economics. She worked as a Credit Analyst for Comerica Bank following some time as a Social Worker/Therapist. She also worked for General Motors in various marketing roles including Brand Management, Product Training, Strategic Planning and Economic Analysis. She acquired her first McDonald's store in April 2004. Toni resides in Ann Arbor with her husband and co-owner B.J. Rodgers. They have six grown children.
10/14/10 - Ann Arbor State Bank Grows Market Share in Washtenaw County. Click here to read more.
9/7/10 - Ann Arbor State Bank CEO, William Broucek, talks to Michigan Banker Magazine. If you are a member of Facebook, click here to read more.
8/31/10 - Ann Arbor State Bank became the nation's newest $100,000,000 bank, with nine profitable months in a row. Isn't it ironic that it is happening right here in Michigan, and in this economy? We believe in you. We believe in our community. We believe in old-fashioned values, and we are pleased that you believe in us. We may be a new bank, but we are not new to banking.
8/11/10 - Ann Arbor State Bank President, Peter Schork, offers his advice in an article from Our House Magazine. Click Here to download the pdf.
7/8/10 - Ann Arbor State will accept summer property tax payments for the City of Ann Arbor until July 30, 2010. Payments made after July 31st are subject to a late fee and cannot be made at the bank.
5/27/10 - The Spring 2010 issue of FDIC Consumer News is available at the FDIC website. Click on the link below and view information on new credit card laws, depositing money through an agent or broker and understanding risks and costs of a reverse mortgage.
3/8/10 - FDIC to Provide Quick Tips for Consumers Over the Internet
The FDIC, in observance of National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) March 7-13 and its theme of helping people of all ages exercise their consumer rights, announced today that the agency will begin to regularly deliver timely tips on money management on the agency's Web site and through an e-mail subscription service. The FDIC's "Consumer Tip of the Week" may be found at www.fdic.gov/consumertips.
02/22/10 - New credit card rules go into effect today that mandate greater transparency and limitations on fee generating tactics. Click on the link below to visit a website created by the Federal Reserve to explain the new changes to consumers.
01/13/10—The FBI today reminds Internet users who receive appeals to donate money in the aftermath of Tuesday’s earthquake in Haiti to apply a critical eye and do their due diligence before responding to those requests. Past tragedies and natural disasters have prompted individuals with criminal intent to solicit contributions purportedly for a charitable organization and/or a good cause.
Therefore, before making a donation of any kind, consumers should adhere to certain guidelines, to include the following:
Do not respond to any unsolicited (spam) incoming e-mails, including clicking links contained within those messages.
Be skeptical of individuals representing themselves as surviving victims or officials asking for donations via e-mail or social networking sites.
Verify the legitimacy of nonprofit organizations by utilizing various Internet-based resources that may assist in confirming the group’s existence and its nonprofit status rather than following a purported link to the site.
Be cautious of e-mails that claim to show pictures of the disaster areas in attached files because the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders.
Make contributions directly to known organizations rather than relying on others to make the donation on your behalf to ensure contributions are received and used for intended purposes.
Do not give your personal or financial information to anyone who solicits contributions: Providing such information may compromise your identity and make you vulnerable to identity theft.
Anyone who has received an e-mail referencing the above information or anyone who may have been a victim of this or a similar incident should notify the IC3 via www.ic3.gov.
10/22/09 - Annual FDIC report: Ann Arbor's local banks gaining market share
8/22/09 - Skyrocketing FDIC premiums depress Ann Arbor bank earnings