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Midstates Bank

Financial Education


#BanksNeverAskThat

 
Tips on phishing scams and how to stop fraudsters in their tracks. 

 

Automate Your Savings


Boost success and automate your savings with these four easy steps.
 
 
 

Woman smiling and looking at smartphone.

 

Protect Your Facebook Account


Keep your personal data secure and think before you accept that Facebook challenge.
 
 
 
 
  
 
A mature man in is home sits at the counter and looks at his laptop.


Tips to Avoid Scams


Learn about common scams and how to protect your personal information.







4 Easy Ways to Automate Your Savings

One of the best ways to painlessly meet your long-term financial goals is to set up an automatic system that distributes your paycheck where it needs to go — toward bills, savings accounts and emergency funds. Boost success and automate your savings with these four easy steps:
 
  • Create a designated savings account. Make sure you have an account set aside to put your savings into. If you only have a checking account, it’s a great idea to establish a separate account for your savings plan — that way it’s easier to track your progress. Get started with a Midstates Savings Account.
  • Take advantage of bank technology.
    • Use direct deposit: By setting up a portion of each paycheck to be automatically deposited
      into your savings account.
    • Schedule automatic transfers: Use online banking to set up recurring transfers of
      money into your savings account on the day and frequency that works for you.
  • Pay yourself first. If you wait to see what's left over, you are less likely to save. Determine in advance how much money you plan to save each month. Perhaps start with only 5 percent of your paycheck. Then, at the end of the month, increase that amount by 1 percent until you are satisfied with your monthly savings goal or reach a target that fits your budget.
  • Set up Bill Pay. Although 97 percent of Americans pay their bills on time, some consumers find themselves paying late fees. Alleviate the hassle with Bill Pay by scheduling one-time, future or repeating payments. Automating Bill Pay for expenses is a great way to pay on time and avoid incurring late fees.  
 

#BanksNeverAskThat

Every day, thousands of people fall victim to fraudulent emails, texts and calls from scammers pretending to be their bank. And in this time of expanded use of online banking, the problem is only growing worse.

Online scams aren’t so scary when you know what to look for. And at Midstates Bank, we’re committed to helping you spot them as an extra layer of protection for your account. We want every bank customer to become a pro at spotting a phishing scam—and stop bank impostors in their tracks. It starts with these four words: Banks Never Ask That.

Top 3 phishing scams:

  • Text Message: If you receive a text message from someone claiming to be your bank and they ask you to provide your PIN number, click a suspicious link, or offer up your personal information, it’s a scam.    Banks never ask that.
  • Email: Watch out for emails that ask you to click a suspicious link, open an attachment, or provide personal information. The sender may claim to be someone from you bank, but it’s a scam. Banks never ask that.
  • Phone Call: Would your bank ever call you to verify your account number or social security number? No! Banks never ask that. If you’re ever in doubt that the caller is legitimate, just hang up and call the bank directly at a number you trust.

What's your Scam IQ Score?

Take 5 minutes to become a pro at spotting scams by taking American Bankers Association's #BanksNeverAskThat Quiz at www.BanksNeverAskThat.com


 




Protect Your Social Media Account

Think Before You Accept That Facebook Challenge

A common trend on social media — particularly Facebook — involves accepting a challenge that involves the user posting a photo with specific personal information. While the challenge itself is not likely to be a scam and carries nothing but good intentions, it can give cybercriminals access to personal information they can use to steal your identity.

The #Classof2020 challenge is one example. To show support for students who missed traditional graduation festivities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people posted their graduation photos with the name of the school and the year they graduated. Unless your Facebook settings are set to private, cybercriminals can use this information, which are often the answers to common online security questions to hack into your accounts. This challenge in particular raised enough red flags that the Better Business Bureau issued a warning about it.

How to Change Your Facebook Security Settings

Fortunately, changing your security settings on Facebook to no longer display this personal information is relatively simple. Just follow these steps:

  • Log in to your account.
  • Go to settings (Click on the upside-down triangle in the upper right-hand corner on a desktop or the three horizontal lines in the lower right-hand corner of your mobile device).
  • Click on “Privacy” on the left side of the page.
  • From there, you can adjust your settings to control who you want to see your information.

You can also control what profile information you want visible to people who aren’t in your “friends” list. Simply edit the “About” section on your profile to control with whom those items are shared. The more security you use, the safer your personal information will be.



Tips to Avoid Coronavirus Scams

With the government releasing financial help in the form of economic impact payments,  fraudsters are finding new ways to take advantage of eligible Americans.  Midstates Bank, in partnership with the American Bankers Association, encourages you to watch out for these popular new scams. 
 

Common Scams

  • Using incorrect terminology. The IRS has stated the official term for payments is "economic impact payment." Fraudsters may use different terminology (stimulus check, stimulus payment, etc.) to take advantage of your money. 

  • Promising early payment access. Scammers may promise quicker access to your economic impact payment in exchange for your personal information.  There is no exact timeline when eligible Americans will receive these payments. 

  • Mailing fake checks.  Beware of any checks you receive in the mail.  The only correspondence you should expect via mail will be a letter from the IRS with information on how your economic impact payment was made and how to report any failures in receiving it.  Scammers may send phony checks and ask the recipient to verify personal information to cash it.  

  • Making illegitimate phone calls or text messages.  Eligible Americans do not need to do anything in order to receive their economic impact payment.  If you receive a phone call or text message from someone who is asking you to verify your personal information,  report it to the IRS.  

  • Sending "phishy" text messages and emails.  Do not click on any links you receive via email or text. The government does not correspond through these channels, and you do not need to "register online"  to receive your payment.

For more information about economic impact payments, visit the American Bankers Association's FAQ.

Help others by reporting coronavirus scams. Visit the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center to report suspected or confirmed scams. You can also stay up-to-date on the latest scams by visiting the FTC’s coronavirus page.
 


12 Ways to Protect Your Mobile Device

Your mobile device provides convenient access to your email, bank and social media accounts. Unfortunately, it can potentially provide the same convenient access for criminals. Midstates Bank recommends following these tips to keep your information – and your money – safe.

  • Use the passcode lock on your smartphone and other devices. This will make it more difficult for thieves to access your information if your device is lost or stolen.

  • Log out completely when you finish a mobile banking session. 
 
  • Protect your phone from viruses and malicious software, or malware, just like you do for your computer by installing mobile security software. 

  • Use caution when downloading apps. Apps can contain malicious software, worms, and viruses. Beware of bogus programs and/or apps that feature simulated ad interactions or display intentionally misleading buttons or layouts. Also watch for apps that ask for unnecessary “permissions."

  • Download the updates for your phone and mobile apps. 

  • Avoid storing sensitive information like passwords or a Social Security number on your mobile device. However, if you choose to store passwords on your phone, consider using a “password keeper,” which allows you to store sensitive information using a passcode.
 
  • Tell your financial institution immediately if you change your phone number or lose your mobile device. 

  • Be aware of shoulder surfers. The most basic form of information theft is observation. Be aware of your surroundings especially when you’re punching in sensitive information. 

  • Wipe your mobile device before you donate, sell or trade it using specialized software or using the manufacturer’s recommended technique. Some software allows you to wipe your device remotely if it is lost or stolen. 

  • Beware of mobile phishing. Avoid opening links and attachments in emails and texts, especially from senders you don’t know. And be wary of ads (not from your security provider) claiming that your device is infected. 

  • Watch out for public Wi-Fi. Public connections aren't very secure, so don’t perform banking transactions on a public network. If you need to access your account, try disabling the Wi-Fi and switching to your mobile network. 

  • Report any suspected fraud to your bank immediately.