As a community bank, we’re dedicated to supporting businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to providing loan programs, we can help businesses hold on to the resources they have through services that help prevent fraud. This is especially important now, when companies are operating with reduced staff, many of whom are working remotely. It’s a time when businesses are especially vulnerable to fraud. In fact, industry experts predict there will be an “explosion” of business and consumer fraud in the coming years.
As your community bank, we continue to be here for you as we work hard to rebuild our communities, together. I wanted to take the time to give you a brief update about our plans for reopening our bank lobbies.
Financial decisions can feel complex and hard even under normal circumstances. If the current market volatility has you questioning what are the “right” actions you should take now, you are not alone. Here are five concrete ways for you to jumpstart your financial wellness in the wake of the novel coronavirus.
Topics: financial education
Unfortunately, now is the perfect time for scammers to take advantage of people through coronavirus scams, which I discussed in an earlier blog. But plenty of suspects are also using traditional financial frauds targeted at seniors. So, as a community banker, I encourage you to take the time to reach out to older folks you care about and remind them of the following:
Relationship Scam – Here the scammer pretends to be someone else via phone call, text, or social media. After gaining the person’s confidence, they often ask for gift cards, or funds to visit a sick relative. The scammer may send money to the Senior and then ask for them to send some of it elsewhere as well. They money they send may be stolen from another account or a counterfeit check.
Online Sales– The fraudster connects with a person online and sends them a counterfeit check for an item listed for sale. Then, claiming they sent too much money, they asked for some funds back. The customer then is on the hook for the entire amount.
Grandparent Scam – The scammer will call an older adult and confirm they have a grandchild. Then, posing as law enforcement official, they’ll ask for funds to bail the grandchild out.
Identity Theft – The options here are almost endless. The bottom line is that if your personal identifiers (social security, account information, DOB, Credit cards number, or account passwords) are used without your permission, your identity has been stolen.
If you believe you’ve been the victim of a scam or identify theft, do the following:
- First contact your bank
- Next, go to the Federal Trade Commission’s website and complete the ID theft affidavit
- File a report with your local police
- Check your credit report.
Sheltering in place may continue for the foreseeable future. So now is a good time to check in on older relatives and assure that they, as well as their funds, remain safe. If you have any questions or need help, please feel free to reach out to your banker. We are here to help.
April is community banking month, a time when we traditionally celebrate what we believe makes our bank unique - our community focused approach and personalized experience. During more normal times, you would see our team out at volunteer events, serving on boards, and joining in at community events. This is what makes working with a local bank so unique – your banking partners are right here in the community alongside you as you go about your day. During the COVID-19 pandemic, our ability to do what we love has changed. We are all learning new ways for us to stay connected. But we remain focused on what matters most to us – the health and welfare of the communities that we are proud to be a part of.
We know the COVID-19 pandemic has affected each of us in various ways. A lot of people are struggling in our communities and we, as a team, are doing what we can to help get our customers through these trying financial times. But many hands make light work and we are in this together. Please consider the following suggestions to help our community through this time.
We’re all experiencing a time of tremendous stress, uncertainty and isolation. And that means it’s a good time to protect yourself from scammers who may try to use the current environment to obtain your money and sensitive information.
As community bankers, we care about our customers and want to make their lives better. So, since my expertise is financial fraud, I want to share the following tips on how to prevent being defrauded during this difficult time.
Didn’t make a resolution yet? How about making one that’s easy to keep, with Digital Wallet?! With our Tompkins Debit MasterCard now compatible with Apple Pay and Google Pay, it’s easier than ever to take advantage of its convenient features and the security it offers.
After a rigorous and exciting selection process, Abby Peterson, VP, Marketing & Communications has been selected as the Business Leader of the Year for the upcoming Annual Fab5 Young Professional Awards!