December 2015

Inside this issue:

Money Safety Tips for the Holiday Season

Scams, fraud and data hacks abound during peak shopping season. However, you can fight back against the criminals who may try to steal your identity and money with a few precautions. Protect your identity and your funds during the holiday shopping season by paying attention to the tips below:
 

Monitor Your Accounts

Proactively monitoring your financial accounts (such as bank and credit card statements) can help you catch errors and spot potential fraud at the first sign. To simplify this process, consider using a single credit card for all your holiday purchases. That way you will only have one statement to check instead of several. This practice has the added benefit of reminding you to stay on track with your budget, too.
 

Always Think Before You Click

To avoid infecting your computer or mobile device with malicious software, never click on a link to a deal or special savings on a social networking site or in an unsolicited email. Scammers will often disguise a social media post or email to make it seem as if it's coming from a known retailer, but the link will take you to a fake site and infect your device. If you see a link that supposedly leads to a sale you want to take advantage of, visit the retailer's website directly rather than clicking the link. From there you can verify if the sale is legitimate.

When Shopping Online, Avoid Public Wi-Fi

If you're doing some of your holiday shopping online to avoid the crowds, keep in mind that any purchases made online require transmitting your credit card and/or bank account information over the internet. Using a public Wi-Fi connection to do so puts that sensitive information at risk. Hackers can tap into unsecured Wi-Fi connections at hotspots like coffee shops and airport terminals to capture that information. The new, more secure EMV chip cards do not protect against this kind of fraud. If you're using a wireless connection to shop, be sure that it requires a password or WEP key.

Be Proactive

Finally, take action if you hear about a data breach or other fraud that could affect your accounts by changing your passwords. This is especially critical if you use the same password on multiple accounts. If you notice suspicious charges on your credit card or transfers from your banking account, contact your bank right away to notify them of the issue. They may put a freeze on the account to prevent further fraud, but this will keep the criminals from emptying your account.

New Lobby & Drive-Up Hours

Over the last year we have been collecting data on lobby and drive-up traffic patterns in our offices. We have extensively analyzed the data to determine when and how our customers prefer to do their banking. Not surprisingly we found that a significant increase in the number of customers utilizing online and mobile banking for routine transactions has impacted lobby and drive-up volume. Because of this, beginning January 1st we will be adjusting our lobby and drive-up hours to better accommodate those traffic patterns. The new hours will be as follows:

Location Lobby (M-F) Lobby (Sat) Drive-Up (M-F) Drive-Up (Sat)
Mazomanie 9:00-5:00 Closed 7:00-5:30 8:00-12:00
Arena 9:00-5:00 Closed 8:00-5:30 8:00-12:00
Barneveld 9:00-5:00 Closed 8:00-5:30 8:00-12:00
Plain 9:00-5:00 Closed 8:00-5:30 8:00-12:00
Richland Center 9:00-5:00 Closed  8:00-5:308:00-5:00* 8:30-12:00
Spring Green  9:00-5:009:00-5:00 Closed 8:00-5:30 8:00-12:00

Same day transactions will be accepted at all locations until close.

*Drive-Up open until 5:30pm on Fridays

Addition to Richland Center Staff

We are very pleased to announce the addition of Laura Melby as the Personal Banker/Location Manager in our Richland Center office.  Laura, a resident of Richland Center since 2005, brings over ten years of banking and management experience.  She is an experienced lender and a fantastic team manager.  We couldn't be more excited to have her join us.  If you're in the area stop by and welcome her to the bank!

Use Your Credit Card Rewards for Great Gifts This Holiday Season

Now is an excellent time to use those rewards points that you have been racking up all year long on your Peoples Community Bank Visa Rewards Credit Card.  There are hundreds of brand name products to choose from including Apple, for your tech-minded friend, or Keurig products for the busy coffee fanatic. There are even gift cards for that person who is impossible to shop for. But if you have all of your shopping done, you may want to treat yourself to a mid-winter getaway with your travel rewards and book flights, cruises and hotel stays. Visit our website at simplygoodbanking.com to browse all of the incredible options.

Convenience in a Call, 24-Hour Phone Banking

We know that your financial life doesn't stop when the bank closes for the day. In fact, often the only times available to tend to your financial duties are evenings after work and the weekend.  We make it easier to transfer funds, make loan payments and check account activity no matter the time. Our 24-Hour Telephone Banking service is available around the clock to help you handle your business when it's convenient for you. No waiting. Just banking on your terms. To activate Telephone Banking call any one of our locations or stop into the bank and one of our Personal Bankers will set you up.  Once registered, you can simply call 608-588-3399 or 1-888-699-BANK any time of day for access to your accounts.

EMV Chip Protection

We've talked a lot about the new EMV (Europay, Mastercard, VISA) chip cards that you have received, or will soon be receiving from us.  The good news according to a recent bulletin from the FBI is that EMV transactions at chip-enabled point of sale terminals at merchants do provide more security of personal data than magnetic strip transactions.  The bad news is that EMV chips do not stop lost and stolen cards from being used in stores, or for online or telephone purchases when the chip is not physically provided to the merchant (this is known as a card-not-present transaction).  Also, data on the magnetic strip on an EMV card can still be stolen if the merchant has not upgraded to an EMV terminal and it becomes infected with data-capturing malware.  In this case, however, a merchant who has not yet converted to the new EMV terminal bears the liability of loss from data theft when a transaction is processed using the magnetic strip.
 
So now what do you do?  There's no question that dipping your card, either debit or credit, at a chip-enabled terminal provides protection from theft of your personal information.  However, data can still be stolen if your transaction is completed via magnetic stripe or when conducting online or telephone transactions.
 
The FBI suggests closely safeguarding the security of your cards and PINs.  From the point when your new card arrives in the mail you should review your bank and credit card statements for irregularities and promptly report lost or stolen cards.  Further, always shield the keypad from bystanders when entering a PIN because such numbers are like gold to criminals who use stolen cards to commit ATM and cash-back crimes.  It's also a good idea to use only a credit card when conducting online or telephone transactions.  When using a debit card, funds to complete the transaction come directly out of your deposit account.  With a credit card transaction, however, the money remains in your account until you make payment and you begin the dispute process.

Holiday Hours

Lobby hours at our six locations will be modified during the coming Holiday Season.  Please make note of the following schedule:

ecember 24th: Open until Noon
hristmas Day: Closed
New Year's Eve: Regular hours
New Year's Day: Closed
After the New Year our new banking hours will go into effect.

 

 Happy Holidays from The Peoples Community Bank

We would like to thank you for a wonderful 2015 and for giving us the opportunity to serve you. We wish you and your family Happy Holidays and a healthy and prosperous New Year!