Security Alerts

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

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.