French writer Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr once wrote, “The more things change, the more they remain the same.” Surely he was not speaking about banking, but it seems to be a universal truth.
Once or twice a year, bank regulators will send out an alert that an entity is operating as a bank without proper authority to do so. The latest, announced last month, was operating under the name “First National Bank”. While there are literally hundreds of legitimate U.S. chartered, FDIC-insured banks that operate as First National Bank, or some variation thereof, none are headquartered in Minneapolis.
The fictitious First National Bank was reportedly located at 222 South 9th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402. Not only was it misrepresenting itself as a national bank, it was reportedly offering business banking services in the form of lines of credit, uncollateralized and secured loans and even long-term loans. Solicitations were sent by mail, fax and maybe email as well.
We don’t know how many people (consumers or businesses) might have been lulled into a false sense of security thinking it was a legitimate bank. We urge anyone who may have provided personal information to safeguard their identity now.
Over the years, it has become simple to verify not only that the bank is legitimate, but to check on its financial strength as well. All right on the web and all for free. But, for all of the good that is out there on the web, there is also the bad. Criminals will always look for new avenues of easy money.
Fraudsters will come and go; Bauer has been here for over 35 years helping protect consumers. But we can’t do everything for you. Take the simple steps necessary to make sure you don’t become a victim. It takes just a few moments, and it’s free.
Verify the authenticity of any bank or credit union and get its rating as well at bauerfinancial.com. We won’t rate it if it isn’t federally-insured and legit. All institutions rated 5-Stars or 4-Stars are recommended; 2-Stars and below are considered Troubled or Problematic. It really is that simple. Can’t find it? Give us a call @ 800.388.6686.We are happy to help.