FAKE BANK PHISHING Other Banks and Businesses

Some unknown scammers have decided “phishing” individual’s private information is no longer good enough, so they’re going after entire banks instead. According to a warning from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) in the U.S. Department of the Treasury, “an entity using the name First National Bank and reporting to be located at 222 S 9th Street [in] Minneapolis, Minnesota…is misrepresenting itself as a national bank.” The feds said the entity is not a licensed or chartered bank[1].

The warning added businesses have reported receiving a number of letters and faxes indicating “First National Bank” is ready to offer uncollateralized lines of credit, secured loans, and long-term loans. The correspondence includes telephone numbers and the address of the bank. For example, one company received a letter indicating that someone in the company had applied for a line of credit[2]. The letter stated, in part, that the company was pre-qualified for more than $62,000 at a rate of 4.64 percent. It then instructs the recipient to call the bank directly to discuss their options[3].

Although it remains unclear for now why the letters from the fake bank were sent out or who sent them, federal officials speculate the letters are part of “some elaborate scam.” The OCC instructs anyone who receives one of these letters not to respond to the fictitious bank, but instead to report the correspondence to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) at the Treasury, the Federal Trade Commission, the Better Business Bureau, the FBI, or the National Consumers League[4].

Tell us what you think:

  • What is “First National Bank” trying to do?
  • Has your small business received this type of letter before?
  • Do you think this might just be misguided advertising?

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[1] https://www.occ.gov/news-issuances/alerts/2019/alert-2019-4.html

[2] https://magazine.realtor/daily-news/2019/04/05/feds-warn-of-fake-bank

[3] https://www.occ.treas.gov/news-issuances/alerts/2019/alert-2019-4a.pdf

[4] https://realtybiznews.com/feds-warn-of-fake-first-national-bank/98753776/

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