Protect Yourself From Online Account Takeover

This article provided by Beavercreek Marketing, a division of Beavercreek Inc. Find more articles by Beavercreek in the Learning Center at our website.

Criminals have their eye on your financial accounts. They want access.
Call it a takeover attempt – a HOSTILE takeover.

Account takeovers happen when the wrong people dig up enough of the right private information about you to gain access to your checking or savings accounts. Then they strike – either moving big chunks of your money at once, or small amounts a bit at a time … hoping you don’t notice.

What’s happening is a form of identity theft … because the more that bad people know about you, the easier it is for them to access your money.

We’re used to sharing a lot of information about ourselves these days –experts say we share too much – and that makes us easier targets for takeovers.

Here are some things you can do to protect personal information to help battle takeover attempts:

  • Don’t fall for fake information requests. Financial institutions will never call, email or text you out of the blue asking for online banking information such as user names, passwords or pin numbers.
  • Use safe passwords – the kind that mix numbers and upper and lowercase letters – and don’t write them down in places people can easily find them. Experts recommend that you don’t use the same user name and password for everything – because if someone figures one out, they have access to other types of accounts you use. It’s a smart idea to have different passwords for different types of accounts.
  • Think twice about what you share on social media. Posting things like your telephone number, address, birth date and year can be used in the wrong ways to find out more about you. And don’t publicly share other information – such as your mother’s maiden name – that you might be using as answers to the ‘secret’ questions sites ask you for account verification. The less some people know about you, the better.
  • Be careful when banking or making purchases from public computers – and make sure you always sign out of any account you’re using.

You also need to stay alert … and check your financial statements regularly to make sure your money is safe.

Here are some things you can do to spot a possible takeover:

  • Watch for transactions you don’t expect – such as purchases or withdrawals you didn’t make. Contact your financial institution immediately if you spot this when checking either your online or paper statements. If you have online statements, it’s wise to check them frequently.
  •  If a merchant says your debit card has been turned down, call the number on the back of the card to report the problem and explain what happened. This could be a sign that someone else has access to your account.
  • Check your credit report regularly to look for things like unexpected loans or missed payments. You can do this for free by going to annualcreditreport.com and reading about what you can do.

Think smart and stay alert … both are great defenses against account takeovers.

Earn Points With Your VCNB Visa® Platinum Card

If you are a VCNB Visa® Platinum credit card customer, you are now earning UChoose Rewards Points. The UChoose Rewards program allows you to earn one reward point for every dollar spent in purchases on your Visa Platinum Credit Card.

Those points can be redeemed for tons of great merchant gift cards, movie tickets, merchandise, travel and other exciting products via the UChoose Rewards site. While you are automatically earning your one point per dollar, you must enroll at the UChoose website to view and redeem your points.

Also on this website you will find opportunities to earn extra points by spending money at your favorite merchants.

Some merchants offer you extra points for shopping in their stores or online. For example, through May 27, Kohls is offering three points per dollar if you spend at least $50 with them. CVS is offering two points per dollar when you spend $50. Payless is offering 15 points per dollar spent with no minimum purchase required. If you like Italian food, Bucca di Beppo is offering twenty points for every dollar spent in their restaurant with no minimum purchase required.

If you wish to take advantage of these extra point earning opportunities, merchants typically require a simple activation via the UChoose site.

These are just a few of the offers available at this time and they do change regularly. The best way to keep up is to periodically visit the UChoose site. You can check your points balance, find point earning opportunities at your favorite merchants and redeem those points from the website.

Register your card through the UChoose site  and watch your points add up!

 

 

 

 

What’s Your Next Step?

Next Step 160x600 Audience Network (VCNB)

We have been busy talking about next steps here at VCNB. Everyone has a next step in life. Maybe it’s a huge step like getting married, starting a family or buying a home. Maybe it’s a small step like the bathroom remodel you have been planning for years. Perhaps it is a far off step like retiring or becoming an empty nester. As we look around the VCNB Financial Family we see people taking next steps every day: babies, promotions, military service, weddings, retirements, new homes, smaller homes, new hobbies, children going off to college, and adults going back to school. There have been some unhappy next steps along the way as we have said goodbye to parents, siblings and mentors as well. While we hope all your next steps are happy, the good and the bad are all a part of life. With this in mind, we want to be with you along the way for whatever your next step in life is, no matter where it takes you. Home loans, savings accounts, cutting edge services and good old fashioned customer caring are some of the things we do every day. Plus, for a while we are offering you a chance to earn money for becoming our customer. Now through June 30, you can get $100 for opening a new checking account with a debit card. You can also earn $50 for opening a new savings account. These accounts can be opened online or in any of our seventeen branches. We also want to help some neighbors in need as they take their next steps. That is why we will donate $10 for every qualifying checking or savings account opened during the promotional period. The money will be shared by two charities – Sojourners of Vinton County and Maywood Mission of Lancaster – to purchase shoes for people in need. We will donate up to $1,000 at the end of the promotional period.

Next Step Promo Terms and Conditions_Final

Click Image To Enlarge Terms and Conditions.

Click the terms and conditions at right to view a full screen description of complete details. Visit www.vintoncountybank.com for account information or to get started opening an account. You can also stop by any one of our seventeen branches to speak with an expert and open your new account today. Are you thinking about your next step? Comment below to tell us what it will be! We are excited to hear your stories!

Local Business Spotlight: Venue 62 For Your Next Event

We understand that being a small business owner is tough. That’s why we plan to spotlight a different business each month to help you learn about unique businesses in your own back yard.  

Distinctive. Unique. Historic. Full of character. . .

These are all terms used to describe Venue 62, Grove City’s up-and-coming boutique event space.

Located in the heart of Grove City’s Town Center, Venue 62 opened for business last Spring. Originally financed, purchased and renovated in 2010 to house owner Matt Yerkes’ software company, the idea of having a food-service business in part of the building was always part of the long-term plan.

After seeing the facility in person, one can certainly see that the building’s rich history and character are an integral part of the Venue 62 experience.

The historic brick building dates back to at least the 1920’s, when it was a drug store and stood next door to an automotive dealership. As we know, times have certainly changed in the last century. This fact is demonstrated by the new car prices ranging from $319 to $645 that are still painted on one of the exposed brick walls inside the venue.

When it came time for renovations, Yerkes had a vision that came, in part, from seeing a small section of exposed brick along the wall. “What if we exposed the entire wall?” he wondered. It was only later, after many hours of labor, that the new car prices of yesteryear would be uncovered.

This only added to the look and feel of the historic building, which includes custom built barn doors on the interior, a trickier project than expected. “We had this idea for these large doors, but we had to be sure to build them small enough to fit through the front of the building,” he said. The doors are used to enclose a middle section that was designed specifically with business meetings and gatherings in mind.

The beams from which interior lights hang were created from lumber that once held up the false ceiling in the building’s pre-renovation years.

The vision and hard work have paid off. Since opening for business nearly one year ago, Venue 62 has played host to numerous wedding receptions, rehearsal dinners, bridal and baby showers, luncheons, memorial services, and professional gatherings.

Bookings have steadily increased to the point that Christmas events are being booked eight months in advance. They work to accommodate the needs of their guests to make event planning a smooth experience.

“We have a D5 liquor license, which allows beer, wine, and liquor, and an A2 Occupancy license which allows for nearly 100 guests,” Yerkes explained. The back section of the building was completely renovated to include a brand new commercial kitchen last summer. This allows for an expanded and fully customized menu for events of all types.

And while Venue 62 will provide food and beverages of the customer’s choosing, customers are not tied to using Venue 62’s catering. Food options from outside vendors are allowed for events, which really allows for freedom and creativity when event planning.

The future looks bright for Venue 62 and Grove City’s Town Center. A planned expansion for downtown parking options is in the works, as are development plans for the nearby library, city hall, and various commercial and residential properties in the area.

Since 2010, Yerkes has witnessed a resurgence in the downtown district and expresses great hope for the future. “It’s a great time to be here in the Town Center. We’ve been really pleased to be a part of it,” he said.

Venue 62 is located at 3995 Broadway, Grove City. Visit Venue 62 on Facebook or on their website at www.venue62.com.

Teaching Children To Save

Thanks to Central Elementary Principal Teresa Snider for hosting us during Teach Children To Save Month!

Thanks to Central Elementary Principal Teresa Snider for hosting us during Teach Children To Save Month!

Every spring our McArthur office sends people into the elementary schools in Vinton County to talk with third graders about saving money. We do this because April is Teach Children To Save Month and because teaching these basic principles to young people is one way to give their personal finances a great start.

Teach Children To Save is a national program that organizes banker volunteers to help young people develop a savings habit early in life. We typically speak to third grade students and their teachers at West, South and Central elementary schools in Vinton County.

We talk to the kids about what a bank does and why someone might need to do business with us. We talk to them about savings accounts, why they might someday want to borrow money and even how a bank does business.

We also tell them a story and help them with a math worksheet, demonstrating how one child saved money for something she really wants while another child spends her money on small items instead of saving for the big goal. At the end of the lesson we talk about whether it is better to be a spender or a saver and then answer all their questions about banks and about that day’s lesson.

It is a thought provoking day for both the students and their banker teachers. We often marvel at the questions these young students ask and look forward to the school visits every year.

Staff from our Friendly Bremen Banking Centers also visit schools in their area for similar programming every spring.

Are you a teacher or a principal? Would you like to have a banker visit your students? Contact us so we may make arrangements!

Free CE Class Offered For Realtors

We like to find opportunities in our communities to provide services that folks need but maybe don’t expect from their local bank. That is why we regularly host continuing education classes for realtors.

This month we will work with First American Title to co-host “Ethics: Changing with the Times,” a three hour course for realtors in the Canal Winchester area. Shawn Fosnaugh, a Retail Lender at our Canal Banking Center, calls the partnership a “win-win” for everyone.

“We partner with First American Title and sponsor a Continuing Education class two or three times a year. This is a win-win for both the bank and title company, as well as the realtors,” Fosnaugh said.

Fosnaugh explained that the State of Ohio requires realtors to take continuing education courses which can often be expensive. “With the continuing education classes we sponsor, the realtors attend for free, gain knowledge and education on today’s current real estate market and rules and regulations, and get to network with one another,” he said.

At the same time, bank staff and title company staff have opportunity to build rapport and better relationships with realtors serving the community.

The class will feature a lot of group discussion about a realtor’s duty to the public and industry, to clients and customer and to fellow licensees.

Instructors will be Paul Blevins, Vice President/Area Manager and Counsel – Central and Southern Ohio for First American Title and Larry Press, Vice President of Business Development and Branch Underwriting Counsel for First American Title.

“Ethics: Changing with the Times” will be held Thursday, April 23 from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Kingy’s Pizza (7470 Hill Rd, Canal Winchester, OH 43110). Refreshments will be served. Sign up today by contacting Shawn Fosnaugh at 614.834.5626 or shawn.fosnaugh@vintoncountybank.com