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Safe and Sound Information

Imposter Scams

According to FTC.gov, imposter scams come in many varieties, but work the same way; a scammer pretends to be someone you trust to convince you to send them money. Click here to access educational videos from the FTC regarding imposter scams and how to stay safe!

Robocalls

Consumers are getting more and more unsolicited robocalls. As the number of these calls has multiplied, so have the number of complaints reported to the FTC, state and local law enforcement agencies, and consumer organizations across the country. Click here to access the full article! 
Click here to access the full article!

6 Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Finances

The American Bankers Association recommends these six tips to help consumers organize their finances:

  • Review your budget. A lot can change in a year. If you’ve been promoted, had a child, or become a new homeowner or renter, be sure to update your budget. Determine what expenses demand the most money and identify areas where you can realistically cut back. Develop a strategy for spending and saving – and stick to it.
  • Evaluate and pay down debt. Take a look at how much you owe and what you are paying in interest. Begin paying off existing debt, whether that’s by chipping away at loans with the highest interest rates or eliminating smaller debt first. 
  • Set up automatic bill pay. By paying recurring bills automatically on the same day each month, you’ll never have to worry about a missed payment impacting your credit score. Plan out your automatic payments to ensure your checking account has an adequate amount of funds when the payments are scheduled to be withdrawn. 
  • Save for emergencies. About 40 percent of Americans are positioned to cover a $400 emergency expense. You can prepare by opening or adding to a savings account that serves as an “emergency fund.” Ideally, it should hold about three to six months of living expenses in case of sudden financial hardships like losing your job or having to replace your car.
  • Go digital. Converting to paperless billing will help keep your house—physical and financial—more clean and organized, and will help protect you from fraud. Utilize your bank's mobile app to check your balance, pay your bills, transfer funds, deposit a check and send money to friends from wherever you are.
  • Check your credit report. Every year, you are guaranteed one free credit report from each of the three credit bureaus. Take advantage of these free reports and check them for any possible errors. Mistakes can drag down your score and prevent you from getting a loan, or cause you to pay a higher than necessary interest rate.

Click here to access the full article!

3 Most Popular Scams Targeting Seniors

According to the National Council on Aging, below are the 3 most popular scams for 2019:

  • Social Security spoofing calls
  • The grandparent scam
  • National disaster scams 

Click here to read the full article.

ACH Industry Tips

As part of the ongoing support given to ACH Business customers, The First periodically provides information about security and ACH Rule changes. For a newsletter containing helpful tips and information, including a recap of 2018 ACH rule changes, please click here.

Resource for Identity Theft Victims

The Federal Trade Commission has announced the launch of the website, www.IdentityTheft.gov, a resource that makes it easier for victims to report and recover from identity theft. This website provides an interactive checklist that walks people through the recovery process and helps them understand which recovery steps should be taken upon learning their identity has been stolen. It also provides sample letters, specialized tips for specific forms of identity theft, and advice for people who have been notified that their personal information was exposed in a data breach. A Spanish version of the site is also available.

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