Security Alerts

Please read the latest warnings on fraudulent and suspicious activities below. For immediate alerts and text messages, follow us on Twitter at

Self-defense against scams

To everyone who hangs up on unwanted calls, learns about the latest scams, and checks with friends about suspicious offers: good news! People who did all those things were less likely to lose money to a scam than people who didn't...

Learn more from the FTC

Safe Online Surfing Challenge Opens

The FBI's Safe Online Surfing (SOS) Internet Challenge, which had record participation in 2018-2019, is reopening for the start of the new school year to help students navigate the web securely.

Learn more at the FBI

Worshipers targeted by gift card scam

We're seeing a new spin on gift card scams. This time, scammers are pretending to be a pastor, rabbi, priest, imam, or bishop. They're asking worshipers for gift card contributions for a worthy cause. Appeals are often made by email, but we've heard people are also getting texts and phone calls, too.

Learn more at the FTC

Update your software now

We secure our valuables - our wallets, keys, and homes. We know that, if left unsecured, they can easily be a target for criminals. So it makes sense to think the same way about the information stored on all our devices.

Learn more at the FTC

Keys to avoiding home rental scams

Need more space than an apartment, condo or townhouse can offer, but not ready to buy? A single-family home rental may fit the bill. But not all home rental listings are legit, so here are some tip-offs and tools to help you avoid a rental scam.

Learn more at the FTC

Make it a scam-free vacation

It's almost summer! Right now, you probably have beaches on the brain or you're thinking about that long-planned trip abroad. Before you head out, take steps to help keep your dream vacation from becoming a nightmare.

Learn more from the FTC

FCC Alerts Consumers to 'One Ring' Call Back Scam

Scammers Looking To Defraud Consumers By Prompting Expensive Call Back

Consumers Should Not Call Back Unknown Late-Night Callers Using the '222' West African Country Code.

Learn more from the FCC (PDF)

COPPA: A few tips to keep your child safe online

Online games and websites for kids are everywhere these days - to the point where it's commonplace to see toddlers playing with them, too. And while the internet often offers a positive way for children to explore and learn, privacy concerns are lurking. To help protect children's privacy, the FTC enforces the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which requires websites and online services to obtain consent from parents before collecting personal information from kids younger than 13.

Learn more at the FTC

Keep tech support strangers out of your computer

If you need tech help with your computer, where do you go? Most of us probably search online. But your online search can lead you straight to scammers who scare you into thinking your computer is in dire need of repair...and then sell you costly security software that you don't need.

Learn more at the FTC

Be prepared for IRS Scams

Sheriff Clayton and the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office would like to remind you to be aware of potential IRS Phone Scams and to be prepared.

Now that taxes have been filed and many are awaiting a refund or paying off a tax bill, IRS imposters may attempt to take advantage. Criminals are looking for ways to steal your money or your identity. Don't fall victim to an IRS scam. Your first contact with the IRS will not be an unexpected call from an IRS agent but through official correspondence sent through the mail. A red flag for IRS scams are threatening, angry calls from people who say they are from the IRS or your local police agency and they demand immediate payment. Please know that the Sheriff's Office does not make calls on behalf of the IRS and that these calls are scams. Even if the caller ID shows as the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office, remember we do not call on behalf of the IRS.


  • Call you to demand immediate payment
  • Call you if you owe taxes without first sending you a bill in the mail
  • Demand that you pay taxes and not allow you to question or appeal the amount you owe
  • Require that you pay your taxes a certain way. For instance, require that you pay with a prepaid debit card
  • Ask for your credit or debit card numbers over the phone
  • Threaten to bring in police or other agencies to arrest you for not paying

Also beware of scammers calling under the guise of verifying your tax return information over the phone. Scam artists call saying they have your tax return, and they just need to verify a few details to process your return. The scam tries to get you to give up personal information such as a Social Security number or personal financial information. There are numerous variations of scams out there so remember, if someone calls asking for or demanding personal financial information or payment over the phone beware.

If you receive a phone call or voicemail from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here's what you should do:

  • If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue, if there really is such an issue.
  • If you know you don't owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you've never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1.800.366.4484 or online at

"An educated and engaged community is our best partner" - Sheriff Jerry L. Clayton

Protect yourself against Medicare scams

Still getting calls from people claiming to be from Medicare, asking for money or personal information? Watch this video about how you can protect yourself from Medicare scams.

Learn more

Those (not really) IRS calls

You've probably gotten one of these calls: They say it's the IRS and they'e filing a lawsuit against you for back taxes. They may threaten to arrest or deport you. What do you do?

Learn more

Fight back against tax identity theft

Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number (SSN) to get a tax refund or a job.

Learn more

Getting calls from the SSA?

Probably not. At least, not from the real SSA. But how many of you have gotten calls from someone who said they were the Social Security Administration? And maybe showed the real SSA phone number (1-800-772-1213) or a number close to it on your caller ID? Lots, right?

Learn more at the FTC

Romance scams will cost you

It's Valentine's Day and love is in the air. You may think you spend a lot on flowers or chocolate, but losing money in a romance scam would cost you even more.

Learn more at the FTC

Putting cash in the mail

Weve been warning you about scammers asking you to pay with gift cards or by wiring money. Scammers love getting you to pay that way because they can get your money fast and disappear. It's almost as good as getting you to send cold, hard cash. Which must have occurred to them, too, because some scammers are now going low-tech and asking people to send cash in the mail. Sometimes they even tell people to divide the cash between pages of a magazine.

Go to the FTC to learn more


We were advised by a customer that a popup appeared on her computer appearing to be an urgent message from Bank of Ann Arbor regarding a security breach. Bank of Ann Arbor did not send this message and we strongly recommend that you do NOT click on the link in the message. We would never use a popup to send this kind of information. We believe the popup is the work of a fraudster who was able to track the websites you visited.

If you are in doubt regarding whether information that you received truly came from Bank of Ann Arbor, you can contact us at 734-662-1600.

Small Business Scam Alert: Don't Pay for Products You Didn't Order

Like so many entrepreneurs, you're busy running your business all day long. So when someone calls and says they just want to confirm an order for office supplies, you may oblige without thinking twice about whether that caller is really a scammer.

A few days later, you get a delivery of products you didn't order -- and a big bill. They hope you'll pay without noticing that you never ordered the merchandise. If you don't pay, they may make harassing calls demanding payment. The scammers might even lie about your earlier phone conversation, claiming that it's proof of your order.

How can you avoid falling for a scam like this? Verify your invoices. Don't pay an invoice unless you've confirmed that someone placed the order.

Learn about common scams that target small businesses, the tactics scammers use, and what steps you can take to protect your business from scams. Click to read Scams and Your Small Business: A Guide for Business.

It's National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is here to remind us how to stay safe and secure from real threats - malware and scammers.

Learn more

Business Online Banking tutorials. View videos to learn more.

Start here

Have you received an unsolicited telephone call saying that your device or computer is infected with a virus or is sending error messages to the caller?

Here are $15 million reasons why you should read this link.

New Medicare cards coming soon

New Medicare cards are coming soon. Here's what you need to know about your new card. Plus, how to avoid related scams.

Has an online love interest asked you for money?

Deadline Is Approaching for Enrollment in Equifax Free Credit Monitoring Program Created After the Equifax Security Breach

Enrollment for this free program offered by Equifax ends January 31 and is open to all residents.

LANSING - Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is today reminding Michigan residents that the deadline is approaching to enroll in Equifax's free one-year TrustedID Premiere program that offers credit file monitoring and identity theft protection. The program was created in response to the 2017 Equifax security breach. he deadline for residents who want to enroll in the program is January 31, 2018. This program is free and available to anyone with a valid U.S. social security number, even those not impacted by the Equifax security breach.

"The aftermath of this security breach is still affecting Michigan residents, which is why my Consumer Protection Division has been working to educate the public on protective prevention measures," Schuette said. "No one should have to wonder what they can do to help protect themselves from identity theft, which is why I remind Michigan residents that time is limited to sign up for this free service."

Equifax Breach

In early October, Equifax announced that 2.5 million more consumers were impacted by the breach than originally thought, including almost 80,000 additional Michigan residents. In Michigan, the breach has now impacted the personal information of more than 4.6 million consumers. Complaints to the Department of Attorney General are significant, and the number continues to grow. Currently, more than 900 complaints have been filed.

Equifax promised to update its website so consumers can check if they are in the newly discovered group. If you checked your status with Equifax before October 8 and were not impacted, it is important to check again to ensure that status has not changed and to take appropriate steps to protect your information if it has.

Credit Freeze; Fraud Alert; and Credit Monitoring Alert

The consumer alert offers Michigan residents information on how to protect themselves from identity theft in the wake of a security breach. In addition to educating Michigan consumers about the basics of fraud alerts, credit freezes, and credit monitoring, the alert answers some of the frequently asked questions about these measures, including the following:

  • Do I have to freeze my credit with all three credit agencies?
  • Is there a difference between a security freeze and a credit lock?
  • Do I have to pay for a fraud alert?
  • How can I make the most of credit monitoring?

Letter from State Attorneys General

Schuette joined other state Attorneys General in issuing a letter demanding Equifax reimburse the cost associated with a credit freeze for affected individuals.

How to check if your information was breached

Go to Equifax's Cybersecurity Incident & Important Consumer Information website to see if your information has been impacted.

You can also read Equifax's FAQ for Consumers Notice of Data Breach to keep up on the latest announcements from Equifax

IRS Helps Taxpayers Protect Against Cyber Criminals

Nothing puts a damper on the holidays like unwanted calls interrupting your day.

Maybe you've gotten one - you answer the phone and hear a recorded message instead of a live person. Internet-powered phone systems have made it cheap and easy for scammers to make illegal sales robocalls from anywhere in the world.

Fortunately, you have some options to block robocalls and other unwanted calls. Some are free and others cost money.

IRS Helps Taxpayers Protect Against Cyber Criminals

As part of National Tax Security Awareness Week-November 27 to December 1-the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is releasing daily security tips to help taxpayers protect their data and identities against tax-related identity theft.

Call from 877-382-4357? Hang up.

Scammers are using fake caller ID information to trick you into thinking they're someone who can be trusted. The practice is called caller ID spoofing, and scammers can fake anyone's phone number.

Today, we got reports that scammers are spoofing the FTC's Consumer Response Center's phone number (877-382-4357). But don't let that stop you from reporting scammers - it's still safe to call the Consumer Response Center, and it's also safe to report scammers online.

If you've submitted a report or request to the FTC's Consumer Response Center, the FTC might call you for additional information. But we won't call you from 877-382-4357. And the FTC will never ask for money or for sensitive information such as your Social Security number, date of birth, or bank account information.

Scammers are constantly picking new phone numbers to spoof. Here are a few tips for staying ahead of scammers and their unexpected calls:

  • If you get a strange call from a government phone number, hang up. If you want to check it out, visit the official (.gov) website for contact information.
  • Don't give out - or confirm - your personal or financial information to someone who calls.
  • Don't wire money or send money using a reloadable card. In fact, never pay someone who calls out of the blue, even if the name or number on the caller ID looks legit.
  • Feeling pressured to act immediately? Hang up. That's a sure sign of a scam.
If you've gotten a call from a scammer, with or without fake caller ID information, report it to the FTC.

Equifax announced that 143 Million people could be affected by its recent data hack by cybercriminals. This may be one of the worst and most serious credit breaches in US history.

Here at the Bank of Ann Arbor, we're proactively protecting your accounts with multi-layered security. One layer is our very own Fraud Analyst, Matt Weber. His job is to protect your accounts against fraudulent logins and transfers. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact him at or (734) 761-8476 and he'll help you out.

With the scope and breadth of this breach, we wanted to let you know how you can protect your identity. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides three different ways for this:

  • Place a fraud alert on your credit report
    • It's free and lasts for 90 days (but renewable)
    • This can be done by calling one of the bureaus, informing them you're an identity theft victim, and asking them to put a fraud alert on your file. They will reach out to the other two bureaus (their numbers are below)
  • Place an extended fraud alert on your credit report
    • It's free and lasts for seven years
    • Requires a police report or an Identity Theft Report from the FTC
    • It must be requested by each individual bureau
  • Credit Freeze
    • There's a $10 fee, per person per bureau (this may be waived with a police report) and it lasts indefinitely
    • It can be temporarily lifted, but there is a $10 fee per bureau

Here are the numbers for the three credit reporting bureaus:

  • TransUnion- 1-800-680-7289
  • Experian- 1-888-397-3742
  • Equifax- 1-888-766-0008

Social Engineering Red Flags

Read this PDF about Social Engineering Red Flags.

FDIC Consumer News Issues Warning About 10 Scams Targeting Bank Customers

Find out more about these scams from the FDIC.

Fake emails could cost you thousands.

Think you got an email from a business you know? Scammers sometimes use emails that look legit to trick you into sending money to them. Find out more about fake email scams from the FTC.

Don't pay for a car with Amazon gift cards. Ever.

Find out more about this scam from the FTC.

Don't let scammers take away your holiday cheer

You've got meals to plan and gifts to buy. The last thing you need is to lose money to a scam. Here are three ways to avoid giving your hard-earned money to a scammer this holiday season.

Simple Steps for Internet Safety

Steps you can take to minimize the risks associated with doing business online, surfing the Internet, and sharing information on social media sites.

National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2016

During National Cyber Security Awareness Month, the FBI and its partners encourage everyone to reflect on the universe of cyber threats and on doing your part to secure your own devices, networks, and data. Details


Click here to learn what it is and what you can do about it..

Reach out to your community

There are several great ways to share NCPW or your own event with your community:

  • Be a gracious host
    Host a forum, workshop or seminar in your community and share the tools people need for today's economy. Partner with local organizations such as a police department or library.
  • Put it in writing
    Customize the sample article and send it to local organizations so they can promote consumer education events through their publications.
  • Address the press
    Contact your local television, radio or cable access station. Offer to tell their audience about your National Consumer Protection Week events.
  • Shout it from the rooftops!
    Tell your friends, family, colleagues and neighbors about National Consumer Protection Week. Word of mouth is powerful!

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. The CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products – such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals - contributed significantly to the decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years. Report incidents involving consumer products to CPSC or search for incidents at our new public database,

National Cyber Security Alliance

The National Cyber Security Alliance is a public-private non-profit. Our mission is to educate and therefore empower a digital society to use the Internet safely and securely at home, work, and school, protecting the technology individuals use, the networks they connect to, and our shared digital assets.

The Michigan Attorney General is the chief law enforcement officer for the State of Michigan.

The Michigan Attorney General is the chief law enforcement officer for the State of Michigan. We protect Michigan families from unfair financial practices through our enforcement authority in the areas of consumer protection, antitrust, corporate oversight, charitable organizations, and health care fraud. We offer services to protect the most vulnerable citizens among us, including children, the elderly, victims of crime and those who are preyed upon by greed in its many forms: unfair, illegal or shady business practices, criminal conduct, abuse of power and public corruption. We identify parents who have the ability to pay support to their children but refuse to do so. Through child support prosecution and collection actions we’ve collected over $180 million, directly impacting the lives of over 13,800 children. We also offer special programming that trains citizens to spot fraud and scams, and we teach children how to be safe online and respond appropriately to bullying. OK2SAY, our new student safety program, is saving lives and making a difference for students across the state.

National Consumer Protection Week is March 6-12

Concerned about data breaches and identity theft? Living on your own for the first time and thinking about budgeting, credit, renting an apartment or buying a car? Were you the victim of a scam? Misled by false advertising claims? Or do you just want to get smarter about products and services you're considering?

Click here to learn more about National Consumer Protection Week.

The Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office would like to make you aware of the IRS scam that is hitting our area hard.

There are multiple versions of this scam, but the most prevalent reported by residents is where they receive a call from a number that shows the "Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office" on the caller I.D. Once answered the person pretends to be a Sheriff's Office deputy and claims that the resident is past due on their taxes. The resident is asked for personal information and asked to pay their overdue taxes via the phone. If they refuse to give the information or make a payment residents are threatened that a deputy will be sent to their home.

Click here to learn more about these IRS scam calls from the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office.

Please use caution if you receive an unexpected check through the US Mail/UPS/Fed Ex after accepting Facebook friend requests from someone you do not recognize.

There are a number of scams asking you to deposit or cash checks that have been sent, and send proceeds to the sender or other third party. These checks are usually fraudulent. Please contact law enforcement in your area if you receive an unexpected check and do not negotiate.

The Federal Trade Commission announced enhancements made to its website that enables victims to download a free, personalized identity theft recovery plan. is the federal government's one-stop resource for identity theft victims. The site provides streamlined checklists and sample letters to guide you through the recovery process.

U.S. Treasury Asks Financial Institutions to Encourage Customers to Use Direct Deposit for Tax Refunds

The Fiscal Service and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have been working collaboratively to increase direct deposit for the upcoming 2016 tax filing season. Click here to download a PDF article.

"Dirty Dozen" Tax Scams

The Internal Revenue Service has created a list of tax scams with a warning to taxpayers about aggressive telephone scams continuing coast-to-coast during the early weeks of this year's filing season. Read more about "Dirty Dozen" Tax Scams here.

Report identity theft and get a personal recovery plan at

Click here to learn more at

FREE National Data Privacy Day Event - Financial Exploitation of Seniors

Town Hall Meeting including Lou Morse, Financial Literacy Expert with Bank of Ann Arbor. Click here for a PDF download.

Medicare imposters want to steal your money. Don't let them.

by Aditi Jhaveri
Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

Pop quiz: If someone calls you asking for your bank account number, should you give it to them?

Answer: Never. Hang up - it's a scam.

We've heard about different kinds of imposter scams on the rise. In one scenario, scammers call, pretending to work for Medicare. They say they need to verify your bank account number - and it might sound convincing. In truth, it's a trick to steal your money.

Learn more about Medicare imposters here.

Security Tip from BOAA and the IRS

Click here for some best practices that you can follow to protect your tax and financial information.

Beware of Scams Targeting Older People During the Holidays

Click here to learn more about scams that target older people.

Seven Steps for Making Identity Protection Part of Your Routine

The theft of your identity, especially personal information such as your name, Social Security number, address and children's names, can be traumatic and frustrating. In this online era, it's important to always be on guard.

Click here to visit the IRS website and find out more about identity protection.

Don't Take the Bait; Avoid Phishing and Malware to Protect Your Personal Data

"Update your account now." "You just won a cruise!" "The IRS has a refund waiting for you."

Learn what you can do with this information from the IRS, state revenue departments and the tax industry.

The Top 5 Holiday Scams

  • Black Friday/Cyber Monday Specials
    This time of year, online scams use a variety of lures to get unsuspecting buyers to click on links or open attachments. Bad guys build complete copies of well-known sites, send emails promoting great deals, sell products and take credit card information - but never deliver the goods. Sites that seem to have incredible discounts should be a red flag. Remember that when a "special offer" is too good to be true, it usually is. For instance, never click on links in emails or popups with very deep discount offers for watches, phones or tablets. Go to the website yourself through your browser and check if that offer is legit.

  • Complimentary Vouchers or Gift Cards
    A popular holiday scam is big discounts on gift cards. Don't fall for offers from retailers or social media posts that offer phony vouchers or (Starbucks) gift cards paired with special promotions or contests. Some posts or emails even appear to be shared by a friend (who may have been hacked). Develop a healthy dose of skepticism and "Think Before You Click" on offers or attachments with any gift cards or vouchers!

  • Bogus Shipping Notices From UPS and FedEx
    You are going to see emails supposedly from UPS and FedEx in your inbox that claim your package has a problem and/or could not be delivered. Many of these are phishing attacks that try to make you click on a link or open an attachment. However, what happens when you do that is that your computer gets infected with a virus or even ransomware which holds all your files hostage until you pay 500 dollars in ransom.

  • Holiday Refund Scams
    These emails seem to come from retail chains or e-commerce companies such as Amazon or eBay claiming there's a "wrong transaction" and prompt you to click the refund link. However, when you do that and are asked to fill out a form, the personal information you give out will be sold to cyber criminals who use it against you. Oh, and never, never, never pay online with a debit card, only use credit cards. Why? if the debit card gets compromised, the bad guys can empty your bank account quickly.

  • Phishing on the Dark Side
    A new phishing email has begun circulating that tricks people into thinking they could win movie tickets for the highly-anticipated film, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," due out on Dec. 18. However, the email is a phishing attack. Leading up to the film's release, and shortly after, you need to watch out for this social engineering attack and not fall for the scam. Stay safe online!

BONUS TIP: Never use an insecure public Wi-Fi to shop with your credit card. Only shop with a secure connection at home.

Medicare "Open Enrollment" scams

Whenever someone asks for your bank account number or your Medicare number, stop. Only give personal or financial information when you have verified who you're talking to. Call 1-800-MEDICARE to make sure you're talking to a legitimate representative.

Visit the IRS website to learn more about Medicare "Open Enrollment" scams.

IRS Urges Public to Stay Alert for Scam Phone Calls

Visit the IRS website to learn more about scam phone calls.

National Do Not Call Registry

Visit the FTC website to learn more about filing complaints with the National Do Not Call Registry

Seven Tips for Financial Preparedness in a Disaster

Visit the ICBA website to learn more about these tips.

What's the deal with "Rachel from Card Services"? Your top 3 questions answered.

Rachel and her cohorts - Anne, Tiffany, Michael, Heather and others - from "Card Services" have been annoying people for years with their illegal robocalls. And the FTC is working hard to stop them - both bringing cases and hosting competitions to develop robocall-blocking technology. So, what's the deal with these calls, and why won't they stop? We've got answers to your top 3 questions.

Visit the FTC website to learn more about "Rachel from Card Services".

Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks

Visit the US-CERT website to learn more about avoiding social engineering and phishing attacks

Scam of the Week: Black Friday Coupon Alert

Read the lead article here to learn more. The article will be the first one listed among a list of other security articles you may be interested in.

New Twist to the Telephone Tech Support Scam

Click here to visit the IC3 website to learn more about this telephone tech support scam

Cyber Crime Purchase Order Scam Leaves a Trail of Victims.

Click here to visit the FBI website to learn more about this cyber crime purchase order scam.

National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Security is Everyone's Responsibility. Click here to visit the FBI website to learn more about National Cyber Security Awareness Month.

Phishing Scams

The FDIC has created this webpage to inform and warn consumers about a type of fraud called "phishing." The term "phishing" - as in fishing for confidential information - refers to a scam that encompasses fraudulently obtaining and using an individual's personal or financial information.

Click here to visit the FDIC website and read how it works.

Security on Bank of Ann Arbor's Online Banking

Bank of Ann Arbor has confirmed that all of our online banking systems have been tested and are not vulnerable to the security vulnerability called "Heartbleed." You may continue to use them with confidence. You are always welcome to change your password which would add an additional layer of protection. If you would like to learn more about this security issue, visit a website, that has been set up by one of the firms who discovered the bug.

Top Phishing Scams

Email claiming to be from the "Energy Billing System" that your latest bill is available online and can be viewed with just one click. Of course the amount is sky-high so they want you to prevent a negative consequence.

Phishing email supposedly from Microsoft and you need to click a one-time automatic verification so that your account will not be suspended. STOP - LOOK - THINK before you click.