VCNB Day To Feature Nineteenth Century Fun

Our bank was born less than two years after the Civil war ended. At the time, the country was still recovering from war and the town of McArthur was a booming place that needed a bank. As it turns out, two banks opened that same year. The Vinton County Bank opened in January 1867 and the bank of Will, Brown and Company opened shortly after. The following year, the two banks merged to form one, keeping the name of the first bank while adopting the leadership of the second.

It’s a story we have told a lot this year as Vinton County National Bank has celebrated its 150th anniversary throughout 2017.

In a few weeks, we’ll have our biggest celebration in our hometown over the 4th of July weekend. We have partnered with the Vinton County High School Athletic Boosters to help them with their annual 4th of July celebration. In doing so, we’re sponsoring a concert by Nashville recording artist Jason Michael Carroll, sponsoring a big hot rod and vintage car show and a host of other things. There will be an open house at the bank and we’ll be offering free wagon rides with John Hutchinson following the parade where we are the grand marshals! Thanks to the Boosters for allowing us this honor!

On Sunday we’re doing something extra special. The Boosters were kind enough to make this Vinton County National Bank Day at the Festival. While they’re having tournament games, vendors and food, we’ll be doing something a little different by embracing our post-Civil War roots. Here’s what we’ve got going on starting at 1 p.m.:

Ohio village muffins19th Century Ball Games – Have you ever thought about how baseball was originally played? The Ohio Village Muffins Men’s Baseball Team and the Ohio Village Diamonds Women’s Team will put on a good show as they play bankers and other community members in nineteenth century style games! The ladies play in skirts and the gentlemen play in long sleeve wool shirts! They didn’t have mitts or protective gear back then and they played by much different rules than we have today! An announcer explains the rules and etiquette and helps spectators understand what’s going on! The ladies play at 1 p.m. and the gentlemen at 3 p.m.

CusterReenactors and Music – Have you ever wanted to meet a President? Ohio’s Premier Abraham Lincoln impersonator will be joining us to talk with folks and pose for pictures. We also have Ohio native General George Armstrong Custer coming for the day and a reenactor who will set up camp, talk with folks about the life of a soldier, do some demonstrations and pose for pictures. Finally, Ohio musician Steve Ball will join us for the day. He and his wife play Civil War era music on period instruments. They do a beautiful job and will surely provide some good entertainment for us all.

Giveaways – The first 150 kids to arrive that day will receive a commemorative 150th piggy bank. One of those banks will contain $25 to help one lucky youngster jump start their savings! We’ll also have some giveaways for adults.

Travis West and OSU Extension will be there to offer old fashioned games for kids and the Vinton County High School Athletic Boosters will be selling ice cream sundaes in addition to all the other fun activities and food the Boosters are planning!

Bring some sunscreen, a lawn chair and a few bucks if you want to buy lunch or snacks. We’ll take care of the entertainment! Visitors will also have access to restrooms inside the high school as well as a shady spot under our big tent to relax and enjoy the day. Want to know about other things happening that weekend? Click here to learn more about what we’re doing and check out the full festival schedule below!

2017 4th schedule_Page_1

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VCNB Tips and Tricks To Keep Your Vacation Running Smoothly

School is letting out across our region and summer vacations are underway. You’ve packed the sunscreen, boarded the dogs and loaded the car but you might not have considered things you should do for your vacation finances. Whether you’re flying to Florida or headed to the mountains, there are some basic things you can do to keep your finances running smoothly and to insure you aren’t stranded somewhere with no access to your money.

Here’s a checklist of some things you can do:

  • Update Your Phone Number With VCNB – In recent years we have seen a spike in fraudulent activity. That’s why we have a talented team to detect and prevent this kind of crime. If we notice activity that’s outside of your normal spending pattern, our fraud department may turn off your card and call you to verify the attempted purchases. If you’re at a gas pump far from home and the only number we have on file is your home number, you won’t understand why your card isn’t working and we will have no way to contact you. PLEASE, take a moment to contact your local branch or our Customer Service Department and give us your mobile phone number.
  • Give Us a Heads Up – If you know you’re traveling, let Customer Service know where you’re headed. It takes just a minute and we appreciate hearing from you.
  • Plan A Second Form Of Payment – Always carry a second form of payment. We actually advise this even when you’re just tooling around town close to home but it’s especially important when you’re far from home. If you plan to use your debit card for primary spending, take a credit card, some cash and/or a prepaid card. VCNB offers credit and debit cards as well as prepaid and gift cards that can be used anywhere Mastercard© is accepted.
  • Download CardValet® – Knowledge is power, especially where your money is concerned. If you haven’t tried it, Card Valet is a fantastic way to keep up with activity on your VCNB cards and even to control how, when and where your cards can be used. With the Card Valet app, you can turn your cards on when you need them and turn them off when you don’t. You can also receive alerts whenever your card is used and place limits so that it can only be used at merchants you choose. You can even place spending limits on your card. This is free and easy to use! Look for CardValet in the app store on your mobile device.
  • Use Account Alerts– Another way to keep up with your money is to sign in to your online banking account and register for account alerts. You can receive a text or email whenever there is activity on your account, when your balance dips below an amount you decide and for a host of other reasons. Knowing how much money is in your account will help keep your spending under control and seeing activity on your account will help you spot unauthorized purchases. This is a free perk of online banking with VCNB.
  • Don’t Forget To Pay Your Bills – Being away on vacation doesn’t give you respite from paying bills. If you have bills due while you’re away, use Online Bill Pay to schedule payments while you’re gone. This is a free service of VCNB online banking, as long as you use it at least one time each month.

Vacation is supposed to be fun! Don’t let money, bills or card problems ruin your relaxing time away. Remember, VCNB Mobile and our http://www.vcnbfamily.com/ are here whenever you need them! You can also call our Customer Service Department at 1.800.542.5004 during business hours.

Small Business Spotlight: Lilly’s Kitchen Table

Small businesses are important to communities and running a small business is tough work. That’s why we feature a small business in one of our communities every month!

Lilly’s Kitchen Table has been a staple of the Grove City Town Center district for years, and is now the reigning two-time Grove City Business of the Year as decided by popular vote and awarded by the Grove City Chamber of Commerce. The breakfast and lunch diner is beloved by the Grove City community and has quite a story to tell.

For the past seven years Lilly’s has been under the ownership and guidance of Tracey Cope, a one-time server for the diner who jumped at the opportunity to purchase the business when the opportunity arose. “So many people were so happy to see Tracey move up and rise to become owner” Manager Sarah Cope explained. “We have so many long-time customers. Some drifted away and have come back to be regulars since Tracey took ownership.”

And take ownership she did. Sarah tells a story of a one night “extreme makeover” seven years ago before the first day of business under Tracey’s leadership. “When it looked like (Tracey) was going to have the opportunity to buy the business, she had a vision for it and started collecting and purchasing items and décor for the restaurant” Sarah said.

“The basement of her home housed all of this stuff. All of it. And once she signed the papers, the night before the farmer’s market, which is our busiest time of year, she and Todd (husband) pulled it all out started bringing it over and they went to work!” In one night, Tracey and family cleaned, painted, and decorated the diner to match the home town diner look and feel of Tracey’s vision moving forward. By morning, they were ready to open the doors with a new look inside. People were amazed at what Tracey and her crew had pulled off and admired their drive and dedication. “She truly took ownership from day one and really hit the ground running” said Sarah.

The diner specializes in breakfast and lunch, soups, and daily specials. Breakfast standards fill the menu alongside specialties like Lilly’s Big Breakfast and the Broadway Buster while sandwiches, subs, wraps, salads, handmade specialty burgers and more round out the lunch menu.

Ask a regular what’s best on the menu and their answer usually is ‘everything!’ Special dishes change daily and Ohio-made products like J.C. Steel pickles and condiments are used in house and sold at the front counter. Tracey’s decorative dishes and displays line the interior, and the back wall features a detailed mural hand painted by local artist David Maple.

Grove City locals have proven to be big fans of Lilly’s, as evidenced by the dramatic growth of their business throughout the past seven years and the aforementioned vote of “Business of the Year” for the second time. Nothing says “community” better than friendly faces and simply being there for one another. And there is never a time to need community more than in the face of tragedy.

Unfortunately, tragedy found this beloved community business in February when Chef and Back of House Manager Chris Cope died in an accident on I-71. Chris was the backbone of the business, not just because of the job he did there, but because he was Tracey’s son and Sarah’s husband. Known for his homemade soups and creative take on old standards, Chris was loved by all who met him. He left behind six children, all of whom are regulars around the restaurant and are well known to customers. “This was his place. He loved it here. This was family, home,” Sarah said.

Tracey, Sarah, and crew have faced these unfortunate circumstances with admirable grace and have received tremendous support from the community. A memorial fund was established at our Franklin County Banking Center and the Grove City Chamber of Commerce’s “Business of the Year” award is being renamed in Chris’s honor. “We’re still figuring out how to do this. But this community is the best. How do we even say how much this has all meant to us?” Sarah recalled, graciously.

The Cope family is beyond thankful for the support the community has shown throughout this time of incomprehensible loss, and says they are still putting the pieces together on moving forward. Thanks to the outpouring of support, they also have an excellent staff they can rely upon to keep the business moving. “We have amazing servers and a great team!” Sarah said of the crew of fourteen. “This is our family business and Tracey considers this her legacy. My kids are already asking to help out and they love to come in here. Visitors know them and love to see them – two of them are actually in that painting on the wall. So maybe someday they’ll be here alongside us.”

It’s easy to see why you can expect Lilly’s to be a staple of the Grove City community for years to come.

“One time visitors turn into lifetime customers. It’s not just a place to eat when you come here. People know our names, and not because of our shirts (which include names). They know our stories and we know them. We know their families, their kids, their orders. These are our friends and family, not just customers.”

Lilly’s Kitchen Table, open daily at 7a.m.-2p.m., is located at 4008 Broadway, Grove City and can be found online or on Facebook. Contact them at (614) 801-0771 or stop by for a good meal and friendly conversation!

Those looking to donate to the Christopher Cope Memorial Fund can contact the Franklin County Banking Center via phone at 614.875.8700, in person at 2250 Stringtown Road, Grove City, and contributions are being accepted via mail at Franklin County Banking Center, P.O. Box 201, Grove City, Ohio 43123.

Teach Teens Money Skills With Student Checking

Every parent wants their child to succeed in life. One way to help them get off on the right foot is to give them a strong financial foundation on which to stand, build and grow. That does not necessarily mean giving them a lot of money but instead helping them understand how to use and manage the money they do have.

Whether they have just a small weekly allowance, pay from an after school job, or have a large savings, it is important for young people to spend their teen years learning how to pay for things and how to manage a checking or savings account.

One way to accomplish this is to help them open a Student Checking My Way account at VCNB. This account is designed especially for teens ages 14-17 and provides them with access to a traditional checking account with mobile and online banking, a debit card and account alerts.

Young customers will have access to a debit card and the spending abilities that come with it.

The account also comes with a host of ways to safely monitor activity and to manage the account electronically. Account alerts can be set to notify you or your teen of account activity. Sign up to receive a text or email for a variety of account activities including whenever the debit card is used or when the balance falls below an amount that you set.

Online banking and mobile banking make it easy to see where and when money is spent, to transfer funds between accounts and to view bank statements.

We encourage parents and teens to work together so that young people are experienced at handling their bank account and prepared to manage their funds by the time they graduate high school. This very basic step can make a tremendous difference when a young graduate is venturing out into the world.

Remember though, a parent or guardian must be made joint account owner. This account can be opened online or in any of our sixteen banking centers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Small Business Spotlight: Sweet William Blossom Boutique

Small businesses are important to communities and running a small business is tough work. That’s why we feature a small business in one of our communities every month! 

Nestled in historic downtown Chillicothe, Ohio is a boutique shop unlike any other. While some may call it a flower shop, using only that title underestimates the range of specialty products they are known to carry.

Opened in August 2011 by co-owners Anni McDonald and her Aunt Lori Botchie, Sweet William Blossom Boutique is truly a family affair. Anni attended Ohio University in Athens and while there worked for a florist learning many of the techniques used in the shop today. After graduating with a degree in Communications and Marketing she held a couple of jobs while searching for her passion. Feeling unfulfilled from those jobs, she approached Lori with the idea to open a flower shop. Lori was inspired by the idea but visualized a store that sold more than just flowers. She proposed adding fruit arrangements and sweet confectioneries to the line of products. Lori’s degrees in Business Management and Communications, also from Ohio University, make them the perfect pair for this venture.

Sweet William Blossom Boutique offers fresh seasonal flower arrangements custom designed to suit their client’s needs. Focusing on the flowers and not fillers to create eye-catching collages, their works of art are identifiable as SWBB creations due to their distinctive design. They specialize in floral arrangements for weddings, sympathy, and proms/homecomings. Located inside the boutique is a self-serve floral area called the Blossom Bar. Accessible as a grab ‘n’ go option, the Blossom Bar offers a selection of different styles of flowers and vases in different price points so customers can design their own bouquets for less.

One aspect of the business that sets them apart from other flower shops is their fruit arrangements. Using apples, strawberries, pineapple, grapes, blueberries and other assorted fruits, they cut and shape the produce to create one-of-a kind edible art.

Another edible aspect to the business is their gourmet caramel apples and specialty strawberries. The apples come in nine signature flavors such as salty caramel, buckeye, and their best seller apple crisp. All apples are Granny Smith in variety and are the perfect size for sharing, although they are so delicious you many not want to. Strawberries come in three different forms: chocolate-covered, crème-filled, and chocolate cheesecake. Orders can be all of one type or any combination of the three. McDonald says that their strawberries were a top seller this past Valentine’s Day.

McDonald and Botchie are committed to providing local products whenever possible and even sell candles in store made by another local company. These candles, produced by Small Batch Candle Company, are showcased in repurposed glass bottles. Pair one of these candles with flowers or confections and you have the perfect gift for any occasion.

Sweet William Blossom Boutique is located in the heart of downtown Chillicothe at 90 West Second Street. Visit them from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. You can also call them at 740.779.9600. Follow them on Facebook or on Instagram.

 

How To Budget When You Have Seasonal Income

Rewarding careers don’t always come with a steady paycheck. For people who work in agriculture, construction, tax preparation, entertainment, landscaping or other types of freelance and seasonal businesses, income may vary wildly depending on the time of year. This uneven cash flow makes budgeting especially challenging, but it’s by no means impossible.

Here’s how to budget for long-term financial stability when your income changes with the seasons.

Determine your average monthly income
With most traditional budget plans, you start by determining your monthly income. But how can you complete this first step if your income keeps changing? The most effective strategy is to use your average monthly income. To calculate this, add up your post-tax income for the past three or more years and divide that sum by the total number of months. If economic conditions have — or are projected to — hit your industry or business hard, you may want to deduct 15% to 20% from this number to create a safety cushion.

Calculate your average monthly expenses
When work is seasonal, expenses often fluctuate, too. During busy times, you may have to spend more on gasoline, utilities, equipment maintenance and office supplies. If you spend more during your busy season, determine your average monthly costs by adding up your personal and work-related expenses for at least one year and dividing that figure by the total number of months.

Fine-tune your budget
Subtract your average monthly expenses from your average monthly income to get your baseline budget figure. If you find you’re cutting things close or dipping into the red, you’ll need to make some adjustments. Consider cutting unnecessary expenses or picking up extra income by expanding your existing business’s volume, taking temp work during slow times or offering complementary services that peak during your off-season.

Become a saver
Having a savings plan is an especially important safety net when income is irregular. When planning your budget, be sure to include a line for saving each month. It’s best if you can put away 10% or more of your income, but even small amounts deposited consistently add up significantly over time with compound interest. Aim to save at least three to six months’ worth of expenses to ensure you can live comfortably during lean times or emergencies.

Additional survival tips
To help even out cash flow and make the most of seasonal income:

  • Make it easier for customers to pay you quickly by improving your invoicing procedure, offering options such as PayPal or Square to accept credit card payments, or setting up direct deposits to your account with customers.
  • Negotiate with vendors and suppliers for discounts or extended payment terms.
  • Take advantage of financial and budgeting software such as QuickBooks.
  • Consider offering discounts and promotions during slow times to boost business.
  • Track your cash flow regularly and adjust your budget as necessary.
  • Even with your budget plan in place, keep spending to a minimum during slow seasons.
  • Stick to your budget during your busy season to avoid spending the cash you’ll need during the down times.

Seasonal income doesn’t have to mean financial feast or famine. With proper budgeting, you’ll be able to live well no matter what the season.

© Copyright 2016 NerdWallet, Inc. All Rights Reserved

What’s On Your Wish List?

2017 Construction & HELOC - VCNB (Rt. 93S & Rt. 50 Clear Channel Lamar)

What’s on your wish list? A big kitchen for family meals? Perhaps a new garage to protect your vehicle from the weather? How about a pool just in time for summer parties? With a Home Equity Loan at VCNB, you can make these dreams come true. Open a new Home Equity Line Credit before April 30 and receive an introductory Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of 2.99%.

A Home Equity Loan or HELOC is a revolving form of credit that uses your home as collateral. The amount of your credit line depends on how much equity you’ve built up in your home. Lots of homeowners enjoy using the equity they have achieved in their homes to make improvements that will increase their resale values or enhance their quality of life.

Click here to learn more about our current special.

Want to speak with a lender? Contact your local VCNB office or chat with a lender from our website!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lender Speak: Tips For Choosing A Contractor

You’ve picked out your building site, you have your house plans and you’re ready to build a home. Congratulations! You must be excited! New home construction is one of the most exciting projects that our lenders get to work on. It’s also one of the most complex and has potential to be frustrating. That’s where a seasoned lender and a good contractor come in. VCNB employs some smart lenders who have been in this line of work for a lot of years. Today, we asked a few of them to weigh in with their tips for choosing a good contractor.

“My best advice is to take your time and ask lots of questions. First, get an estimate from more than one contractor and look at their history. You want to use a contractor with a solid history and not someone doing their first job. Another important thing to do is to look at other jobs they have done.”
Fred Wright

Fred works at our VCNB Loan Production Office on Veterans Drive in Jackson.

*   *    *

“Interview and meet with a lot of different builders. Look for a builder you will connect with and who you trust will meet your expectations.”
Donna Kopis

Donna works at our Friendly Bremen Banking Center on East Main Street in Lancaster.

*   *    *

“Choosing the right builder is the biggest decision one will have to make when building a home. I suggest speaking with multiple builders. Then choose one you feel you can trust to build the home the way you want and in a timely manner. It is vital to choose the builder who communicates clearly with you.”
Chris Coryea

Chris works at our Canal Banking Center on Prentiss School Drive in Canal Winchester.

*   *    *

“I have been fortunate to be involved in construction lending for nearly 20 yrs. Though customers may not realize it, a seasoned construction lender can help the process of building a home go smoother by helping them avoid common pitfalls and helping maintain the relationship between customer, lender, and contractor. Customers should be prepared to do a good deal of homework up front and that includes choosing the right contractor. The wrong contractor will make the project a nightmare very quickly and a struggle to complete. I encourage the customer to ask for references from the contractor and go look at some of their work including some projects that are in the process of being completed. Also, ask your lender about the contractor you are considering. If the lender is not familiar with the contractor, they will need to meet to make sure they are agreeable to our procedures. Those procedures are there for a reason and can help make sure we get a finished project. Ultimately, the customer and the bank are at risk until we get a finished project and neither of us want an unfinished home.”
Joe Risch

Joe works at our Pickaway County Banking Center on Court Street in Circleville.

Small Business Spotlight: Hocking Hills Moonshine

 

 

vintage-car

This 1930 Plymouth is a rare classic car that was made  during the Prohibition era. Today the company sometimes uses this car to delivery product to stores. Don’t worry though – the bullet holes on the door are just stickers!

Small businesses are important to communities and running a small business is tough work. That’s why we feature a small business in one of our communities every month! 

The Hocking Hills region has long been known for its moonshine. Once illegally produced in the hills by bootleggers, now the infamous drink is being made legally in the heart of Logan.

Hocking Hills Moonshine is a relatively young company that uses old time techniques to make a timeless drink. “If you think Moonshine is supposed to taste bad and burn all the way down, you’ve never had good moonshine,” exclaimed Brian St. Clair, who co-owns the business with his brother Eric and cousin Ray.

stirring

Brian St. Clair explained the recipe and the manufacturing process while he stirred.

Brian gave VCNB a tour of the distillery and retail store in Logan, providing a combination history lesson and chemistry class. He demonstrated how their award winning moonshine is made, starting with a recipe of cracked corn, sugar, yeast, syrup and fresh water from the family farm.

It’s the water and the small batch production that give their product the sweet, smooth flavor that has made it increasingly popular. Brian indicated that it’s the local water that helped the nearby town New Straitsville claim the title Moonshine Capital of the World back during the Prohibition years.

Brian actually got to meet and learn from some of the old timers who perfected the craft when he started out as a volunteer at the New Straitsville Moonshine Festival in the eighties. “The Moonshine Festival Committee needed volunteers. The festival had a permit to make moonshine whiskey for display purposes only and they needed help,” Brian explained. “I learned from Prohibition era old timers who did it for years,” he said, explaining that until 2010, it was illegal to produce Moonshine in Ohio.

In 2015, Brian, Eric and Ray opened their business and have worked constantly to improve their product and grow the business. Today, their bestseller is 120 proof Buckeye Lightening. They also offer 45 Proof Granny Apple, 45 Proof Blackberry, 45 Proof Peach and 90 Proof. Efforts are underway to offer additional flavors.

Ohio law limits sales to state liquor stores in Ohio and their products are currently available in over 200 stores across the state. Their product can also be purchased in their store. When you visit, allow a little extra time to take a free tour of the facility and to look around. Both the tour and store are family friendly. Speaking of family, the business is a family run affair with help from Ray’s mom Cheryl as well as Brian and Eric’s sister Tammy.

merchandise-display

In addition to moonshine, the store sells locally made items and has a number of antiques on display.

The store features some locally made items as well as Hocking Hills Moonshine shirts and other merchandise. They also have a load of interesting antiques to look at and photograph. One wall is actually constructed of wood siding and a door from a nineteenth century grain bin from the family farm. Brian said that he, Eric and Ray used it as a club house when they were kids and that it seemed appropriate to incorporate into the décor.

They even have a backdrop, complete with antiques, that is perfect for group pictures. An old pot, antique farm implements, milk cans and even a coal miner’s bucket are among the unique items on display. Visitors can also see the awards they brought home from the Denver Spirits International Competition. Over three hundred competitors were judged and their Buckeye Lightening took the Bronze Medal while their 90 Proof brought home the Silver. Earlier this month, the business was recognized as the Hocking Hills Chamber of Commerce’s New Business of the Year.

If you can’t make it in to their Logan location, look for them at some events in 2017 including a bike rally in Ironton and the Sam Jam bluegrass festival in Pike County. Follow them on Facebook to learn about new products and to keep up with new locations where their moonshine is sold.

Hocking Hills Moonshine is located at 519 E Front Street in Logan. Call them at 740. 603.4483 or check out their website.

Preventing Tax Return Fraud

Identity theft continues to be a booming business: In 2014, 17.6 million Americans fell victim, and cybercriminals made off with $15.4 billion. And tax refund theft remains a lucrative piece of that business, despite the IRS’ efforts to stamp it out.

How do hackers do it? In one scam, they filed bogus returns with information harvested from the IRS’ own files or by using Social Security numbers.

Then they waited for the direct-deposit refunds to flow in. Victims usually didn’t know anything was wrong until the IRS refused to accept their tax returns.

Here are some of the defenses that the IRS, state tax agencies and the e-filing industry are building to combat scammers:

Quicker responses to warnings. Thanks to technological enhancements, the IRS now receives warnings if a large number of returns come from a single computer address within a short period of time.

Delaying refunds. This allows the IRS time to recognize that more than one return has been filed for the same Social Security number. Previously, the IRS issued e-file refunds seven to 10 days after it received a return. The new target is 21 days.

Earlier filings of W2 forms. Businesses had been required to issue wage and payment statements to workers by Feb. 1, but didn’t need to file them with the IRS until June. Now both will be due by Jan. 31.

Sharing information: Intuit, which makes TurboTax, and H&R Block have agreed to share more information more promptly with the IRS about filings they consider suspicious.

Safety begins at home, of course. The IRS also has advice for taxpayers on identifying — and more importantly, avoiding — tax refund fraud:

Always use security software with firewall and anti-virus protections, as well as strong passwords.

Learn to recognize phishing emails, calls and texts from thieves posing as legitimate organizations, such as your bank, credit card company and even the IRS. The IRS will never try to contact you via phone or email.

Don’t click on links or download attachments from emails if you don’t recognize the sender.

Protect your personal data. Don’t routinely carry your Social Security card, and make sure your tax records are secure.

If you think someone used your information to file a return, contact the IRS immediately. Specialists will help you file your tax return, receive any refund you’re due, and protect your account from identity thieves in the future.

© Copyright 2016 NerdWallet, Inc. All Rights Reserved