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Fake Government Websites

Criminals host fake government services web sited to acquire personal information and collect fraudulent fees:

From May 2012 to March 2015 the FBI has received multiple complaints regarding fraudulent government service websites. The fraudulent sites were set up to acquire personally identifiable Information and collect fees from consumers.

The fraudulent sites are set up to be the first link when a victim uses a search engine to find a site to obtain an Employer Identification Number or replacement Social Security Card. Once the fraudulent sites form is used and submitted the fraudulent sites usually requires a fee to complete the service requested. The typical fees range from $29 to $199 based on the government service requested. Once the fee is paid additional information is required to be mailed to a specific address such as birth certificate, driver's license, employee badge, or other personal items. The victim is told the requested item will be sent in several days and once the victim realizes it is a scam they may have extra charges billed to their credit card. Additionally all their personally identifiable information has been compromised which could be used for illicit purposes.

When dealing with government websites, look for the .gov domain instead of a .com domain. The following are some consumer tips when using government services or contacting agencies online:

• Use search engines or other websites to research the advertised services or person/company you plan to deal with.

• Search the Internet for any negative feedback or reviews on the government services company, their Web site, their e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, or other searchable identifiers.

• Research the company policies before completing a transaction.

• Be cautious when surfing the Internet or responding to advertisements and special offers. Be cautious when dealing with persons/companies from outside the country.

• Maintain records for all online transactions

If you suspect you are a victim of an Internet-related crime, you may file a compliant with the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center at

For more information please visit the IC3 site:


Customers Who elect to receive their Income Tax Refund electronically

The First State Bank will not process Internal Revenue Service (IRS) electronic tax refunds if the name on the refund does not match the name on the account. If the name on your refund is different from the name on the account the electronic refund will be returned to the IRS.

Example: Electronic received in the name of John Smith and Jane Smith will only be deposited to the joint account in the name of John Smith and Jane Smith.

Joint Returns will not be posted to an individual account. Both parties listed on the return must be on the account.

We will make every effort to insure that funds that are received from the IRS are credited to the correct individuals. Items with miss-matched names and/or tax identification numbers will be returned to the IRS.

Please contact your local branch if you have any questions.


Consumer Alert from the Texas Department of Banking

The Texas Department of Banking (Department) has become aware of a fraudulent website purporting to be a bank with a branch located in Pflugerville, Texas. The website,, claims to belong to Brickstone Trust Bank, headquartered in Ghana, with branches in London, England, and Pflugerville, Texas.

The website is not associated with any known bank. No bank by that name has been authorized to do business in Texas, nor is any bank by that name supervised by the Department, the FDIC, or the Federal Reserve. No bank branches are located at the London and Pflugerville addresses listed on the website. Furthermore, the Department has information indicating that the website has been used as part of a scam to obtain a person's money and personal identification documents.

Consumers should consider any communication involving Brickstone Trust Bank or the website to be an attempt to collect personal or confidential information and to fraudulently obtain funds. Anyone with information about this purported bank or its website should contact the Department at or call toll free (877) 276-5554.

The Commissioner has issued an Emergency Cease and Desist order against Brickstone Trust Bank and its Agents and Operators. The full text of the Order can be viewed on the Department's website.


FDIC to Feature Five Key Tips for National Consumer Protection Week

Online resources also are highlighted

In observance of National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) 2014, held March 2-8, the FDIC each weekday will issue a consumer tip on a different banking topic related to saving and protecting money. The five tips and other consumer information from the FDIC will be posted at for reference year-round.

"The FDIC is proud to be one of the organizing partners of National Consumer Protection Week because helping consumers make informed decisions about their money is an important part of what the FDIC does," said Chairman Martin J. Gruenberg. "We also want the public to be aware that provides resources to learn about bank and credit accounts, maintaining a budget, building savings and avoiding scams."

The five tips, all from the FDIC's free quarterly newsletter FDIC Consumer News, cover:

  • How to protect your plastic from high-tech criminals;
  • What you should know about using debit, credit and prepaid cards;
  • How to resolve errors on your bank or credit card account;
  • What every borrower should know about the new mortgage rules; and
  • Steps you can take to improve your credit score and pay less for loans.

The FDIC's Web page also will feature quick links to several of the agency's most popular online resources for consumers as well as small businesses:

"EDIE," the FDIC's Electronic Deposit Insurance Estimator: An online calculator that assists consumers and businesses in determining their deposit insurance coverage for each FDIC-insured bank where they have deposit accounts. EDIE also provides a printable report showing whether those deposits are fully protected or if some exceed the federal limits.

BankFind: Our online directory that consumers can use to locate an FDIC-insured institution, learn what happened to a bank that changed names or no longer exists, and more.

Customer Assistance Form: An easy-to-use form to submit a question to the FDIC or a complaint regarding a financial institution. Consumers with questions or concerns can also call the FDIC toll-free at 1-877-ASK-FDIC, which is 1-877-275-3342.

Money Smart: A financial education curriculum concentrating on the development of consumers' financial skills and positive banking relationships.

Foreclosure Prevention Toolkit: A Web page that provides easy access to helpful information for homeowners on avoiding foreclosure and foreclosure "rescue" scams.

FDIC Consumer News: The FDIC's quarterly publication for consumers offers information and tips on credit cards, bank accounts, loans, scams, money management, and much more.

Small Business Web Page: A resource with useful information for small businesses, especially regarding access to loans, plus an online form to ask the FDIC a question or register a concern.

Deposit Insurance Videos: Information about deposit insurance coverage for bank customers.

E-mail Updates: Sign up to receive e-mail notices of each new issue of FDIC Consumer News, Consumer Alerts, and other announcements and publications from the FDIC. Consumers can also follow the FDIC on Twitter and Facebook.

For more information about the FDIC's educational programs and services for consumers, visit or call 1-877-ASK-FDIC (1-877-275-3342).

Congress created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in 1933 to restore public confidence in the nation's banking system. The FDIC insures deposits at the nation's banks and savings associations, 6,812 as of December 31, 2013. It promotes the safety and soundness of these institutions by identifying, monitoring and addressing risks to which they are exposed. The FDIC receives no federal tax dollars -- insured financial institutions fund its operations.

July 13, 2011

Beginning January 1, 2012, The First State Bank will no longer be able to sell paper savings bonds. Purchases of electronic savings bonds in Series EE and I will remain available through purchase in TreasuryDirect. For more information please visit: or

January 21, 2011

FDIC Issues Special Alert on Deposit-Insurance E-Mail Scam The FDIC has issued a special alert to warn consumers about an e-mail scam that uses the alleged suspension of consumers' deposit insurance coverage as a ploy to obtain personal information. The e-mail -- purportedly from the FDIC -- informs recipients that "in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security, federal, state and local governments," the FDIC has withdrawn deposit insurance coverage from their account "due to account activity that violates the Patriot Act."

It then says the deposit insurance coverage will remain suspended until identity and account information can be verified using a system called "IDVerify." The FDIC is attempting to identify the e-mails' source and disrupt their transmission, officials said.

ReadMore. <

June 21, 2010

ALERT: We have learned that criminals have launched a major e-mail campaign to deploy the infamous ZeuS Trojan e-mail, which will send spam messages, some disguised as fraud alerts, from the Internal Revenue Service, Twitter account hijack warnings, or salacious videos. This fraudulent IRS e-mail uses the verbiage "Notice of Underreported Income" as the Subject Line and encourages the recipient to click a link to review their tax statement. All of the latest e-mails use a variety of URL shortening services.

This is a reminder that you should never open the attachment or download information from unexpected or spam emails.

June 18, 2010

Important security alert for Debit Visa Card ® Customers!

First State Bank, Louise and Visa® work closely to monitor and protect your Debit Visa Card® from any fraudulent activity. When we learn of fraudulent activity taking place, we may block certain transactions that occur in a particular country or state or location or at a specific type of merchant. Currently, all Debit Visa Card® Signature-based transactions are being blocked in Italy at the present time.

If you are unable to use your Visa Debit Card as a credit card , you still may be able to use your Debit Visa Card® at all of these stores by simply selecting "Debit" and using your PIN.

As fraud patterns change, we may add or remove blocks as appropriate to protect you. Be sure to always monitor your account and let us know immediately if you notice unauthorized transactions. Please contact The First State Bank Customer Service at 979-648-2691, your local branch, or stop by your nearest Banking Center to report unauthorized transactions, or if you have further questions.