Financial decisions can feel complex and hard even under normal circumstances. If the current market volatility has you questioning what are the “right” actions you should take now, you are not alone. Here are five concrete ways for you to jumpstart your financial wellness in the wake of the novel coronavirus.
Topics: financial education
Unfortunately, now is the perfect time for scammers to take advantage of people through coronavirus scams, which I discussed in an earlier blog. But plenty of suspects are also using traditional financial frauds targeted at seniors. So, as a community banker, I encourage you to take the time to reach out to older folks you care about and remind them of the following:
Relationship Scam – Here the scammer pretends to be someone else via phone call, text, or social media. After gaining the person’s confidence, they often ask for gift cards, or funds to visit a sick relative. The scammer may send money to the Senior and then ask for them to send some of it elsewhere as well. They money they send may be stolen from another account or a counterfeit check.
Online Sales– The fraudster connects with a person online and sends them a counterfeit check for an item listed for sale. Then, claiming they sent too much money, they asked for some funds back. The customer then is on the hook for the entire amount.
Grandparent Scam – The scammer will call an older adult and confirm they have a grandchild. Then, posing as law enforcement official, they’ll ask for funds to bail the grandchild out.
Identity Theft – The options here are almost endless. The bottom line is that if your personal identifiers (social security, account information, DOB, Credit cards number, or account passwords) are used without your permission, your identity has been stolen.
If you believe you’ve been the victim of a scam or identify theft, do the following:
- First contact your bank
- Next, go to the Federal Trade Commission’s website and complete the ID theft affidavit
- File a report with your local police
- Check your credit report.
Sheltering in place may continue for the foreseeable future. So now is a good time to check in on older relatives and assure that they, as well as their funds, remain safe. If you have any questions or need help, please feel free to reach out to your banker. We are here to help.
April is community banking month, a time when we traditionally celebrate what we believe makes our bank unique - our community focused approach and personalized experience. During more normal times, you would see our team out at volunteer events, serving on boards, and joining in at community events. This is what makes working with a local bank so unique – your banking partners are right here in the community alongside you as you go about your day. During the COVID-19 pandemic, our ability to do what we love has changed. We are all learning new ways for us to stay connected. But we remain focused on what matters most to us – the health and welfare of the communities that we are proud to be a part of.
We know the COVID-19 pandemic has affected each of us in various ways. A lot of people are struggling in our communities and we, as a team, are doing what we can to help get our customers through these trying financial times. But many hands make light work and we are in this together. Please consider the following suggestions to help our community through this time.
We’re all experiencing a time of tremendous stress, uncertainty and isolation. And that means it’s a good time to protect yourself from scammers who may try to use the current environment to obtain your money and sensitive information.
As community bankers, we care about our customers and want to make their lives better. So, since my expertise is financial fraud, I want to share the following tips on how to prevent being defrauded during this difficult time.
Didn’t make a resolution yet? How about making one that’s easy to keep, with Digital Wallet?! With our Tompkins Debit MasterCard now compatible with Apple Pay and Google Pay, it’s easier than ever to take advantage of its convenient features and the security it offers.
Last year, we celebrated our 150th Anniversary of Tompkins Bank of Castile. Having been around for that long, we recognize that a big part of our success as a company is because of our employees. They are our face in the community and provide the excellent customer service that keeps our clients coming back. Without them, our bank and our communities would not be the same. We would like to thank them for their years of service and for being the friendly face at Tompkins Bank of Castile.
The holidays are a festive time and here at Tompkins, we have much to celebrate! For the past 150 years, we’ve been making a meaningful difference in the communities where we operate. That ongoing commitment is being recognized with a prestigious national award for commercial lending to small businesses in Western New York.
With the largest shopping day of the year looming, and the holiday season about to be in full swing, we wanted to share with you some tips to help protect your assets, keeping your spirits bright along the way! Thanks to our partners from our Information Security Team for helping compile this important guide to protecting yourself from holiday shopping scams.