News from ASB...
Algonquin State Bank Supports the Cause
Every month Algonquin State Bank participates in a "Casual Day" where the money we pay to dress casually is given to a charity or cause. We are proud to donate to and support those in need. Below is a list of those that we have helped.
February 2, 2018 - National Wear Red Day, sponsored by the American Heart Association
January 26, 2018 - Cal’s Angels
December 29, 2017 - Cody’s Canteen
November 24, 2017 - The Alzheimer’s Association, the Greater Illinois Chapter
October 27, 2017 - The Center for Autism
October 6, 2017 - American Cancer Society
September 29, 2017 - March of Dimes
August 25, 2017 - Algonquin Founder's Day River Relief Benefit
July 28, 2017 - Little Angels
June 30, 2017 - Andrew’s Army
May 26, 2017 - Defeat GBM, a special initiative of the National Brain Tumor Society
April 28, 2017 - Benefit for Cole Nelson
March 31, 2017 - Make-A-Wish Foundation
February 24, 2017 - The family of Mason Wasz
February 3, 2017 - National Wear Red Day, sponsored by the American Heart Association
January 25, 2017 - Adult & Child Therapy Services
SAME DAY ACH PAYMENTS
We understand you have come to expect faster payments and information as a core component of good service. We always do our best to improve our offerings, so beginning Friday, September 15, 2017 certain electronic debits may now post to your account the same day the payments are made.
Electronic credits and debits (including checks that you issue which are processed as electronic debits), may be eligible for processing on the same day they are authorized by you. Payments you make may clear your account sooner than they have before. This change applies to all financial institutions and merchants/vendors offering Automated Clearing House (ACH) services and all account holders receiving ACH transactions.
• Make sure that funds are available in your account before you make in-person, online or telephone payments to avoid incurring non-sufficient funds or overdraft fees.
• Checks should never be issued, nor payments scheduled, if there are insufficient funds to satisfy the payment.
• Pre-authorized (or recurring) electronic payments, such as a recurring mortgage or insurance payment, should not change. These payments will post to your account as designated by the transaction effective date.
Please contact a Personal Banker if you have further questions.
The following article, which appeared recently in the FDIC Consumer News - Summer 2017 Issue, points out top scams targeting bank customers and how to protect your personal information and your money.
10 Scams Targeting Bank Customers
The basics on how to protect your personal information and your money
The FDIC often hears from bank customers who believe they may be the victims of financial fraud or theft, and our staff members provide information on where and how to report suspicious activity. To help further, FDIC Consumer News includes crime prevention tips in practically every issue. As part of that coverage, we feature here a list of 10 scams that you should be aware of, plus key defenses to remember.
1. Government “imposter” frauds: These schemes often start with a phone call, a letter, an email, a text message or a fax supposedly from a government agency, requiring an upfront payment or personal financial information, such as Social Security or bank account numbers.
“They might tell you that you owe taxes or fines or that you have an unpaid debt. They might even threaten you with a lawsuit or arrest if you don’t pay,” said Michael Benardo, manager of the FDIC’s Cyber Fraud and Financial Crimes Section. “Remember that if you provide personal information it can be used to commit fraud or be sold to identity thieves. Also, federal government agencies won’t ask you to send money for prizes or unpaid loans, and they won’t ask you to wire money to pay for anything.”
2. Debt collection scams: Be on the lookout for fraudsters posing as debt collectors or law enforcement officials attempting to collect a debt that you don’t really owe. Red flags include a caller who won’t provide written proof of the debt you supposedly owe or who threatens you with arrest or violence for not paying.
3. Fraudulent job offers: Criminals pose online or in classified advertisements as employers or recruiters offering enticing opportunities, such as working from home. But if you’re required to pay money in advance to “help secure the job” or you must provide a great deal of personal financial information for a “background check,” those are red flags of a potential fraud.
Another variation on this scam involves fake offers of part-time jobs as “mystery shoppers,” who are people paid to visit retail locations and then submit confidential reports about the experience. In an example of the fraudulent version, your job might be to receive a $500 check, go “undercover” to your bank, deposit the check into your account there, and then report back about the service provided. But you also would be instructed to immediately wire your new “employer” $500 out of your bank account to cover the check you just deposited. Days later, the bank will inform you that the check you deposited is counterfeit and you just lost $500 to thieves. One warning sign of this type of scam is that the potential employer requires you to have a bank account.
4. “Phishing” emails: Scam artists send emails pretending to be from banks, popular merchants or other known entities, and they ask for personal information such as bank account numbers, Social Security numbers, dates of birth and other valuable details. The emails usually look legitimate because they include graphics copied from authentic websites and messages that appear valid.
“We have also seen emails with links to fake websites that are exact copies of real websites for FDIC-insured banks, except the web addresses are slightly different than the real ones,” said Doreen Eberley, director of the FDIC’s Division of Risk Management Supervision, which is in charge of the agency’s policies and programs related to financial crimes. “These sites are used to trick people into giving up valuable personal information that can be used to commit identity theft.”
5. Mortgage foreclosure rescue scams: Today, many homeowners who are struggling financially and risk losing their homes may be vulnerable to false promises to refinance a mortgage under better terms or rates. But borrowers should always be on the lookout for scammers who falsely claim to be lenders, loan servicers, financial counselors, mortgage consultants, loan brokers or representatives of government agencies who can help avoid a mortgage foreclosure and offer a great deal at the same time. These criminals will present homeowners with what sounds like the life-saving offer they need. Instead, the homeowner is required to pay significant upfront fees or, even worse, tricked into signing documents that, in the fine print, transfer the ownership of the property to the criminal involved. Common warning signs of fraudulent mortgage assistance offers include a “guarantee” that foreclosure will be avoided and pressure to act fast.
6. Lottery scams: You might be told you won a lottery (typically one that you never entered) and asked to first send money to the “lottery company” to cover certain taxes and fees. Similar examples involve bogus prize winnings and sweepstakes. “In one example, a scammer sent a letter to people using falsified FBI and FDIC letterhead telling them they won a popular, well-known lottery but that they needed to send money by wire transfer to a lottery ‘official’ in order to secure the winnings,” Benardo said. “The ‘official’ was really a crook hoping to trick people into sending money.”
7. Elder frauds: Thieves sometimes target older adults to try to cheat them out of some of their life savings. For example, telemarketing scams may involve sales of bogus products and services that will never be delivered. Warning signs include unsolicited phone calls asking for a large amount of money before receiving the goods or services, and special offers for senior citizens that seem too good to be true, like an investment “guaranteeing” a very high return. To help seniors and their caregivers avoid financial exploitation, the FDIC and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have developed Money Smart for Older Adults, a curriculum with information and resources (see our News Briefs).
8. Overpayment scams: This popular scam starts when a stranger sends a consumer or a business a check for something, such as an item being sold on the internet, but the check is for far more than the agreed-upon sales price. The scammer then tells the consumer to deposit the check and wire the difference to someone else who is supposedly owed money by the same check writer. In a few days, the check is discovered to be a counterfeit, and the depositor may be held responsible for any money wired out of the bank account. Victims may end up owing thousands of dollars to the financial institution that wired the money, and sometimes they’ve also sent the merchandise to the fraud artists, too.
9. "Ransomware": This term refers to malicious software that holds a computer, smartphone or other device hostage by restricting access until a ransom is paid. The most common way ransomware and other malicious software spreads is when someone clicks on an infected email attachment or a link in an email that leads to a contaminated file or website. Malware also can spread across a network of linked computers or be passed around on a contaminated storage device, such as a thumb drive.
10. Jury duty scams:A thief makes phone calls pretending to be a law enforcement official warning innocent people that they failed to appear for jury duty and threating an arrest unless a “fine” is paid immediately. And to pay up, the caller asks for debit account and PIN numbers, allowing the perpetrator to create a fake debit card and drain the account.
To read the entire article, please click here to go to the article on FDIC.gov
Take Advantage of ALL Our Mobile Apps Have to Offer…
Mobile Banking allows you to access and manage your accounts on the go along with much more! Both apps offer Mobile Deposit, which is a feature that lets you deposit checks into your account using your phone.
These new technologies are easy-to-use, free, secure and will save you trips to the bank. We understand that using a new technology can be challenging, so we’ve created easy-to-follow instructional videos that walk you through how to use the feature and how truly EASY it is!
For more information or questions on how to get started, contact an ASB Personal Banker today.
Some of the information below is from a document written by BankOnIt, a company that specializes in bank information technology management and security. BankOnIt is not connected in any way to Algonquin State Bank or its customers.
Be Mindful of Ransomware
Recently, we came across a notice stating that the FBI is seeing a "dramatic rise in ransomware." Not only are banks at risk to ransomware and other cyber security attacks but our customers and the customers of other institutions are as well, so we wanted to bring this topic to your attention and stress how important it is to be proactive against increasing malware attacks.
"These attacks entice users to open an email attachment or click on a link that downloads malware that 'locks-up' or encrypts data on a computer, shared files or files on a server that's accessible from the computer. The attacker then demands payment to unlock the data or provide the decryption key. These infections can be devastating and recovery can be a difficult and timely process."
If you are a victim of such an attack, the FBI is recommending that you do not pay the ransom and that you contact them right away. You can always visit their website to find out how best to contact them.
Rest assured that Algonquin State Bank takes proper measures to protect our customer data, but we did want you to be aware of the risk of an attack on your home computers. And, we remain committed to taking the necessary steps to further ensure our customer's safety.
Here are some risk management tips from BankOnIt:
• Be aggressive with your spam filtering - this reduces the threat that malware can come in as an attachment via email.
• Use caution whitelisting individual email address (using anti-spam filtering software to allow only specified email addresses to get through) - even a trusted sender can become infected and transmit a virus to you.
• Always block high-risk attachments (even from familiar addresses) - certain files have a high propensity for malware and some cannot be scanned by anti-virus software.
• Obtain expert assistance - consider utilizing a vendor that has specialized tools and software that can help you prevent these attacks and recover from them in the event that they do occur.
You can always contact an ASB Personal Banker with any questions or concerns you have. We will be happy to offer you the best help possible.
IMPORTANT NOTICE TO OUR CUSTOMERS
Effective Monday, May 16th, 2016, the Drive-Up and Walk-Up at our 221 S. Main Street branch have closed permanently and our lobby hours are as follows:
Tuesday: 9:00AM - 2:00PM
Thursday: 9:00AM - 2:00PM
Friday: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Saturday: 8:30AM - 12:00PM
Drive-Up Tellers are available at our Main Office and Algonquin Road locations and a “before and after hours” Walk-Up Teller is available at our Main Office on Huntington Drive North. For a complete listing of locations and hours, please visit our locations.
The following article, which appeared recently in the Chicago Tribune, points out some of the risks associated with the use of debit cards, and is not connected in any way to Algonquin State Bank or its customers.
Experts: Debit glitch a warning - Cards in spotlight as another shopper reports extra charges
By Gregory Karp and Becky Yerak - Chicago Tribune
The recent payment processing glitch at Jewel-Osco highlights the risk of using debit cards, which expose consumers to a cash-flow crunch if their card is compromised by such a foul-up or fraud.
It's why many privacy advocates beat the drum against using debit cards, regularly warning of their dangers compared with paying by cash or credit card.
Consumer advocate, author and syndicated radio host Clark Howard calls debit cards "piece of trash fake Visas and fake Mastercards." He has for years railed against using them because of their risks.
The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse suggests that consumers never use - or even carry - debit cards, saying they are just too risky and offer limited consumer protections.
"The most important thing for consumers to know is that a debit card is a direct pipeline into your checking account," said Paul Stephens, director of policy and advocacy at the nonprofit consumer organization. Even if the problem is ultimately fixed, consumers could be temporarily without their money and incur overdraft fees from their banks.
Despite the repeated warnings - and fraud being so rampant last year that it was dubbed the year of the data breach - debit cards are popular. Bankrate.com last year in a survey of holiday buying habits found that 34 percent planned to pay with debit cards. And recent reports suggest debt-averse millenials are eschewing credit cards for debit.
To read the entire article, please click here to go to the article on ChicagoTribune.com
Take Advantage of improved Online Banking, e-Statements and More...
With our technology upgrade complete, there's never been a better time to get more acquainted with Algonquin State Bank. Here are some of the new and better features that are now available to our customers:
Enhanced Online Banking & Bill Pay - Enroll in Online Banking and enjoy secure 24/7 access to your accounts. View transactions, transfer funds and pay bills from anywhere.
Real Time Transaction Processing - All transactions received prior to 7:00pm will be posted that day.
No more 2:00pm daily cut-offs.
New, Easy-to-Read Statements - Whether you prefer printed or electronic statements, you'll appreciate larger type and a format that's easier to work with.
Switch to E-Statements - Access your monthly account statements faster and help the environment. If you need a hard copy, you can simply print it from your desktop.
For more information, talk with an ASB Personal Banker today!
Experience the New Look of Algonquin State Bank!
On your next visit to Algonquin State Bank, whether it's in person or online, you'll notice an all new website, a fresh new brand identity and easier access to your accounts.
We are excited to bring these changes to our customers and our community. We hope you'll find our new website to be more helpful, more informative and a very convenient gateway to enhanced online banking services. We are also proud to introduce a new logo and fresh brand identity - it is clean and straightforward, keeping with our tradition, while being more in tune with your future.
With our upgrade to new electronic technology complete, our Online Banking and Bill Pay services have been upgraded and we are excited to be able to bring you new products and services going forward that will make your life easier and more rewarding.