Oak Valley Community Bank
Eastern Sierra Community Bank

Fraud & Scam Awareness

Protect your information

Being smart with your financial information can help reduce your chances of becoming a victim of fraud and identity theft. Learn how to protect your information and improve your financial future with the information below.

Delivering Trust

Fraud schemes victimize millions of Americans each year, leaving many financially devastated. The United States Postal Inspection Service provides a fraud education and prevention Web site called Delivering Trust. The site is filled with a variety of fraud prevention tips to help consumers recognize potential fraud.


Combat Scams and Fraud

The Federal Trade Commission provides a website called Money Matters that they hope will help the public avoid scams and prevent a potential loss. The site is filled with tips and warning signs to help educate consumers about various scams that are being used.


Combat Check Scams

If someone you don’t know sends you a check and asks for money back, that’s a scam. Fake checks come in many forms. They might look like business or personal checks, cashier’s checks, money orders, or electronic checks. Here’s what you need to know about fake check scams. In a fake check scam, a person you don’t know asks you to deposit a check — sometimes for several thousand dollars, and usually for more than you are owed — and send some of the money back, to them or another person. The scammers always have a good story to explain the overpayment. They might say they’re stuck out of the country, they need you to cover taxes or fees, you’ll need to buy supplies, or something else.


FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)

The IC3 participates in multiple initiatives targeting an array of cyber crime schemes that victimize individuals and businesses domestically and abroad. These initiatives are a coordination of industry resources along with the investigative resources provided by cyber crime task forces comprised of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. The success of these initiatives is directly attributable to the inclusion of the industry resources. Initiatives focus on the following: Charitable Contributions Fraud, Counterfeit Check Fraud, Identity Theft Task Force, International Fraud, Investment Fraud, Online Pharmaceutical Fraud, Phishing, Work-at-home Scams.


Consumer Tips

As banking services continue to evolve in the digital age, it is imperative for customers to remain vigilant and well-informed about the growing threat of fraud and scams. In an era where financial transactions are conducted at the click of a button, cybercriminals employ sophisticated tactics to exploit unsuspecting individuals. Understanding the various types of fraud and scams, recognizing their warning signs, and adopting proactive measures are crucial in safeguarding your hard-earned money and personal information.

  • Never agree to pay to claim a prize.
    • No legitimate sweepstakes or lottery would ever send you a check or money order and ask you to send payment in return. If you really won, you would pay taxes directly to the government.
  • Never agree to pay for grants from the government or foundations.
    • They don’t offer money to people unexpectedly or charge to get it. Most grants go to organizations, not individuals, and require a lengthy and extensive application process.
  • Never agree to cash checks and send the money somewhere as part of a job working from home.
    • That is not how legitimate employers operate.
  • Never agree to wire money to anyone you have not met in person and have not known for a long time.
  • If it seems suspicious, get advice.
    • Consult your state or local consumer protection agency, the Federal Trade Commission, the Postal Inspection Service, or another trusted source.
  • Remember that there is no legitimate reason why anyone who wants to give you a check or money order for something would ever ask you to send money anywhere in return.