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From: Federal Trade Commission
Time: 6:00:40 AM
Another Site and another Scam, a new one, the Y2K money seperation scheme. This site is a consumer area run by the Federal Trade Commission and is is full of interesting tidebits including a scam we had not heard of.
Protecting Your Finances from Year 2000 Scam Artists
"I got a call from a man who said he represented my bank. He said theyre having trouble preparing for the Year 2000 and that I need to transfer my money to a special account until the bank can comply with the Year 2000 requirements. I hung up when he asked me for personal information. Did I do the right thing?"
"I got a call from a woman who said she needed my credit card number to verify that the card would work after January 1, 2000. Is this a scam?"
Yes. The confusion surrounding Y2K provides one more opportunity for scam artists to take advantage of consumers.
Never give out personal information including your bank account or credit card numbers over the phone or online unless youre familiar with the business and have initiated the contact. Scam artists have a way with words. Dont fall for lines from strangers telling you how to "verify" their identity. Scam artists can use your personal information to commit fraud against you. Be on the alert for unauthorized charges to your credit card. If you havent authorized a charge, dont pay it dispute it. Follow your credit card issuers procedures for disputing a charge. If you notice unauthorized debits to your checking or savings account, contact your financial institution immediately. The Y2K problem...the Y2K glitch...the millennium bug. Whatever you call it, its the inability of some computers and computerized systems to correctly recognize dates after 1999. Many products have microchips that have been programmed to process only the last two digits of a year on the assumption that the first two would be 1 and 9. As a result, 98 is read as 1998, and 00 could be read as 1900 instead of 2000.
Financial institutions are taking steps to ensure their computer systems are ready to process transactions properly as of January 1, 2000. In fact, they are required to be Y2K compliant before the century date change. Federal regulators have a comprehensive Y2K program underway that includes examination of federally insured depository institutions, including banks, thrifts and credit unions. And the Federal Reserve has arranged for printing additional currency in 1999 so that extra cash is available to bank customers.
Have questions? Call your financial institution.
Ask your financial service provider about its plans to deal with Y2K. If youre not comfortable with the response, consider doing business elsewhere. Ask your provider about contingency plans for system failures. If you dont normally maintain financial records, you may want to consider doing so in preparation for the Year 2000. That way youll have proof if something happens to the computerized records. At a minimum, keep a six-month paper trail three months before and after the date change on significant transactions, such as mortgages, stocks and insurance. Make sure your deposit receipts and periodic statements are accurate. Report discrepancies to your institution. Keep canceled checks, bank statements and check registers as proof of payment for at least several months before and after the date change. If you bank by computer, download your transaction records and store them on a backup disk. You also may want to print out downloaded records in case backup disks are contaminated with Y2K problems. Keep credit card receipts for purchases and cash advances made on or around January 1, 2000. Compare them against your billing statements. Report discrepancies to your card issuer. For More Information
Many public and private sector financial organizations provide Y2K information through their Web sites and consumer call centers. Information also is available from 1-888-USA-4-Y2K (toll-free) or the U.S. Consumer Gateway at www.consumer.gov.
National Banks Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Customer Assistance Group 3701 McKinney Street Suite 3710 Houston, TX 77010 (800) 613-6743
State Member Banks of the Federal Reserve System Consumer and Community Affairs Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System 20th & Constitution Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20551 (202) 452-3693
Non-Member Federally Insured Banks Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Compliance and Consumer Affairs 550 17th Street, NW Washington, DC 20429 (800) 934-3342
State and Federally Chartered Savings Associations Office of Thrift Supervision Consumer Affairs Office 1700 G Street, NW Washington, DC 20552 (800) 842-6929
Federal Credit Unions National Credit Union Administration 1775 Duke Street Alexandria, VA 22314 (703) 518-6330
Other types of financial service providers (finance and leasing companies/retailers/credit bureaus): Consumer Response Center Federal Trade Commission 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. Washington, DC 20580 (202) FTC-HELP (382-4357) TDD: (202) 326-2502