Author Archive for First National Bank of Moose Lake

President’s Message

Jerome Bennett - President
Jerome Bennett – President

Seems like it was just Labor Day and here we are with autumn almost in the rearview mirror! Hopefully, there are still a few days of nice weather in store for us! Along those lines, there is still time to make energy efficient improvements to your home. We are ready and willing to help you pay for those improvements big or small! Doing the math, you could receive a nice return on this additional investment in your home, especially at fuel prices today.

We continue to invest to better serve you, our customers, to make banking efficient, convenient, and safe. For example, we have leading edge technology with electronic payments from BillPay to Mobile Deposit. I encourage you to visit our website at and browse. We are here to serve you so please feel free to contact us with any questions or stop by as it is always good to say hello and shake your hand!

I recently attended the Quad Rivers Chapter Minnesota Deer Hunters banquet (which is always a great time for a good cause), and it reminded me of all the good deeds accomplished not only by MDHA but throughout our communities by volunteers. Thank you to all of you who serve our communities keeping this area the wonderful place it is for our life experience.

FYI Northern Pine Riders snowmobile club will be sponsoring a DNR Youth Snowmobile Safety Class at their clubhouse in Willow River on December 10th. You can call or text me at 218-382-0387 with questions or to register your child who must be eleven by February 1, 2023, and not older than fifteen. They must complete an online portion in advance found on the MN DNR website along with more details. I am proud to be one of the instructors along with other NPR members for this community service event.

Get outside and enjoy the nicer days and good luck to all you hunters!

Wishing you peace and happiness.


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 (

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.


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

Bill Pay: What’s New

Bill Pay will be upgrading along side our digital banking, which includes online and mobile access. Bill Pay allows your bills to be in one spot. You can create reoccurring payments, see billing statements online, and so much more. If you are a current Bill Pay user, one year of history and your current payees will transfer over. Contact us at 218-485-4441 with any questions.

Bill Pay Ad
Bill Pay explanation: Select, Submit, Sit Back


New Mobile Feature: Mobile Deposit

No more rushing to the bank after work to deposit your checks. With mobile deposit, checks can be deposited by using a mobile phone. Simply choose the account you would like to deposit the check in, enter the amount, and take a clear picture of both the front and back of the check.

Make sure you endorse the back of the check by writing “For mobile deposit only” and signing your name. There is a daily limit of $2500.00. Please call us at 218-485-4441 with any questions!

Mobile deposit - save a trip to the bank! Deposit a check from wherever you are.


2 New Ways to Transfer Money

We have two new ways to transfer money with our updated online banking: A2A and P2P. To help understand the difference between them, look at the chart below!

To find A2A, click on “Account to Account” in your online banking. For P2P, click “Make a Payment.” Once you get to the bill pay screen, click on “Pay a Person” in the top left hand corner. For more information, feel free to call us at 218-485-4441.

Describing the difference between P2P and A2A transfers

#NewsdayFNB MemberFDIC.