Tiffany Allen, NMLS #501060

America Saves Week

Posted on March 1, 2013. Filed under: Tiffany Allen, NMLS #501060 |

America Saves Week

This week is “America Saves Week”, February 25-March 1st!  This is an opportunity for Denmark State Bank to help promote good savings behavior and remind consumers of the importance of saving, and assessing your own saving status.   The secret to saving money is to make it an emotional priority.  Everyone should have a plan to save money!  Whether you are saving to get out of debt, saving for an emergency, saving for your first home purchase or saving for a vacation, having a savings can provide peace of mind and decrease stress in your life.  The stress of too much debt can affect your family life, work performance and other areas of your life.

A savings account can help pay for unexpected expenses or help save for a big purchase.  One good rule of thumb to follow, is to have 3 to 6 months of living expenses in an “Emergency Fund”.

Here are some tips to help you save money:

*Save your loose change – saving the change in your pocket, even $0.75 a day would help you save over $270 in a year.

*Take the amount the item costs and divide it into your hourly wage. If it’s a $50 pair of shoes and you make $10 an hour, ask yourself, are those shoes really worth five long hours of work? It helps keep things in perspective.

*Aim for short-term savings goals, such as setting aside $20 a week or month rather than long term savings goals, such as $200 over a year. People save more successfully when they keep the short-term goal in sight.

*Assess your communications costs. As Internet and wireless use grows, many consumers are overpaying for unneeded communications capacity. For example, if you have a cell phone and two phone lines — one for your computer — consider receiving personal calls on your cell phone so you can give up one of the phone lines.

*Give up premium cable channels or better yet, cable all together. It’s a lot cheaper to rent one movie a week than watch one on premium cable channels that may cost more than $500 a year.

*Shop around for auto and homeowners’ insurance: Before renewing your existing policies each year, check out the rates of competing companies (see the website of your state insurance department). Their annual premiums may well be several hundred dollars lower.

*Reduce credit card debt by $1,000. That $1,000 debt reduction will probably save you $150-200 a year and much more if you’re paying penalty rates of 20-30%.

A couple of websites with some very helpful information are: www.americasavesweek.org and www.daveramsey.com

Denmark State Bank can help you save with our new Every Single Day Savings.  When you open an Every Single Day Savings with your new What We Do For U Reward checking, the interest and ATM fee refunds you can earn on your checking are automatically transferred to your savings account to help you save.   Free automatic transfers set up through our free online banking help you save even more! By transferring on your payday, you have less of a chance of spending your money on purchases you don’t need, and help yourself save it for a large future purchase or for your next vacation!

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Debit Card Safety

Posted on August 1, 2012. Filed under: Tiffany Allen, NMLS #501060 |

Debit cards are time saving, paper saving and not to mention convenient in our society.  However, the convenience and frequency of debit card use can lure you into a false sense of security. Being mindful when you use your debit card can help to keep your checking account safe.  Here are some tips to keep your debit card and checking account safe.

 Never share your PIN. 

Your PIN is unique to your card.  No one should have access to it.  Always enter your own debit card PIN when making purchases.

Keep your debit card in your sight. 

There are more chances of your card being skimmed, where crooks swipe it through a small card reader to copy all of the information on it when your card is out of your sight.  It is also important to make sure your checking or savings account transaction is complete before you begin to walk away. 

 Safety from International Merchants

There is an increased number of fraudulent Visa Check Card transactions originating from international merchants.  Consequently, security has been increased at Denmark State Bank, which may result in the denial of some legitimate international transactions.  If you are planning to travel and intend on using your Visa Check Card outside of the country (this includes Canada and The Caribbean), please let us know which countries you will be visiting and when you expect to return.  Please contact us at 920-863-2161 with your intended travel plans so we can ensure you do not receive any interruption of service and /or denials with respect to legitimate international transactions that you originate.

 Verified by VISA

You can also protect your debit card by signing up for Verified by Visa.  It is free to Visa cardholders and was developed to help prevent unauthorized use of Visa cards online.  Verified by Visa protects Visa cards with personal passwords, giving cardholders reassurance that only they can use their Visa cards online. Once your card is activated, your card number will be recognized whenever it’s used at participating online stores. A Verified by Visa window will automatically appear and your Visa card issuer will ask for your password. You’ll enter your password to verify your identity and complete your purchase.

At stores that aren’t participating in Verified by Visa yet, your Visa card will continue to work.

Protect your Visa Debit Card by Activating Now!

 Free Online Banking

By keeping a close eye on your checking account, you can help protect your hard earned money.  By enrolling in Denmark State Bank’s free Online Banking, you have access to your account any day, any time.  If there is fraudulent activity with your debit card, it is important to notify Denmark State Bank immediately at 920-863-2161.  The quicker we can stop the fraudulent use of the debit card, the quicker we can help get the issue resolved. 

 You can also sign up for E-Alerts to notify you of specific account activity through our Online Banking.  Text message alerts can be set up by your Personal Banker at any one of our branches. 

 By taking a few extra steps you can help protect your debit card and accounts from possible fraudulent activity and give yourself an extra piece of mind!

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Protect Yourself – Don’t Fall Victim to a Scam

Posted on September 15, 2011. Filed under: Tiffany Allen, NMLS #501060 |

Ask anyone and I bet they have been a victim of a scam or know someone who has.  Unfortunately there are scams everywhere.  The most important piece of advice I can give you is to do your research and make sure you know who you are talking to or buying from before you give any personal and confidential information.  Scam artists use any story or scheme they can think of to get you to believe them and send your money to them.  I would like to share a couple of email scams in this article.

Here is an example of an email a customer’s friends and family recently received:

Hello,

I’m writing this with tears in my eyes ,my family and I had a trip to Valencia, Spain for a short vacation unfortunately we were robbed at the park of the hotel where we stayed, all cash, credit card and mobile phone were all stolen from us but luckily for us we still have our passports with us.

We’ve been to the embassy and the Police here but they’re not helping issues at all and our flight leaves in few hrs from now but we’re having problems settling the hotel bills and the hotel manager won’t let us leave until we settle the bills the amount needed now is just $3,000 USD.I am so confused right now and thank God i wasn’t injured because I complied immediately.

Waiting to read from you so I can let you know how to get the money wired.

Thanks.

John Doe

In this situation the scammer’s purposely have used poor grammar and made spelling mistakes.  Their hope is to rush the recipient of the e-mail to feel the pressure and time constraint, they are hoping someone, anyone will reply to the email quickly without attempting to verify the situation by phone to a known number.  The family’s free email account was hacked into and this email was forwarded to all of their contacts.  In addition, the hackers also took over the Instant Messaging and had all messages routed out of the family’s Instant Messaging center to the hacker’s accounts, and the family didn’t notice it for days.  Unfortunately, the account that they used for their e-mail was not very helpful when the customer called for assistance in cleaning up the mess.  It was very time consuming for this family to even get their email account reset so they could log back in and change the password. 

Here is another example of a fraudulent email that some of our customers have received:

From: risk@nacha.org [mailto:risk@nacha.org]
Sent: Thursday, August 25, 2011 3:14 AM
To:

Subject: Rejected ACH transfer

The ACH transfer (ID: 997288457010), recently initiated from your bank account (by you or any other person), was canceled by the Electronic Payments Association.

Please click here to download further information

 If you have any questions or comments, contact us at info@nacha.org. Thank you for using http://www.nacha.org.

These emails and the links that are included in them are fraudulent. Their intent is to collect personal information or to load malicious software to your computer.  Please do not click on links or open attachments in unsolicited emails from unknown parties or from parties with whom you do not normally communicate, or that appear to be known but are suspicious or otherwise unusual.  Another red flag of a scam is if by phone the caller tells you not to tell anyone else about the request for transferring funds.  These scammers also request that you wire funds through a business that only wires instead of through your full service bank. This is because the businesses that only deal with wires are not there to protect you as a consumer they are there to provide a service for a fee and in most cases do not ask any questions regarding your request.    These scams are very troublesome and time consuming to clean up, and in most cases if you do fall victim to a scam you will not receive your money back.

Denmark State Bank is your local bank. We are proud to be here for you and to assist you with ALL of your banking needs.  We value the relationship we have built with you and we value the trust you put in us every day.  If you have a question regarding an email or phone call please feel free to call us at Denmark State Bank and we will be happy to do the research for you and verify whether the situation is true or in fact a scam.  Please do not ever feel embarrassed to ask one of us at Denmark State Bank if something sounds like a scam.  Denmark State Bank can not stop you from deciding to proceed with a wire or a withdrawal; however, we can provide you with the comfort of knowing that you received a second opinion.  We hear these stories every day and would hate to see it happen to one of our valued customers. 

You can also verify the validity of questionable emails or phone calls by researching on the internet.  The Federal Trade Commission deals with issues that touch the economic life of every American. It is the only federal agency with both consumer protection and competition jurisdiction in broad sectors of the economy.  You can find additional information on their website: WWW.FTC.GOV.

 Member FDIC|NMLS #501060

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