Financial institutions

Authorities warn of senders appearing to be from financial institutions

BOISE, Idaho (KIFI) – Patricia Perkins, Director of the Idaho Department of Finance, warns consumers to take a close look at incoming mail which may appear to be correspondence from their financial institution, but which are actually advertisements from third parties or even scams.

The Department has observed a substantial increase in consumer complaints about mailings from businesses and organizations that falsely refer to 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 familiar or legitimate source, and it can be difficult to tell them apart.

Perkins urges Idahoans to carefully consider all solicitations and communications before taking any action.

“Carefully inspect mailed correspondence for disclosures that may be in the fine print or placed in a precarious manner,” Perkins said. “Verify the sender of any offer using a confirmed contact and review the terms of any offer very carefully.”

The Department has issued a cease and desist order against at least one entity and is reviewing agreements with several others for violating Idaho’s Financial Fraud Prevention Act, which prohibits the use of the name of Idaho. ‘a financial institution to falsely imply that the lender approved the services of the third party. For more information on formal actions taken by the ministry, see the “Administrative / Civil Action” tab on the ministry’s website https://www.finance.idaho.gov/.

Consider taking steps to reduce unwanted solicitation by visiting https://www.optoutprescreen.com/, a free service operated by the four major consumer reporting companies. To file a complaint about a sender falsely claiming to be from a financial institution, visit the ministry’s website https://www.finance.idaho.gov/ and select the “Complaint” tab or contact our office at (208) 332-8067.