January 2015

In this issue:

2014 Holiday Food Drive Results

Thanks to all of you............for another successful Holiday Food Drive.  Cash and food items donated to local food pantries this year totaled $6,380.00.  Thank you for your generosity and for helping fill an empty table in your community!

Winners of $100 VISA gift cards were as follows: Marion Sander in Mazo, Linda Fargo in Arena, Lana Dyreson in Barneveld, Bernie Liegel in Spring Green and Margie Ferstl in Plain (who donated her winnings to the local food pantry).  Again, thanks to all of you for participating.
 

A Hearty Welcome to our Richland Center Staff

One of the benefits of acquiring a new location is in welcoming new and experienced bankers to our team.  When we closed the transaction to purchase AnchorBank's Richland Center office on December 31st we added these four new faces to our staff:  Julie King, branch manager/personal banker; Mary Ann Ewing, CSR Supervisor/personal banker; and Karin Hansen & Joyce Atkisson, customer service representatives. 

They will be joining our two "almost new" lenders, Tom Delagrave and Tom Gainor, who moved across the street from our temporary loan office to their new digs at 187 South Central Avenue. Another benefit of acquiring a new office is in being able to provide bank customers with an additional, convenient location to conduct in-person banking as well as access to a bank-owned, surcharge-free ATM.

Welcome, ladies, we're happy to have you join The Peoples Community Bank.
 

Coming Soon to a Mobile Phone Near You

In the early part of 2015 we'll be adding Person to Person (P2P) payments and Account to Account (A2A) transfer services to our suite of mobile banking products.

With P2P you are able to transfer funds from your account with The Peoples Community Bank to another person irrespective of where they bank.  A2A enables you to transfer funds to or from an account with another financial institution - all through the use of your mobile device.

We'll be announcing these new services via our online banking service, on our website at simplygoodbanking.com and on our Facebook page so keep your eyes open for these convenient, new services from The Peoples Community Bank.

Several Current Investment Scams to be Aware of

There is something particularly offensive about thieves and crooks robbing good people of their hard-earned money. Investment scams have no doubt been around as long as money, but just as soon as one is exposed, another one seems to pop up. The average loss incurred through an investment scam is around $15,000, with some of the worst offenses running into the millions. Wall St. Cheat Sheet just recently ran a story on some of the latest scams going around and we wanted to pass along the information.
(Source: Wall Street Cheat Sheet)

1. Timeshare Scams -There are various versions of this scam, but the main theme is the crooks promise to help timeshare owners either sell their timeshare or off-load their points. Those helping you "sell" a property claim they have a buyer already lined up. All you have to do is pay taxes, closing costs, and processing fees...up front. For unfortunate victims, those fees get them absolutely nothing in return as there is no real sale. WSCS found complaints about this scam have been filed against companies called Vacation Property Services, Universal Timeshare, Resort Property Depot and Resort Resolution Trust. The timeshare point scammers try sell you a $4,000 software CD that gives you access to thousands of resorts under RCI, the world's largest timeshare exchange operation. However RCI is not affiliated with this company, which has most recently gone by Intelligent Software Solutions.

2. Mortgage Relief Scams - Perhaps the fact that "mortgage relief" is a real thing makes it all the more easy for this one to fool people. The financial crisis left millions of Americans unable to afford their mortgages, leaving many facing foreclosure. The US government implemented a program called HARP (Home Affordable Refinance Program) through which thousands of people have successfully refinanced and been able to stay in their homes. The scam relief programs also promise to help owners refinance at better rates, but they charge up-front fees of as much as $4,000, all of which goes directly into the scam artists' pockets. Some of these parasites also urge the homeowners to quit paying on their home loans, which often times leaves these consumers in an even worse predicament with lenders than where they started.

3. Grant Scams - This one offers to hook victims up with free government grants. Most of these have been done over the phone, but some send their solicitations via mail, or run ads in newspapers and websites. Most recent ones claim that you qualify for a free government grant because you pay your bills or taxes on time, entitling you to as much as $12,500. Scammers then ask for your bank information so the grant money can be automatically deposited, or ask you to pay a processing fee. Some ask for both. Either way, the processing fee gets victims absolutely nothing, and those duped into giving out banking information can find their bank accounts drained.

It's a good idea to follow some simple rules to reduce the risks of being scammed:

> Research the company. Don't stop with their website either - search for complaints made to the Federal Trade Commission and Better Business Bureau.
> Make sure the company or individual you're dealing with is properly licensed or bonded.
> Don't stop paying your mortgage unless it's an agreement, in writing, you made directly with your bank.
> Get everything in writing!
> Don't pay for anything upfront. No fees should be paid until verifiable legal documents have been presented. And definitely don't pay for something that's supposed to be "free"!
> Don't give someone you've never dealt with your banking information.

Employee Anniversaries of Note

2014

10 Years

  • Deb Hurlburt, Barneveld - Customer Service
  • Lauri Liegel, Spring Green - Customer Service

15 Years

  • Lisa Alt-Ruhland, Loan Processing Supervisor
  • Jill Brunker, Barneveld - Internal Audit
  • Judy Butteris, Barneveld - Mortgage Lender
  • Leslie Eckstein, Mazomanie - Customer Service
  • Mike Nachreiner, Mazomanie - Credit Administration
  • Ann Slaney, Data Processing Supervisor
  • Laura Sullivan, Data Processing

2015

10 Years

  • Rena Hohneke, Spring Green - Customer Service
  • Deb Pinchard, Barneveld - Customer Service

15 Years

  • Mary Brey, Spring Green - Call Center Rep
  • Jen Kvamme, Arena - Customer Service
  • Joanne Manteufel, Barneveld - Personal Banker

20 Years

  • Nancy Maxwell, Chief Operations Officer

25 Years

  • Jackie Gates, Arena - Customer Service
  • Beckie Lucey, Arena - Personal Banker

Of Note - Judy Amble, Mazomanie Customer Service Rep who will celebrate 38 years in 2015.