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COVID-19

We have now moved all PPP loan-related updates to the PPP page.

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FAQ

Is the bank open for business?

Yes! We are here and ready to assist you. To protect you and our employees, we have initiated our Pandemic Response Plan which includes limiting in-person visits inside our branches while still handling all banking needs. This includes adjusting our branch hours to 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

What steps are you taking to prevent the transmission of COVID-19?

  • We are providing disinfecting wipes to enable staff to regularly clean high traffic areas, including wiping down and sanitizing ATMs and Night Drop containers.
  • We are working with our janitorial service to ensure that all high-touch areas are cleaned nightly in all common areas.
  • A medical-grade cleaning program has been evaluated and is ready to be dispatched as needed.
  • Hand sanitizing stations are being made available at the branches.
  • Our employees have been provided gloves for protection against handling cash.

Can I still call the bank?

Yes! We are here to help in any way we can. You can call our mainline (805 965 5942) or call any of our branches and offices directly:

  • Santa Barbara 805 979 3545 
  • Montecito 805 335 8110
  • Goleta 805 770 1300
  • San Luis Obispo Branch & Lending Center 805 540 6240
  • Paso Robles 805 296 1690
  • Santa Barbara Commercial Lending Center 805 724 4445
  • Santa Barbara Residential Lending Center 805 335 8150

How can I access bank services if I need them?

Deposits & Withdrawals

We invite you to consider using mobile deposit and conducting banking transactions online. To sign up for mobile deposit, sign in to Online Banking and click Mobile Deposit Enrollment - we will let you know when you are approved and can start using it.  Need help? Our employees are available by phone at 805 880 7606 or via email at onlinesupport@americanrivierabank.com.

If you must visit one of our locations, please use our ATMs, Night Drops and Drive-Up windows instead of entering the building. Drive-Up windows are available at both our Goleta and Paso Robles branches.  At our other branches in Montecito, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo, employees are available to provide you with drop-off options for making deposits and delivering documents.

We can still handle your cash and coin at all branch locations. Our ATMs accept cash and checks, and our Night Drops can handle a larger volume of checks, cash and coin.  You will be able to use Night Drop even if you have never used it before.  Night Drop is safe and secure -  Click here for more information about how it works.

Safe Deposit Box

If you need access to a safe deposit box, we will escort you into the branch utilizing a strict hand sanitizing protocol.

New Accounts

You can initiate new accounts by visiting us at AmericanRivieraBank.com/open-new-account. You may also reach one of our seasoned bankers to begin the new account process by phone.

Is there help available for my business while we are closed?

We understand this is a trying time for all of us as we address the implications from this unprecedented pandemic event, and American Riviera Bank is here for you.  If you or your business are experiencing hardship at this time, please call us for assistance:

  • In Santa Barbara County, contact Executive Vice President Joanne Funari at 805 730 7874 or Vice President Bobby Boyes at 805 730 7864.
  • In San Luis Obispo County, contact Executive Vice President Steve Harding at 805 540 6244 or Assistant Vice President Dustin Reese at 805 540 6243.

COVID-19 & Other Local Resources

Keep up-to-date on our Blog as well as with the following local, state and national sites:

Fraud

Phishing

Source: Secret Service

WASHINGTON - Criminals are opportunists, and as seen in the past, any major news event can become an opportunity for groups or individuals with malicious intentions. The Coronavirus is no different. In fact, the Coronavirus is a prime opportunity for enterprising criminals because it plays on one of the basic human conditions…fear. Fear can cause normally scrupulous individuals to let their guard down and fall victim to social engineering scams, phishing scams, non-delivery scams, and auction fraud scams.

The United States Secret Service is proactively taking steps to alert the public about the types of email scams associated with the Coronavirus. The Secret Service’s Global Investigative Operations Center (GIOC) reports the subsequent email scams:

“Phishing” is the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to entice individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers. Phishing scams have become ubiquitous through email communication and ecommerce. Cyber criminals are exploiting the Coronavirus through the wide distribution of mass emails posing as legitimate medical and or health organizations. In one particular instance, victims have received an email purporting to be from a medical/health organization that included attachments supposedly containing pertinent information regarding the Coronavirus. This lead to either unsuspecting victims opening the attachment causing malware to infect their system, or prompting the victim to enter their email login credentials to access the information resulting in harvested login credentials. This type of incident enables further occurrences of cyber enabled financial crimes such as Business Email Compromise (BEC), PII theft, ransomware and account takeovers. Another side effect of the Coronavirus is increased teleworking, which furthers the reliance on email for communication adding yet another multiplier to these email fraud schemes. More of these incidents are expected, and increased vigilance regarding email communication is highly encouraged.

Another emerging fraud scheme exploiting the Coronavirus is using social engineering tactics through legitimate social media websites seeking donations for charitable causes related to the virus. Criminals are exploiting the charitable spirit of individuals, seeking donations to fraudulent causes surrounding the Coronavirus. Increased caution should be exercised when donating to charitable organizations.

A third fraud scheme surrounds non-delivery scams. Essentially, criminal actors advertise as an in-demand medical supply company that sells medical supplies that can be used to prevent/protect against the Coronavirus. The criminal enterprise will demand upfront payment or initial deposits then abscond with the funds and never complete delivery of the ordered products.

Quick Tips:

  • Phishing Emails / Social Engineering – Avoid opening attachments and clicking on links within emails from senders you do not recognize. These attachments can contain malicious content, such as ransomware, that can infect your device and steal your information. Be leery of emails or phone calls requesting account information or requesting you to verify your account. Legitimate businesses will never call you or email you directly for this information.
  • Always independently verify any requested information originates from a legitimate source.
  • Visit websites by inputting the domain name yourself. Business use encryption, Secure Socket Layer (SSL). Certificate “errors” can be a warning sign that something is not right with the website. The United States Secret Service will continue leading the charge to combat cyber-enabled financial crimes. To learn more about the Secret Service’s Investigative Mission please visit us at: www.SecretService.gov

COVID19 Tracker Apps

Source: Business Insider

Unsurprisingly, people are turning to the internet to get up-to-the-minute information on the coronavirus outbreak, but the thirst for information during a pandemic is a perfect opportunity for hackers. It's also a good time to remind everyone that hackers are still hard at work, even during concerning times. 

An app called "COVID19 Tracker" masking itself as a coronavirus outbreak map tracker is actually ransomware that locks down your phone and demands you pay the hackers $100 in bitcoin within 48 hours, according to Chad Anderson and Tarik Saleh at internet security company DomainTools.

Saleh's report from Friday shows that the app is designed for the Android operating system, and was listed to Android users searching the web for coronavirus tracking apps. To download the app, a user would have to go directly to the website where the app was hosted and download the app from there. The app was not available on the Google Play Store, according to Saleh.

The website appears to have been taken down as of Monday afternoon, but it was still running on Monday morning. The site prompts visitors to download an app, saying, "for android users: to get real-time number of coronavirus cases based on your GPS location please download the mobile app version of the website and enable 'accurate reporting' for best experience." Business Insider isn't linking or posting the name of the site.

Once opened, the app asks for access to your lock screen to give you "instant alerts when a coronavirus patient is near you." The app also asks for permission of an Android phone's accessibility settings for "active state monitoring." If an unsuspecting user grants these permissions to the app, ransomware dubbed "CovidLock" is enabled, and the screen changes to a ransom note:

"Your phone is encrypted: You have 48 hours to pay 100$ [sic] in bitcoin or everything will be erased.
1. What will be deleted? your contacts, your pictures and videos, all social media accounts will be leaked publicly and the phone memory will be completely erased
2. How to save it? you need a decryption code that will disarm the app and unlock your data back as it was before
3. How to get the decryption code? you need to send 100$ [sic] in bitcoin to the address [sic] below, click the button below to see the code
Note: Your GPS is watched and your location is known, if you try anything stupid your phone will be automatically erased"

At the end of the note is a text field where a victim is meant to enter the decryption code, and a button beneath the text field that says "Decrypt."

Saleh notes that protections against this kind of attack in the Android operating system have been in place since Android 7 "Nougat" released in 2016, just as long as the user has set a password to unlock the phone. Without an unlocking password, users are still vulnerable to attacks like the CovidLock ransomware.

Saleh said that the DomainTools security research team had reverse engineered the decryption key, and has released it publicly here so that victims could unlock their devices without paying the ransom.

When asked whether the hackers could simply generate a new decryption key, DomainTools told Business Insider that the hackers would need to rewrite the malware and redeploy it, and a new key wouldn't affect anyone who has already downloaded the infected app. "That is one of the big flaws of CovidLock," DomainTools said.

The company is also monitoring the hackers' bitcoin wallet and its activity, and DomainTools told Business Insider that no one has paid the ransom to the hackers as of yet, but the company is unsure of how many people have downloaded the app. 

DomainTools advises that people obtain information regarding COVID-19 from trusted sources like government and research institutions. It also suggests that people don't open emails or click links with health-related content, as miscreants are "trying to capitalize on fear." And finally, it advises Android users to download apps exclusively from the Google Play Store, where there is less risk of downloading malware. 

This isn't the first instance of malware apps masking themselves as coronavirus-related tracking apps. Last week, cybersecurity researchers identified several fake COVID-19 tracker maps that infect people's computers with malware when opened.


Scams

Source: Wespay

Criminals are opportunists, and as seen in the past, any major news event becomes an opportunity for groups or individuals with malicious intentions. The Coronavirus is no different. In fact, the Coronavirus is a much more potent opportunity for enterprising criminals because it plays on one of the basest human conditions…fear. Fear can cause normally scrupulous individuals to let their guard down and fall victim to social engineering scams, phishing scams, non-delivery scams, auction fraud scams, etc.

Numerous international sources from Asia, Africa, Australia, and Europe are reporting a rise in Coronavirus scams, and a rise in the number of incidents in the United States is expected. Brief details of the associated Coronavirus scams being encountered are below:

  • Phishing Scams
  • Social Engineering Scams
  • Non-delivery Scams

Phishing scams have become ubiquitous through email communication and commerce. Cyber criminals are exploiting the Coronavirus through the wide distribution of mass emails posing as legitimate organizations such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) or World Health Organization (WHO). In one particular instance, victims have received an email purporting to be from the WHO with an attachment supposedly containing pertinent information regarding the Coronavirus. This leads to either unsuspecting victims opening the attachment causing various types of malware to infect their system, or prompting the victim to enter their email login credentials to access the information resulting in harvested login credentials. These incidents enable further instances of cyber-enabled financial crime such as Business Email Compromise (BEC), PII theft, ransomware, account takeovers, etc. Another side effect of the Coronavirus is increased teleworking, which furthers the reliance on email for communication adding yet another multiplier to these email fraud schemes. More of these incidents are expected, and increased vigilance regarding email communication is highly encouraged.

Another emerging fraud scheme exploiting the Coronavirus is using social engineering tactics through legitimate social media websites seeking donations for charitable causes related to the virus. Criminals are exploiting the charitable spirit of individuals, seeking donations to fraudulent causes surrounding the Coronavirus. Increased caution should be exercised when donating to causes tied to Coronavirus relief.

A third fraud scheme surrounds non-delivery scams. Essentially, criminal actors are advertising in-demand medical supplies for sale to be used to prevent/protect against the Coronavirus, i.e. medical masks, gloves, disinfectant, etc. The criminal enterprise will demand upfront payments or initial deposits, then abscond with the funds and never complete delivery.

Please reach out to the Global Investigative Operations Center (GIOC) at GIOC@usss.dhs.gov or 202-406-6009, if you receive any information relating to this Info Alert.

Global Investigative Operations Center Reference #20-004-I