February 24, 2009
Responding to rising fraud, the following organizations submitted statements to the Dr. Phil show to demonstrate how they protect the security of their customers.
Statement from Facebook
In response to a scam involving users Beny and Bryan, Facebook sent the following: This is a very low-volume attack, affecting a small number of users, but we are concerned about any potential security threat and we're taking this issue very seriously. Our team has analyzed the trends of these attacks and are using this information to surface compromised accounts before the scammers get very far. When we find these accounts, we disable them and attempt to get them back to their rightful owner. In many cases, the scammer has added a new contact e-mail to attempt to maintain control of the account. To combat this, we're instituting changes that will better notify users when their account is modified and empowering them to reverse these changes.
We're reminding users to be very suspicious of anyone, even friends, who ask to send money over the Internet. Please verify their circumstances through some other means than the Web (i.e. call them or mutual friends). If something looks amiss with an account, please report it to Facebook here or here. These and other security tips can be found on our security page.
Specific ways users can protect themselves:
Specific actions Facebook is taking:
Statement from Wells Fargo
We caution our customers to be suspicious of any job opportunity that requires them to provide a personal bank account and personal information. For relevant information, the public may visit our Fraud Information Center that provides information about How Fraudsters Operate, How to Protect Yourself and How to Report Fraud, Identity Theft and Suspicious Activity.
As noted in the Fraud Information Center, "Fraudsters try to locate and defraud potential victims using various means, such as USPS mail, telephone calls, faxes, and online chat rooms. Once they contact potential victims, fraudsters use compelling language and scenarios to scam them." We advise customers if they are involved in a situation, such as a job scam, to contact Wells Fargo immediately.
We describe a job scam as such on our public Web site:
Job scams: You accept a job in which you are paid a commission to facilitate money transfers through your account or apply for a job that asks you to set up a new bank account. Job scammers use reputable online job boards to offer work-at-home jobs or accounting positions. These job scams may require employees to receive money into their existing bank account, or open new accounts, and then transfer the money to another account, often overseas. As payment, the job seeker is instructed to keep a small percentage of the transfer.
Wells Fargo customers are ultimately responsible and liable for all deposits made into their account, whether they are a check, money order, transfer, etc., as well as use of those deposits. Here are additional "Scam Prevention Tips" on our public Web site:
Statement from Western Union
Western Union takes consumer protection seriously. The company works cooperatively with law enforcement agencies around the world to identify and prevent consumer fraud activities. Consumers play a major role in this space and are asked to make sure to know whom they are sending money to. We will look further into this unfortunate case involving the Facebook account user.
Statement from MidFirst Bank
In order to protect the privacy of MidFirst customers, it is our policy not to discuss any specific customer issues with third parties. However, we do want you to know that MidFirst regularly provides guidance and reminders to its customers about the importance of protecting confidential information and the risks associated with various types of fraud. Also, MidFirst follows applicable regulatory guidelines regarding issues dealing with customer transactions. You may wish to contact the Federal Reserve Bank or the American Bankers Association for more detailed information regarding these guidelines.