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We have recently been made aware of a new scam that is going around the area. Fraudsters identify themselves as working for a business, such as Arcadian Bank, and ask for personal information like your online banking or debit card details. They have also sent text messages that claim to be from the bank, asking for personal information. THESE ARE SCAMS, DELETE THE TEXT AND HANG UP ON THE FRAUDSTER. BANKS DON’T CALL YOU AND ASK FOR PERSONAL INFORMATION.

If you received one of these calls or texts, and provided any information to the fraudster, please contact us immediately. Other local organizations have reported similar scams affecting their customers. Always be careful when asked to share sensitive personal information.

Albert Lea Office : 1452 W. Main St. 507-373-1945

Hartland Office : 601 N. Broadway 507-845-2233

Freeborn Office : 214 5th Ave. 507-863-2371

Member FDIC NMLS 554275

Identity Theft–What is Identity Theft?

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Identity theft occurs when someone illegally obtains your personal information – such as your Social Security number, bank account number or other identification – and uses it to open new accounts or initiate transactions in your name.

Criminals can obtain personal information via online and offline methods. Stealing wallets and purses, intercepting or rerouting your email, and rummaging through your garbage are some of the common tactics that thieves may use to obtain personal information.

Recognize Identity Theft and Fraud

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Identity thieves can strike even if you have been very careful with your personal information. The following may be signs of identity theft:

  • If you find new accounts on your credit report that are not yours
  • If you did not receive an expected bill or statement by mail
  • If you receive credit cards or billing statements on accounts you didn’t apply for
  • If you are denied credit or are offered less than favorable credit terms for no reason
  • If you get calls from creditors or debt collectors regarding merchandise or services that you did not buy

Fraud is an act that occurs when someone uses your account to make unauthorized transactions, usually when the account number or card has been stolen. The following may be signs of fraud:

  • If you did not receive an expected bill or statement by mail
  • If unexpected charges occurred on your account
  • If there are charges on your account from unrecognized vendors• If posted checks appear on your account significantly out of sequence
Spoof Websites/Phishing

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Through the use of fraudulent emails, internet thieves attempt to “phish” for your confidential information. They attempt to steal this information from you by means of “pop-ups” or emails with internet links to deceive you into disclosing sensitive information (such as bank account numbers and Social Security numbers).

Often the email appears to be from a trusted source (such as your bank) and directs you to a “spoof” Website that requests you to divulge sensitive information or even ask you to call a phone number and provide account information. But the Website is a fake.


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Malware, short for “malicious software,” includes viruses, spyware and Trojans that are designed to infiltrate or damage a computer system.

Malware is often used to steal personal information and commit fraud. There are several easy ways to minimize the risk of malware:

  • Avoid downloads from file sharing and social networking sites, which can be distribution points for malware.
  • Do not open email attachments or install free software from unknown sources shouldn’t be opened or installed.
  • Do not click on pop-up advertisements asking for personal or financial information, simply close them.
  • Regularly update your security and system software and protect your computer from malware threats.