BOISE, Idaho (KIFI) – Patricia Perkins, director of finance for the Idaho Department, is warning consumers to look closely at incoming email that appears to be correspondence from their financial institution, but which is actually third-party advertisements or even scams.
The Department has observed a significant increase in consumer complaints about mailers from companies and organizations that incorrectly refer to an association with their financial institutions or current or former mortgage lenders. Consumers are more likely to pay attention to correspondence when it appears to be from a known or legitimate source, and it can be difficult to differentiate.
Perkins urges Idahoans to carefully review all requests and communications before taking any action.
“Carefully inspect correspondence sent by mail for disclosures that may be in fine print or dangerously placed,” Perkins said. “Check the sender of an offer by using a confirmed contact and review the terms of an offer very carefully.”
The Department has issued a shutdown order against at least one entity and is investigating agreements with several others for violating the Idaho Financial Fraud Prevention Act, which prohibits using a financial institution’s name to falsely imply that the lender is not providing services. from the third party. For more information on the formal measures taken by the Department, please see the “Administrative/Civil Measures” tab on the Department’s website https://www.finance.idaho.gov/.
Consider taking action to reduce unwanted requests by visiting https://www.optoutprescreen.com/, a free service operated by the four major consumer reporting companies. To file a complaint regarding a mailer that is falsely from a financial institution, visit the department website https://www.finance.idaho.gov/ and select the “Complaint” tab or take you can contact our office at (208) 332-8067.