3 min read

How to Spot Fraudulent Mailers

How to Spot Fraudulent Mailers

Have you recently received a postcard from your bank alerting you that your mortgage has been closed and they need you to call immediately to discuss an important matter? If you have, you may have received a fraudulent mailer – a popular way scammers use public information to lure you into calling them and giving them your personal information.

Here’s an overview of how to spot indicators of fraudulent mailers and what you should do if you’ve already given the scammers a call.

How do I spot a fraudulent mailer?

Fraudulent mailers containing your mortgage information are so common because the information they contain is easily accessible online. All mortgages are filed with your county and are public record, making them accessible to anyone. Because the information is easy to access, fraudulent mortgage-related mailers are sent by scammers to the masses. Luckily, they all look similar, which means if you know how to spot the red flags, you can quickly determine that it’s fraud.

Here’s an example of a fraudulent mortgage-related mailer with all the red flags you should lookout for:

fraudulent mailer postcard with red flags circled

The first red flag in this example is the sense of urgency created in the first line: “Important notice: Immediate response needed.” Beware of any documents that urge you to act quickly, as scammers often use this as a tactic to get you to call immediately instead of taking the time to evaluate the legitimacy of the alert.

The second red flag is the incorrect mortgage number. Scammers typically send these notices in mass mailings, and they don’t often personalize them beyond your name and address. However, even if the notice includes your real mortgage number, it still may be fraud, as this information can also be found by fraudsters online.

The third red flag is the small print in the lower, right-hand corner that says “All information provided by Mortgage Protection Services. Not affiliated, sponsored by, or provided by [your bank name].”

What should I do if I’ve already called the number?

If you have received a fraudulent mailer, have already called the number, and believe your identity may be compromised, follow the five-step identity theft protocol below.

  1. File an identity theft claim at identitytheft.gov. This will begin the process recovering your identity and taking measures to prevent future identity theft.
  2. Notify all financial institutions you work with. This includes your bank, investment companies, insurance companies, and brokerage firms.
  3. Notify the three major credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Place a freeze on your credit with all three agencies.
  4. File a police report with your local police department.
  5. Change all your internet banking passwords.

If you’re ever unsure if documents that appear to be sent to you from your bank are legitimate, give your banker a call or stop by your local branch.

Next steps:

  1. Learn more about maintaining your financial security.
  2. Subscribe to receive Bankers Trust Education Center articles in your inbox.
  3. Contact me for more information, or if you believe your Bankers Trust account has been compromised.
Edin Hadzic, CBAO, CBSM, CAMS

Edin Hadzic, CBAO, CBSM, CAMS

Financial Intelligence Officer (515) 222-2016 Email Edin

Edin Hadzic is a Compliance and Information Security Officer at Bankers Trust. In previous roles with the bank, Edin has worked in the retail space as a Teller at the North Branch and as an Electronic Banking Analyst in the Electronic Banking Department. His responsibilities include Bank Secrecy Act (BSA)/Anti-Money Laundering Compliance and fraud monitoring. Edin is a Certified Bank Security Manager (CBSM), Certified BSA-AML Officer, holds a CAMS certification (Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist), and was designated as the Bank’s OFAC Officer in the summer of 2017. Edin is a graduate of Grand View University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Management Information Systems and Business Administration. In his spare time, Edin enjoys watching football (Go Hawks!, Go Eagles!) and fishing during the summer time.   CBSM certification is specially designed to benefit any professional working with Information Technology and Information Security who has a direct responsibility for information.    CBAO certification signifies being a BSA AML Officer. This certification is put on by Lexis Nexis and it covers the following: Bank Secrecy Act, USA Patriot Act, Anti-Money Laundering Requirements, OFAC Requirements.   The CAMS credential is the gold standard in anti-money laundering certifications and recognized internationally by financial institutions, governments and regulators.

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