Every day, thousands of people fall victim to fraudulent emails, texts and calls from scammers pretending to be their bank. And in this time of expanded use of online banking, the problem is only growing worse. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission’s report on fraud estimates that American consumers lost a staggering $3.3 billion to these phishing schemes and other fraud in 2020—that’s nearly double what was lost in 2019.
It’s time to put scammers in their place.
Online scams aren’t so scary when you know what to look for. And at VCNB, we’re committed to helping you spot them as an extra layer of protection for your account. We’ve joined with the American Bankers Association and banks across the country in a nationwide effort to fight phishing—one scam at a time.
We want every bank customer to become a pro at spotting a phishing scam—and stop bank impostors in their tracks. It starts with these four words: Banks Never Ask That. Because when you know what sounds suspicious, you’ll be less likely to be fooled.
These top 3 phishing scams are full of red flags:
• Text Message: If you receive a text message from someone claiming to be your bank asking you to sign in, or offer up your personal information, it’s a scam. Banks never ask that.
• Email: Watch out for emails that ask you to click a suspicious link or provide personal information. The sender may claim to be someone from your bank, but it’s a scam. Banks never ask that.
• Phone Call: Would your bank ever call you to verify your account number. No! Banks never ask that. If you’re ever in doubt that the caller is legitimate, just hang up and call the bank directly at a number you trust.
You’ve probably seen some of these scams before. But that doesn’t stop a scammer from trying. For more tips on how to keep phishing criminals at bay, including videos, an interactive quiz and more, visit http://www.BanksNeverAskThat.com. And be sure to share the webpage with your friends and family.
What’s Your Scam Score? Take five minutes to become a scamspotter pro by taking the #BanksNeverAskThat quiz at BanksNeverAskThat.com. Share your score on Facebook to encourage your friends and family to test their scam savviness, too. The more scamspotters out there, the harder it is for phishing criminals to catch their next victim.
When the Circleville Pumpkin Show opens next month, it will be a welcome return to normalcy for the city after taking a year off in 2020. This will be the 114th edition of the Pumpkin Show and, while there will be a few pandemic related changes, organizers say it will be the same incredible hometown event that visitors have come to expect.
Circleville native Barry Keller has been Pumpkin Show Vice President for 25 years and says that volunteers have stayed busy preparing for the event. “This year there will be some changes because of Covid but we are excited to welcome people back to downtown Circleville and the Pumpkin Show,” he said. “This is a mostly outdoor event so we believe it is as safe as other large outdoor events and we look forward getting back to normal this year.”
Visitors will see a few pandemic related changes. For example, their longtime ride company has retired so there will be new rides with a new company and a completely different layout. The family owned and Indiana based Poor Jack Amusements will bring traditional family favorites like the carousel along with some modern thrill rides.
Meanwhile cherished traditions like their seven parades, live music, outdoor vendors, contests and pumpkin goodness will continue as normal.
But this isn’t a normal event. The Circleville Pumpkin Show attracts 400,000 people in four days and is the sixth largest festival of any kind in the country. With pumpkin food, pumpkin carving and giant pumpkins topping as much as 1,700 pounds, it’s the oldest and largest festival in Ohio. In other words, they don’t call it “The Greatest Free Show On Earth” for nothing.
There are parades to celebrate pets, community, queens and even bands. In fact, Gary and Connie Sharpe, owners of Circleville-based Health Care Logistics are sponsoring the Ohio State University Marching Band to participate in the Parade of Bands on Thursday night. This is the third time the Sharpes have made this generous sponsorship and a shining example of how volunteers, sponsors and the entire community come together to make this event successful.
“This isn’t just another festival. It’s a community homecoming. It’s an attraction for people from all over the country and all over the world. It’s the Pumpkin Show and people look forward to it all year,” Keller explained. “You can always tell when it’s Pumpkin Show time because people start to freshen up their storefronts, they clean up, paint buildings, freshen up mulch. Pumpkins and mums start to appear at homes and everyone gets in on the act of helping the town put our best foot forward.”
It’s also the biggest fundraiser of the year for civic groups, churches, school organizations, small businesses and vendors of all kind. “For some of these organizations, the money they make at the Pumpkin Show funds their activities for the year. It’s important that they have a good year,” he explained.
Courtney Hart owns Ivy Court in downtown Circleville and has been a vendor at the Pumpkin Show for several years. The local native’s shop has a host of handmade items personalized to Round Town and its famous Pumpkin Show. They also sell plants and a carefully curated selection of handmade items. “The Pumpkin Show is our number one event every year but we also had our online sales to keep us going. I can’t imagine how hard it was for all the small businesses, vendors and civic groups that badly needed the sales. It’s not just a fun event, it’s important to the economy,” she said.
She lit up when asked to describe the event. “It’s like Christmas. I’ve been coming since I was a little girl and have always look forward to it. People absolutely love the tradition of it. That’s what the Pumpkin Show is all about. If you’re from here, it’s like a big homecoming and a class reunion every year. If you’re not from here, it’s still an amazing festival. Not one disappointing block and so much to see and do,” she smiled.
Hart’s business is known for merchandise featuring the festival’s mascot Mr. Winky. They will have apparel, mugs, cutting boards, burlap prints and other unique pieces celebrating the event and the city. These items will be available in her South Court Street store beginning October 1 and will also be found in their festival booth. “We can hardly wait,” she exclaimed.
Keller invites everyone to attend and credits organizers, the community, sponsors, and the 250 or more volunteers who help to keep the Pumpkin Show successful year after year. “We couldn’t do it without everyone working together and we hope the community and everyone who attends will enjoy having the Pumpkin Show back this year,” he said. “Being an outdoor event, we believe this is as safe as the other large outdoor events but we encourage people to use their own judgement. If people have concerns about Covid, it’s a personal choice to not attend and we encourage you to stay away for now but to come back when you feel it’s safe,” he said.
They are waiting for direction from the health department regarding precautions necessary for indoor displays and events and will announce those changes as they become available.
Being engaged and aware of what is happening in your financial life is the most effective way to improve your personal finances. We have some tips to help you be more mindful of your finances and how your VCNB account tools can help!
First: Know Your Income and Commitments
It is imperative to know how much money comes in every month and where it’s going. The best way to do this is to gather up pay stubs and other income documents. Start by adding up your income. Then make a list of all your expenses and add them up to see how much you have going out every month to create a basic budget. Read our Budgeting 101 article to get started!
Next Step: Get the Right Tools
VCNB offers account holders some user-friendly tools that will make life easier. From checking your balance and paying bills online to turning off your debit card in our mobile app, there are a number of tools for keeping tabs on your finances. Many customers especially love Account Alerts which allow them to receive a text or email for things like when a loan payment is due or each time their debit card has been used. You can even set an alert for when your account drops below a certain balance. Click here to learn more about how the leading technology offered at VCNB can help your financial life!
You’ll also want to review your credit report for accuracy. Download your credit report for free at www.annualcreditreport.com. This document will help you spot errors in your credit history which could impact your credit rating as well as your ability to borrow money, rent a home, qualify for auto insurance or even get a job.
As you’re creating your budget, be sure to put in place some maintenance routines. Have a special place for bills that need attention, automate what you can, and designate a time to pay bills and check balances. While you’re at it, be sure to file or scan any paperwork you need to keep.
These are some basic first steps that everyone should take on the path to financial awareness. Here are a few more.
If you know that you spend six hundred dollars on Christmas every year, don’t wait until the holidays and rack up credit card debt. Instead, open a VCNB Christmas Club account to have automatic transfers made from your account into a Christmas Club every two weeks.
Get into the mindset that you will think before you buy and curb those impulse purchases to save strain on your budget. Start thinking about what you want your life to look like and how money can help you strive toward those goals.
Most of all, be mindful and start thinking about how you can put your personal finances to work for you.
Here at VCNB we are taking time this fall to be thankful for all the great ways technology has made banking easier for our customers. Here’s a peek at just one of several. Want to know about other popular technology products that we offer our customers? Click here!
While you can get cash from an ATM or even while paying at the grocery store, depositing a check keeps some customers coming into the bank even when they don’t have the time to spare. Thanks to Mobile Deposit, customers no longer have to do that. Instead, they can opt to deposit their check whenever and wherever is convenient for them.
Working through lunch? Can’t make it in during business hours? No time for errands? No problem.
Simply use the camera on your mobile device to submit images of your check through our mobile app! It really is that easy.
Here’s what you do:
Log in to your account in VCNB Mobile.
Choose Deposits and then press Deposit a Check.
Choose the account where you want the deposit to be made.
Enter the amount of the check.
Endorse your check with your signature and the phrase “Mobile Deposit.”
Photograph both the front and back of the endorsed check.
Review and confirm deposit details and hit Yes to complete the transaction.
It’s a quick process that can save you loads of time driving to the bank. Whether it’s from home in your jammies or on a break from work, you can make that deposit whenever and wherever you have a free moment!
Don’t already use our mobile app? Find it in the app store on your mobile device by searching VCNB Mobile.
Here at VCNB we strive to offer customers best in class leading technology. In fact, we have everything the big banks offer but with community bank service and local values.
While we take for granted that our customers know about all this great technology, we find that some customers still haven’t heard that they can deposit a check using their phone or that they can send money to a friend with Zelle® in our mobile banking app. We find they don’t know they can pay bills on the go or that our app makes banking as easy as 1-2-3.
That’s why we will be spending the next few weeks talking about some of the leading technology we offer. This technology makes it easier for you to keep track of your money, open accounts and bank whenever and from wherever is most convenient for you.
Here’s an overview of some of these services and we promise to talk more in depth about a few of them soon!
VCNB Mobile and VCNBfamily.com – Use our website and mobile app to check balances, pay bills, transfer funds, view account statements and even open accounts. It’s like carrying a bank branch with you everywhere you go! Both are free and easy to use and give you access to a ton of great options including those below.
Mobile Deposit – Customers who use our mobile app love that they can deposit a check using the camera on their mobile device. It’s easy and quick! Click here for instructions and to get started today.
Online Bill Pay– There’s no need to stand in the post office line when you can pay bills without even leaving your chair! Log in to your online banking to sign up for Online Bill Pay to schedule bills to pay automatically or on demand.
Zelle – Zelle is a fast, safe and easy way to send money directly between almost any bank accounts in the U.S., typically within minutes. With just an email address or U.S. mobile phone number, you can send money to people you trust, regardless of where they bank. Find Zelle in Online Bill Pay on VCNB Mobile or in your Online Banking.
Account Alerts – Keep tabs on what’s happening with your accounts when you want to be notified about certain activities. Sign up for any of our almost two dozen account alerts to be sent via text or email. Want to be notified if your card has been used? Perhaps you want to know if a check has cleared, that a loan payment is due or if your balance dips below a certain amount. It’s easy and free to sign up in your Online Banking!
Mobile Wallet – Leave your VCNB credit or debit card in your wallet and pay for purchases with Apple Pay®, Google Pay and Samsung Pay! These mobile payment options are contactless and have built in security measures. Visit the app store on your mobile device to get started!
MoneyPass® – Need cash quick but aren’t near a VCNB ATM? Find a surcharge free ATM near you by searching MoneyPass.com or on their mobile app. VCNB belongs to this extensive network which includes over 32,000 surcharge-free ATMs nationwide. No need to sign up! Just look for the MoneyPass logo and insert your card!
Rewards Checking Account – Earn uChoose Rewards for your everyday banking behaviors like direct deposit, bill pay and swiping your debit card with our Rewards Checking Account. Earn rewards like cash back, gift cards, travel and event tickets! Have a Visa® Platinum Favor Credit Card? Earn points for using that as well.
Ready to get started but still have questions? Chat online or call our Customer Service Team at 1.800.542.5004. You can also speak to a banker in your local branch today.
VCNB Lender Bruce Block will finish his forty year career in banking and finance when he retires Friday. In doing so, he will turn the page to a new chapter in his life’s book. “I have enjoyed my years in banking and finance and have met a lot of people and made friendships that I hope will continue,” he said. “However, I’m looking forward to moving on to something different.”
The Pennsylvania native began his career as a management trainee with a finance company in Yuma, Arizona. When they transferred him to Columbus, Ohio, his career took off and he spent the next four decades forging relationships and hitting his stride in a range of finance and banking areas. He trained younger employees, worked in collections and did all types of lending. Before coming to VCNB, Bruce had worked fourteen years as the Head of Consumer Lending for a community bank in Logan.
He joined the VCNB family as a Retail Lender in McArthur in 2015. It quickly became clear his connections with dealerships across Ohio would make Bruce a great fit in the bank’s growing Indirect Lending Department. So for the last four years, he has helped customers who wish to finance their vehicle purchase from the comfort of the dealership while working closely with the dealers who make that happen.
“These aren’t just business acquaintances. I’ve gotten to know a lot of people over the years and have developed good relationships with many dealers,” Bruce said. He went on to describe the lessons he has instilled in a new employee he has been training. “The key to being successful is developing relationships with people. Find common ground so that you have something to relate to when you’re talking. For me, it might be running or soccer or the fact I lived in Arizona for a while and they did too. Building relationships with people will help you become successful and will help you enjoy your job more.”
Bruce has many interests that he enjoys pursuing outside of work. He has been a soccer referee for eighteen years and will soon take on a new title as the Miller High School Boys Junior Varsity Basketball Coach. Bruce also enjoys running and working out at the gym.
The self-described lifelong learner is an avid reader who enjoys substitute teaching at the high school level. He has a bachelors degree in Public Administration and Social Science from Waynesburg University in Pennsylvania, a masters in Social Science from Ohio University and his teaching license in Social Studies. He also takes online classes from the University of Chicago as time allows.
“I believe there is no such thing as too much education,” Bruce explained. He went on to describe a letter of recommendation from a professor at OU who said she had never seen a student who pursued learning for the sake of learning the way that Bruce did, all while juggling family and career.
Bruce has a grown daughter and a stepson. His wife Korrie is a teacher in Athens County where they reside near Glouster.
“I have enjoyed my forty years in banking and finance. I’ve had the opportunity to meet many good people, interesting people, and to learn a lot from working for different people. Looking back, I have to wonder where the forty years went. Time goes so quickly as the days become weeks and the weeks become years.”
The bank will host a reception in Bruce’s honor at our Friendly Bremen Banking Center on West Fair Avenue from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday.
Rushcreek Feed and Supply Company has been a Bremen landmark and gathering place for sixty years. They’ll be celebrating that big anniversary with an event this Saturday.
With a wide selection, personal service and a large delivery area, it’s no wonder they have a loyal customer following.
Manger Justin Shumaker talked about their selection of products which is almost too long to remember. In fact, they pride themselves on being a one stop shop for livestock feed, pet food, lawn and garden needs, fertilizer and much more. That list includes:
Pet Feed and Supplies
Garden Supplies and Tools
Honey Bee Supplies
Deer Minerals and Products for Hunting
Banks Deer Blinds and Feeders
Arrowquip Cattle Handling Equiment
ADS Plastic Piping
Birdseed, Squirrel Food and Supplies
Livestock feed and products for goats, chickens, pigs, cattle and horses
Custom Blended Fertilizers
Water Softener Pellets
Custom Mix Feed for All Species
They also buy corn, beans, oats and wheat and offer delivery and a number of other services. For example, they provide custom application of fertilizer as well as custom spray applications for fields.
“So many people rely on the customer service from a small company like us as opposed to a box store. We’re more versatile in a lot of ways like in making custom feeds. Only a local mill like this can provide this service,” Shumaker said. “Small businesses and small towns rely on good customers. We like to help our customers as much as we can and they like that they know us when they come in. That helps a lot.”
It all began on June 21, 1961 when five local farmers partnered to purchase the Brown-Burnworth Company from Bessie Brown. That company had been on this site since 1915 and had put Bremen on the map for its name brand Eagle Flour. There had actually been a mill here for many years before that. In fact, their office building was constructed in 1853.
Those farmers who partnered to organize Rushcreek Feed and Supply were Robert Pontious, Raymond, Scholl, Art Kelly, Joe Killbarger Sr. and Joe Kilbarger Jr.
Over the years. There have been numerous updates to the facilities to allow for expanded capacity and the addition of new products. Today they employ eleven people and are on the lookout for some more help.
Join them this Saturday, August 28 to celebrate their 60th anniversary. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. there will be food, door prizes and some vendors on site. The public is invited to attend this free event.
Rushcreek Feed and Supply Company is located at 103 W. Broad Street in Bremen. Call them at 740.569.4105 or follow them on Facebook.
Being a small business owner is a tough job! That’s why we feature a different small business in our Small Business Spotlight every month. Today we talk shop with the owner of Rivers Bend Bike Shop!
Jamie Sharp has loved bicycles for as long as he can remember. That enthusiasm shines through when he talks about his business Rivers Bend Bike Shop in historic downtown Chillicothe. The shop offers bicycle sales and service along with a host of accessories and products for cyclists of all ages and experience levels.
Sharp actually started working in a local bicycle shop when he was just a kid. “I needed a bike to go riding with a buddy and two girls. I had narrowed it down to a Rink’s bike that was cheap and in my budget or this bike shop bike that was so much nicer but a little more money. It was white with red and gold trim – a Scorpion bike. I went back and forth but went for that better bike and I’m so glad I did. That was my first lesson in how you get what you pay for when it comes to bikes,” he said.
Sharp says the number one question he gets every day is whether he does bicycle repair. “Yes! I do repair bicycles. That’s one of the big things that a bike shop does and people bring me their bikes for tune-ups and for all sorts of reasons,” he said.
While a bicycle seems like a straightforward thing to put together, they tend to be more complicated than a lot of people realize and are often assembled incorrectly by people who do it at home or at the big box stores. “You see a lot of the same problems when they’re not put together by someone who understands bikes. People bring them in with serious things wrong that make the bike harder to ride and less safe,” he said. “A guy recently brought in a bike and the handlebars were on backwards. He said it was like riding a different bike after that. It seems like a simple thing but these are common mistakes.”
He also sells a full line of bicycles to fill every need. “When I was a kid it used to be a cruiser or a ten speed. Now you have all kinds of bikes for specialties,” he said as he described the store’s selection that includes adult comfort bikes, road bikes, mountain bikes, gravel bikes, Ebikes, BMX bikes and all kinds of kids bikes.
Sharp said that he aims to not just sell or service a bike but to truly help the customer. “A lot of times people have questions or they need a little direction. I’m happy to listen, offer advice. People come in only to look around and realize that I’m not just trying to sell something. I’m trying to help them out too.”
This is the kind of service offered by most bike shops but traditional bike shops are becoming more difficult to find. “Years ago, every town around here had at least one bike shop,” he said as he began reminiscing about all the bike shops that once existed in the area. “Now people have to travel just to find one so I guess it is pretty unique that we’re here.”
Sharp first opened his own shop in 2008. Locals may remember Rent and Roll along the bike path in town where he rented roller blades and bikes. The following year, he relocated to a Water Street location where he became a full service bike shop. He grew again two years ago, moving just around the corner to a Walnut Street location with off street parking and more display space.
He noted that the pandemic has been good for hobby cyclists but has created some challenges for people in his line of work. “People want to get outside, they want to exercise and a bike is a great way to do that. You could get out of the house, exercise even when the gyms were closed and have fun so the bike world really took off last year,” he said.
Unfortunately, the pandemic caused supply issues as well since it became harder to get in new bikes and parts. “I sold every bike I had. I sold every used bike I had at home and whenever I was able to order bikes, they would be sold before I got them here. It’s been a tough year.”
Sharp is an avid mountain biker who supports the biking community as a trail steward for Great Seal State Park and as an active member of Columbus Ohio Mountain Biking Organization or COMBO. This group advocates for new trails around central Ohio and in Ross County. Here, Sharp hopes to see more mountain bike trails developed to appeal to overnight guests. “Some of the best mountain bike trails in the state are right here but we need more to entice people to come ride. We want them to stay longer and spend more money in our community,” he explained.
He also encourages use of the bike and walking path that uses the abandoned B&O Railroad corridor to connect Chillicothe and Washington Court House. Locals call it the floodwall but it’s actually called Paint Creek Recreational Trail and offers 32 paved miles for exercise and recreation. “It’s a great place to get out and go for a ride,” he exclaimed.
What is it about bicycles that he loves so much? “I’ve been asking myself that for a long time. It’s the freedom of being on two wheels. You’re in total control of those two wheels and where they go. That makes me happy. If you think back, the first feeling of freedom when you were a kid was on a bike. Some of us just never lost that,” he said.
River Bends Bicycle Shop is located at 86 N. Walnut Street in Chillicothe. Stop by, call them at 740.779.0061 or follow them on Facebook.
It’s a necessary purchase and one of the most expensive line items in most household budgets. What is it?
Everyone has to eat and it can be costly but there are some ways to eat healthy and for less simply by making a few adjustments to eat with the seasons.
Eat what’s in season. It typically costs less, isn’t shipped as far and tastes better. For example, melons, berries, cucumbers, zucchini, sweet corn, green beans, tomatoes, cherries and a host of other fruits and vegetables are in season during the summer. In the fall, look for pears, apples, broccoli, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, peppers and eggplant. Each season offers different bounty and new opportunities to switch up your diet.
Go for fresh. Those prepackaged salads are quick and look good but can go from attractive to limp or slimy quickly. Fresh romaine, head lettuce and spinach make a great salad and will last longer. Pre-cut veggies and melons are convenient but cost far more per pound that cutting melon or celery for yourself.
Go for frozen. Frozen fruits and veggies are typically picked when ripe and then flash frozen. That means frozen produce is a good substitute for fresh. However, beware the frozen prepared meals which often are packed with sodium and sugar and cost more for their convenience.
Eat (and take care of) what you have. How many times have you loaded up your cart with tons of fresh produce only for it to rot in the fridge? Make sure you’re either eating what you buy or learn what can be frozen for later. For example, grapes are an amazing treat when frozen. Even odds and ends of leftover vegetables make a great base for soups or omelets. Fruits go well in smoothies or baked goods.
Go meatless. Meatless Monday has long been a popular concept and summer is a great time to try that out. With an abundance of fresh from the garden produce, there’s a world of recipes and meal combinations to entertain your taste buds.
Preserve it for later. Learn what kind of produce freezes well. Then you can snatch up deals while the selection is abundant and enjoy the season’s bounty when the price is higher again later.
Shop local. By shopping farmers markets or farm stands, you’re getting seasonal foods and supporting a business in your community.
How do you cut grocery costs and still eat healthy? Tell us in the comments. We would love to hear from you!
The kids may be getting a break from school, but you still have to work and the bills need to be paid. Luckily, VCNB has some tools you can use to ease the burden of managing your money and even give you a break from worry.
Online Bill Pay
Simplify your financial life by paying your bills online – either by scheduling them on demand or by scheduling recurring payments. This way you’re sure not to miss a payment and can save your bill paying time for a little R&R!
VCNB Mobile enables you to check on your accounts and to bank from almost anywhere. From the beach, from the top of a Ferris wheel or from your couch on a much needed staycation, VCNB Mobile allows customers to transfer funds, pay bills, open accounts and more. The security of this app is top notch to allow for banking without worry.
Cash On The Go
VCNB belongs to the MoneyPass® network of ATMs. With 32,000 ATMS nationwide, VCNB customers can usually find an ATM not far from wherever they are in the country. Traveling for leisure or for work? Just tooling around town? Check out www.moneypass.com to find an ATM near you!
Summer can be an expensive time as you may be traveling, buying back to school clothes or entertaining more than normal. Earn points for your purchases every time you use your VCNB Rewards Checking account or your Visa® Platinum card. These UChoose® Rewards can be used to pay for travel, event tickets, gift cards, merchandise and more! Customers with VCNB Rewards Checking can even earn cash back for their regular spending when they register their debit card with UChoose!