Author Archive for First National Bank of Moose Lake

Romance Scams

Love may be blind, but with career cyber criminals at an all-time high, our team at First National Bank of Moose Lake wants to leave you with 7 tips to keep your heart’s vision 20/20.

Romance scams don’t stay on dating sites anymore. They are the “Hello Beautiful” in you DMs, the requests to “connect” on your business networking sites or a “follow” while you’re showing off your mad dance skills in a short video. They usually seem innocent, quite interested in all you do, and talking with you every time you appear online, night or day. This can quickly change to:

  1. Asking for money and to switch to another way to talk with them off the site you met them on.
  2. Claiming they need money for emergencies, medical bills, travel and more.
  3. There is always a sense of urgency.
  4. Swearing they are madly in love with you but…
  5. Not able to video chat or meet face to face “right this minute”, or always having a reason to cancel plans to meet up.
  6. They usually say they are from the U.S. but have jobs overseas, such as an engineer on an oil rig, a wealthy retired person who recently lost their spouse, or in a branch of the Military.
  7. Asking for gift cards, or your personal information.

If you feel like something isn’t right, or have any questions regarding potential scams, don’t hesitate to contact one of our Customer Service Representatives at 218-485-4441.

Meeting people in the digital age is difficult, and our team is here to make sure keeping your funds safe isn’t.

President’s Message

Dan Korbel – President

Happy New Year to each one of you!  While 2023 was a challenging year, it was also filled with many joyous moments.  Part of that joy came from serving our customers and our communities throughout the last year, both by providing financial products and services that meet our customer’s needs, but also by giving back.  Our Team here at First National Bank of Moose Lake helped with the Carlton County Ride Safe program to teach students in our Barnum, Moose Lake, and Willow River communities the importance of wearing safety equipment and how to safely ride recreational vehicles, cleaned up litter from our area road ditches, supported many community fundraisers and initiatives, and served hot dogs and root beer to our customers during customer appreciation day, just to name a few ways in which we contributed.  This is part of why I love First National Bank of Moose Lake – We give back to our communities in which we work, live, and play!

Another thing that comes with a new year are New Year’s resolutions, or goals for the new year!  While this may seem daunting to some, I urge you to look at it in a different way.  Ask yourself “How can my friendly bankers at First National Bank of Moose Lake help me reach some of my goals throughout the next year?”  I’m here to help answer some of those questions for you:  Do you need a checking or savings account to help you save for a purchase?  Maybe you are seeking a CD or higher-interest account to help you build your wealth?  Are you seeking to make a personal or business purchase and need a loan?  No matter what your goals are for 2024, let us here at FNBML partner with you.  After all, we are here to “lend a helping hand”!

Lastly, I’ll leave you with this question: Do you get too many bank statements via mail?  If so, just take 1 minute, log into your online account with FNBML, and opt into e-statements.  It’s that quick, and that easy!  Not only will it help prevent your information from being stolen by criminals, but it also helps save trees and paper waste!  It also helps prevent your husband, wife, or significant other from getting upset with that stack of papers laying around on the kitchen table 😊

Come talk to one of our friendly team members here at your community Bank to see how we can partner with you in 2024 to make your goals a reality!  Wishing you all a Happy New Year, and a blessed 2024!

Dan

Solicitation Calls

No Soliciting Sign

Did you inquire or apply for a loan and now receiving multiple unwanted calls?

Unfortunately, often times individuals’ public information can be sent to brokers, agencies, institutions, etc. without your knowledge or your consent. We’ve investigated this and, yes, its legal. Here are options on how you can stop those calls:

  1. Register at optoutprescreen.com. This will opt a consumer out of unwanted solicitations for five years and it costs nothing. It can take one to two weeks for it to take effect.
  2. Sign up at Do Not Call Registry at donotcall.gov. This is also free and should take effect within 24 hours however you may have already ended up on a list prior to registering so you could receive calls for up to 31 days. A consumer can still receive calls for political reasons, from charitable organizations, survey calls, collection calls and some that labeled “information calls”.
  3.  Sign up at DMAchoice.com. This will stop loan and other offers from coming to your physical mailbox. There is a $2 fee for this.

Please note, our Bank does not sell or give out your information to any third parties. Please review our Privacy Policy for more information.

6 Simple Ways to Start Saving

Glass jars labeled "Save" "house" and "car" in an outdoorbackground.

Whether you want to save money for a down payment on a house, build an educational fund, or prepare for an emergency, building a savings can be overwhelming. A strong savings account can help achieve your financial goals and keep your mind at ease. In this article we will show you 6 ways to build a strong savings.

1. Create a Monthly Budget

Before you can start saving money, it is important to understand where your money is going each month. Track all expenses and income, including your coffee trips and regular monthly bills. There are many ways to track your information, including using eStatements to electronically access your monthly statement.

2. Cut Down on Unnecessary Spending

If you want to increase your monthly savings, cutting back on expenses is a great place to start. Find the unessential expenses that you can cut, like forgotten subscriptions and eating out. This doesn’t mean that you must completely cut out unessential costs. If a trip to the local coffee shop makes you happy, keep that in your budget! Balancing your wants and needs along with your budget will help you stay diligent and on track.

3. Set a Specific Goal

Setting a savings goal is one of the best ways to keep up with your savings journey. Some common savings goals are:

  • Building an emergency fund
  • Vacations
  • Down payment on a new home
  • Retirement

Once you identify your goal, you can calculate how long it might take you to save.

4. Prioritize your Savings

Building a strong savings can help prepare for future expenses, both unexpected and planned. The earlier you start, the larger your savings will grow. One tip is to view your savings as a monthly bill. A good place to start is putting aside 10% of each paycheck and adjust as your savings needs change.

5. Save Money Automatically

Automatic transfers allow you to save without thinking about it! Use online banking or the Moose Mobile app to create a monthly transfer with the amount of your choosing.

6. Find the Right Saving Tools for You

Once you have money set aside, there are many ways to boost your savings. Consider your long- and short-term goals to see what is best for you. Some different tools are:

Savings Account

A savings account can help set money aside, so you are not tempted to use it in your monthly spending. Savings accounts will accumulate some interest.

Certificate of Deposit (CD)

A CD is a savings tool that typically earns more interest than a standard savings account. With a purchase of a CD, you are agreeing to leave a certain amount of money in the account for a certain amount of time. Unlike a savings account, the money must remain untouched for the full term to avoid any penalty fees or lost interest. Terms are as short as 3 months and as long as 5 years.

Individual Retirement Account (IRA)

An IRA is a long-term savings account specifically for retirement. Whether you need to rollover a 401(k) or you are just starting to save for retirement, First National Bank of Moose Lake offers different types of IRAs for your consideration.

First National Bank of Moose Lake is always here to lend a helping hand. If you have any questions about the right savings plan for you, call us at 218-485-4441 and speak with any of our personal bankers or lenders.

Member FDIC

10 Phishing Warning Signs

stock photo for identity protection

What is phishing? Phishing is a cybercrime in which a target or targets are contacted by email, telephone, or text message by someone posing as a legitimate institution to lure individuals into providing sensitive information such as personal information, banking and credit card details, and passwords (www.phishing.org).

Anybody can be a victim of a scam and noticing the signs can help prevent identity theft and financial loss. Below are 10 red flags to look out for.

1. Sense of Urgency or Threatening Language

Phishers use emotionally manipulative tactics in order to persuade people to click. For example, a phisher might send a text message saying “This is a notice from law enforcement in [your city]. Your immediate response is necessary”. The enclosed link may deliver malware or direct individuals to a phishing site.

2. Unfamiliar Sender or Recipients

Experts generally advise people to avoid opening emails from unknown senders. These messages can contain executable code designed to launch immediately upon clicking on an embedded link or an attachment. After deleting emails from unknown senders, they no longer remain a threat.

3. Spelling and Grammatical Errors

Phishing messages used to commonly contain poor spelling and grammatical errors. Hackers are growing increasingly sophisticated, and are less prone to these types of slip ups than in years past, however, you might still be able to identify a phishing attempt based on clumsy language use.

4. Request for Payment or Personal Details

Any requests for money or personal details are phishing red flags. In many instances, the emails tell a compelling story – they include fake invoices, request a payment, say that you’re eligible for a government refund, ask people to verify information, tell people that a coupon for a big-ticket item is available…etc. They can even appear to come from well-known businesses that do indeed regularly request payment updates or that may occasionally experience issues processing your payment.

5. Compelling Subject Lines

The most-clicked phishing emails include seemingly generic, yet fear-inducing subject lines. Example: Official Data Breach Notification

6. Compelling Call To Action

The top five phishing scams use compelling language and include phrases like ‘expires in 4 hours,’ ‘click now’ and ‘Get information here’.

7. Too Good To Be True

Winning the lottery is an unlikely prospect. And winning a lottery that you didn’t enter is an impossible feat. Similarly, an email containing information about a prize or award notification may also be a phishing email. Avoid clicking on links in order to claim a prize. If you might have actually won a prize, contact the sender through a secondary channel to confirm.

8. Blurry or Clumsy Design Work

Some cyber criminals create clones of legitimate logos that appear exact. But others really need to hire a graphic designer. When trying to spot a phishing email, look out for weird logos, image-only emails, and poor design formatting. If unsure about the legitimacy of the sender, reach out to the group via a different channel.

9. Hi, It’s Alex in Sales

An email from someone who is purportedly new within the organization or that claims to be from “[common first name] in the sales division” might actually be from a cyber adversary using social engineering techniques. The age of remote work makes it particularly challenging to parse apart legitimate emails of these types from malicious doppelgangers. This is especially true in large organizations with thousands of employees.

10. Protective Shield

Humans recognize and relate to one another through consistent linguistic patterns. If you receive an email from a colleague that sounds nowhere-near their typical email tone, use a non-email channel to confirm the validity of the email with the sender. A few simple precautionary measures could prevent your organization from experiencing a major data breach.

Sources:

https://www.cybertalk.org/2022/02/28/14-phishing-red-flags-to-watch-for-in-2022

https://www.phishing.org

3 Ways to Protect Yourself Against Mobile Fraud

3 Ways To Protect Yourself Against Mobile Fraud

With the rise of technology, smart phones and tablets are part of almost everything we do. With all the sensitive information we keep digitally, it is important to be aware of mobile fraud and how to prevent hackers from accessing that data. Below are three ways to help protect yourself and your information.

1. Don’t use the same password for all accounts.

password drawn in chalk

In 2019, Google identified that 65% of all people use the same password for multiple or all accounts. By having one password, it makes it easier for hackers to access more of your accounts.

TIP: create an acronym or a phrase and use numbers and special characters to complicate it. For example, instead of using “password” you could use “P@s$w0rD”.

2. Avoid autosaving personal information on mobile apps.

computer with security lock overlay

If a company data is leaked, your saved password could be part of that information. If an unauthorized user has access to your physical device, they can easily find all the saved passwords kept in the browser.

TIP: Keep passwords secure in a book or use a secure password manager.

3. Monitor activity regularly, like reviewing bank transactions.

woman working at a desk

By using online banking or the Moose Mobile app, you have access to real-time transactions. Check your account regularly to ensure you recognize all the transactions coming through.

At First National Bank of Moose Lake, we offer IDTheftSmart for our customers, which is a program that incorporates Credit Monitoring and Restoration of an Identity Theft situation. For more information, contact one of our Personal Bankers at 218-485-4441.

Source: The password reuse problem is a ticking time bomb – Help Net Security