FINANCIAL EDUCATION

Learn why it’s important to safeguard your sensitive information, how we work diligently to ensure a secure online banking environment, and get familiar with a variety of banking terms and solutions available to you.

Security concerns make many people hesitant to use the internet for financial or personal business. At West Milton State Bank, it is our top priority to offer you both the convenience of online services along with industry-standard security. Rest assured that we’re doing everything we can to safeguard your financial information.

PROTECT YOUR ACCOUNT

How you can protect your checking account?
• Don’t give your account number and bank routing information to anyone you don’t know. Give out your account information for transactions only if you are familiar with the company you are dealing with. And if you have not done business with a company before, give out account information only if you have initiated the transaction. Criminals may ask you for your bank account number and then withdraw money from your account by creating a demand draft (sometimes called a “remotely created check”) or making an electronic transfer. They may also ask for your debit or credit card number and other personal information. Don’t fall for these scams and don’t let yourself be pressured into “free trial offers.” To be removed from telemarketing lists, sign up for the National Do Not Call Registry online or by calling, toll-free, 1-888-382-1222.

STEPS TO RESOLVE YOUR IDENTITY

Take action quickly. You still can limit the damage by taking immediate steps to alert banks and creditors about the theft. The FTC recommends ID theft victims take the following four steps immediately and keep a detailed record of all conversations and copies of all correspondence.
1. Place a fraud alert on your credit reports to prevent thieves from opening more accounts in your name by calling one of the three major report companies: Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion. Request that credit bureaus identify accounts closed due to fraud as “closed at consumer’s request.”
2. Contact your bank and close all accounts that you know, or think, have been tampered with fraudulently.
3. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission to help law enforcement agencies track down identity thieves and stop them.
4. File a police report with your local authorities or the police in the community where the identity theft took place. For further tips and information on ID theft or to file a complaint, visit the FTC’s Identity Theft Site, or call the FTC’s ID Theft Hotline at 1-877-ID-Theft (438-4338).

•Review your monthly statement. Make sure all the checks, debits, automatic payments, and other withdrawals are ones you authorized. If you see a transaction you did not authorize, notify your bank immediately. With online banking, you don’t have to wait until your bank statement comes – you can check your transactions at any time.
• Notify your bank about any problems as soon as possible. The sooner you alert your bank to a problem, the sooner they can get it resolved. In some cases, your bank may require you to notify them in writing. Keep copies of any documents you give the bank until the problem is resolved. If you think the problem is a result of fraud, you should also contact your state attorney general.
• If you don’t have enough money in your account, don’t write the check or authorize the debit. Checks are being processed more quickly these days, which means the money may be debited from your account sooner. Also, many stores and utility, insurance, and credit card companies will convert your check to an electronic payment, which also means the money will be debited from your account sooner. If you don’t have enough money in your account when you write a check or authorize a debit, you could find yourself paying a fee. For more information, see the Federal Reserve Board’s publications “What You Should Know about Your Checks” and “Protecting Yourself from Overdraft and Bounced-Check Fees”.
• Know your rights under consumer protection laws. If you have a problem with an electronic debit or electronic fund transfer, you have certain rights under the federal Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA), as explained in the Board’s “Consumer Handbook to Credit Protection Laws”. You also have rights under the EFTA if you have a problem with a check that has been converted, as described in the Board brochure “When Is Your Check Not a Check?” The Federal Trade Commission’s publication “Automatic Debit Scams” explains your rights and what to do if you have a problem with a demand draft or remotely created check.

ATM

• Always observe the ATM surroundings before conducting a transaction.
• Block the view of others when using an ATM to make sure they cannot see your Personal Identification Number (PIN).
• Look for possible fraudulent devices attached to an ATM. If anything looks suspicious, go to another machine.
• Never allow a cashier or any other person to enter your PIN for you.
• Minimize time spent at an ATM by having your card ready.
• When using a drive-up ATM after dark, keep your doors locked, passenger windows rolled up and headlights on when conducting your transaction.
• If using an ATM at night, try to take someone with you.
• Check your ATM receipts against your monthly bank statements, just as you do your cancelled checks.
• Don’t store the magnetic strip on the back of your ATM card against the magnetic strip of another credit card in your purse or wallet. It will corrupt the strip and make your card un-useable.
• If you think you are being followed after leaving an ATM, call 911.
• If you see overgrown shrubbery, poor lighting or other potential hazards at your bank’s ATM, report it to your bank immediately.
• Your ATM card is the same as cash, so make sure you keep it in a safe place. Keep your PIN a secret and don’t disclose confidential information about your card over the telephone or the Internet.

Provided as a public service by Pennsylvania Association of Community Bankers. Note: These tips are intended to provide accurate, yet general consumer information. They are not intended to provide legal, accounting or other professional services. Please contact a professional service provider for specific questions.

Have peace of mind when you shop with your debit card. The chip technology provides another level of protection against fraud when you use it online and at point-of-sale locations.

Chip cards contain an embedded microchip, which provides enhanced security by making it extremely difficult to counterfeit or copy when making transactions at a chip‐enabled terminal. Your chip card will also have the usual magnetic stripe on the back so that you can continue to swipe your debit card or credit card while merchants are transitioning to new chip card terminals. Chip technology is also more broadly accepted internationally.

WE MAY BE CALLING YOU!

If there is potential fraud, you’ll receive an automated phone call (will display as 800-262-2024 or 877-253-8964). Under no circumstances will you be asked for your account number or PIN. To ensure you can be reached, keep us informed of changes to your phone number, home address, and email. In addition, please notify us in advance of out of state and foreign travel.

If a call is received, enter your zip code and follow the instructions, answering “Yes” or “No” to validate recent transactions. If the automated call reaches your answering machine, a message will be left containing a phone number and case code. If you do not return the call, future transactions may be declined. In the event of an unauthorized transaction, you will be transferred to a Call Center Analyst. Our goal is to protect you from fraud!

Learn important facts about your Account Authentication and Online Banking. The brochure explains multi-factor authentication and layered security are helping assure safe Internet transactions for banks and their customers.

Online security is our top priority!

View Consumer Brochure View Business Brochure
Understanding Debt

Debt is not always a negative thing, and can even be good for your credit as long as you can afford to pay it back in a reasonable amount of time.
Whenever you borrow money—from a bank, credit card company, or friend—you take on a debt. By managing your debt wisely, it will improve your credit history which allows you to purchase and invest in important things (like a home) that you might not have otherwise been able to afford. But taking on too much debt and feeling “in debt” financially, can be a problem. If your debt, excluding your mortgage, exceeds 20 percent of your take home pay each month, you could be in over your head.

You may be “in debt” if you:
• Spend more than you earn
• Pay bills late because you don’t have enough money
• Make only the minimum payment required on your credit cards
• Have reached your limits on your credit cards

Negatives of too much debt:
• Can lower your credit score
• Limits your ability to get credit in the future
• Causes stress
• Creates a cycle of debt

Preparing to Purchase a Home

Your home is often the most significant purchase you’ll ever make, and we’re excited to help you make the dream of homeownership come true. It takes planning, saving for a down payment, and an understanding of what you can afford.
How much home can you afford?
First, review your budget and finances, and be realistic. From the lender’s point of view, what you can afford and the size of the mortgage you can qualify for will depend on your:
• Credit History—With good credit, you are likely to qualify for a mortgage and potentially get a lower interest rate on your mortgage, which will save you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.
• Debt-to-Income Ratio—When you apply for a mortgage, lenders compare your income to your current loans and other debts to see how much you can afford to spend each month on mortgage payments. Figure out how much money goes towards debts every month compared to your gross monthly income. For example, if you pay $400 a month on school loans and another $300 a month for an auto loan and $200 a month for the rest of your debts, your monthly debt payments are $900. If your gross monthly income is $2,500, then your debt-to-income ratio is 36%.
• Down Payment—The larger your down payment, the less you need to borrow. The down payment is usually expressed as a percentage of the sale price or appraised value, whichever is lower. While 20% of the sale price is common as a down payment, some mortgage products require much less.

Mortgage Solutions
Road to Financial Independence*

Investing is not just for the wealthy. If you’re contributing to a retirement plan or have purchased a home then you have already started investing to build wealth. The best way to build wealth is to make your money work for you. Stocks, bonds and mutual funds are all common investments that can build wealth over the long-term.

What is the difference between saving and investing?
• Saving is setting aside a certain amount of your income over a period of time in order to accomplish a goal.
• Investing is a long-term activity accomplished by having your money make more money for you.

Why invest?
Investing helps you stay ahead of inflation, and meet long-term like paying for your child’s college education or planning for retirement so that you can maintain a lifestyle you will enjoy.

Where do I start?
We offer a wide range of financial services and would love to discuss the perfect solutions for you.

*Securities and insurance products are offered through Cetera Investment Services LLC (doing insurance business in CA as CFGIS Insurance Agency), member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services are offered through Cetera Investment Advisers LLC. Neither firm is affiliated with the financial institution where investment services are offered. Advisory services are only offered by Investment Adviser Representatives. Investments are: *Not FDIC/NCUSIF insured *May lose value *Not financial institution guaranteed *Not a deposit *Not insured by any federal government agency.

Learn More About Investing

IDPROTECT®Identity theft can happen to anyone. It’s our top priority to help you better protect yourself, your family and your joint account holders.

Learn More

OUR TEAM OF EXPERTS
IS HERE TO HELP

CALL: 570-568-6851
During Normal Business Hours

We take pride in delivering a better banking experience across the Susquehanna Valley and beyond.
We’d love to hear from you!

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