Scams in between stimulus packagesAug 11, 2020
Written by Jennifer Leach, Associate Director, Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC
As we publish this post, a second stimulus package has not yet been finalized by Congress. While there’s a lot we don’t know, we DO know a few things about what scammers do when this kind of uncertainty is in the headlines.
If there’s another stimulus payment, you won’t have to pay to get it.
Just like last time. Nobody will call to ask for your Social Security, bank account, or credit card number. Expect any stimulus program to look a lot like the first one: people who qualify would get money direct deposited, or you’d get a debit card or check mailed to the address you use for your taxes. The details will follow, if a bill gets signed into law. In the meantime, don’t pay to get any economic impact payment, and keep your info to yourself.
Don’t pay for job “opportunities.” Scammers know that lots of people need to find a job, and they’ll be happy to charge you for what winds up being nothing. Scammers also pay for online ads, promising you ways to earn money online. But do your research before you sign up — and certainly before you pay.
Never pay up front for mortgage help. In fact, it’s illegal for companies to charge you before they help you with your mortgage — but that doesn’t stop scammers from trying. If you find yourself behind on your mortgage, talk with your mortgage servicer right away to see what options you have. And whether you own or rent, it’s worth talking with a legal services organization if you feel like things are taking a hard turn south toward foreclosure or eviction.
They may be able to help you figure out a solution. If you spot one of these scams — or any scam at all, please tell the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.
Welcome to our new websiteJun 2, 2020
We are excited to present to you our new website!
We hope you like it.
SECURITY TIP - Before Discarding a Computer, Protect Yourself!Jun 1, 2020
Before you discard a computer, tablet or smart phone - PROTECT YOUR DATA!
Your personal computer, tablet and smartphone have a lot of sensitive information on them.
It could even be financial information like your account numbers or tax returns. Or it could be personal information like email messages or photos. Before you get rid of your old devices and computer, delete your personal information so it doesn’t end up in the hands of an identity thief.
- Back Up Your Information
- Sign Out of Accounts, Disconnect Devices, and Erase Your Hard Drive
- Safely Dispose of Your Computer
Back Up Your Information
Before you get rid of your old computer, think about what important information you want to save. Do you have photos, videos, or important documents you want to save? How much storage space will you need to save that information?
Knowing what you want to save and how much space you’ll need will help you choose the best solution. Here are some options for saving or backing up your information.
Transfer your files to your new computer. If you bought a new computer, you can transfer information from your old computer to the new one. Most operating system manufacturers have support articles that tell you how to do this.
Save your files to an external storage device. A USB flash drive is an affordable option that offers a moderate amount of storage. Another option is an external hard drive. It might cost a little more than a USB drive, but it can give you more storage capacity and transfer data faster. You can decide which files or folders to back up, and you may be able to schedule automatic backups.
Save your files in the cloud. There are many cloud storage services that let you save files and data online. You may be familiar with some, like Google Drive, Evernote, Dropbox, or iCloud, but there are many others out there. Many of these services come with some free storage space and you can pay for more storage.
When you save your information in the cloud, you’re trusting someone else to keep that information safe. If you’re thinking about using cloud storage, find out what level of privacy or security the different services offer. Do they have privacy and security settings you can adjust?
Do they use encryption to protect your data? (Encryption is the process of scrambling the information to hide the contents of the file.) A service that encrypts your data when it’s transmitted to and from the service, or when they store it, provides a higher level of security than one that doesn’t.
Sign Out of Accounts, Disconnect Devices, and Erase Your Hard Drive
After you save your personal information, however you save it, sign out of all your online accounts from the computer you’re getting rid of. Un-pair your computer from Bluetooth devices like a mouse, keyboard, or wireless display.
Then, erase your computer’s hard drive. Look for a program or function on your computer that will let you erase all your files from the hard drive and reset it to factory settings. If it doesn’t have one, look for expert reviews online to see what programs are out there and which ones are compatible with the type of computer and hard drive you have.
Safely Dispose of Your Computer
You’ve saved your personal information and wiped your hard drive clean. Now you’re ready to get rid of that computer. Most computers contain hazardous materials like heavy metals that can contaminate the earth and don’t belong in a landfill. So what are your options? You can recycle or donate your computer.
Computer manufacturers, electronics stores, and other organizations have computer recycling or donation programs. Check out the Environmental Protection Agency's Electronics Donation and Recycling page to learn about recycling or donating your computer.
You saved your personal information. Wiped your hard drive clean. And safely disposed of the old computer. Now learn how to protect your new computer from hackers with these computer security tips.
A letter from our President & CEOMay 9, 2020
A Message to Our Depositors & Friends
We hope you are well. These are certainly worrisome times. The latest news on the pandemic seems to offer some glimmer of better times ahead. We also know it will be a long pull before we get back to anything close to normal.
We at the Bank want to assure you that we are here to serve your needs and that your deposits are safe. All of our staff members remain fully employed. Some are working from home while others are involved in the bank with the daily operations.
Four years ago an independent bank rating organization rated our Bank as one of the seven safest banks in the state. We believe we would have the same rating if a similar poll were released today. From the Bank's founding fourteen years ago all deposits, regardless of amount, have been fully insured. While this type of insurance coverage is more expensive to the Bank we know our depositors are reassured by this knowledge. We continue to offer rates on our CD's which are very competitive.
We are well capitalized. All of our earnings over the years have been put into our retained capital. The Bank has had the same Officers and Directors since the date the Bank was formed. None of the Directors and/or Stockholders has ever taken a dividend, or return on his or her investment in the Bank, preferring to have profits used to increase capital. The Bank does not have any investments in equities (stocks) which have shown such volatility in recent weeks.
While these times are certainly unique, our Officers and Directors have seen recessions, the results from 9/11, difficult times for banks, and other challenging events. We are all committed to be available to serve you, to assure the safety of your funds and to operate a first class bank that you are comfortable having as your Bank.
Please stay safe and we will all come out of this stronger than ever.
Very Truly Yours,
President & CEO