February is a time to come together in celebration of the contributions that Black Americans have made throughout American history and a time to pause and reflect on the ongoing struggle for equality and social justice. The theme of Black History Month this year is, The Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity. As we take into consideration all that Black History Month represents, I cannot help but think about how timely and appropriate this theme is given all that our country, and specifically our Black neighbors, endured in 2020. While the year has ended, the work for racial justice continues.
History is full of examples of leaders in business, science, and other fields who, through their ability to inspire and guide people, have made the world a better place. We celebrate our nation’s highest elected office on Presidents’ Day, this year on February 15. With this celebration, especially in the midst of a challenging environment, we thought it a good opportunity to ask Tompkins Mahopac Bank President and CEO Jerry Klein for his thoughts on the subject.
This Valentine’s Day, we’ve been thinking a lot about how much we care about our customers, employees, and the communities we serve.
Tap. Sign Up. Make a Difference - an easy request that benefited so many. In early fall, Tompkins donated $5 dollars to our local United Way chapters for every new user that signed up for our digital banking service. The donation directly benefitted the United Way’s COVID Relief Fund to help our communities during this trying time.
As a community bank, we’re dedicated to supporting businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to providing loan programs, we can help businesses hold on to the resources they have through services that help prevent fraud. This is especially important now, when companies are operating with reduced staff, many of whom are working remotely. It’s a time when businesses are especially vulnerable to fraud. In fact, industry experts predict there will be an “explosion” of business and consumer fraud in the coming years.
As your community bank, we continue to be here for you as we work hard to rebuild our communities, together. I wanted to take the time to give you a brief update about our plans for reopening our bank lobbies.
Financial decisions can feel complex and hard even under normal circumstances. If the current market volatility has you questioning what are the “right” actions you should take now, you are not alone. Here are five concrete ways for you to jumpstart your financial wellness in the wake of the novel coronavirus.
Topics: financial education
Unfortunately, now is the perfect time for scammers to take advantage of people through coronavirus scams, which I discussed in an earlier blog. But plenty of suspects are also using traditional financial frauds targeted at seniors. So, as a community banker, I encourage you to take the time to reach out to older folks you care about and remind them of the following:
Relationship Scam – Here the scammer pretends to be someone else via phone call, text, or social media. After gaining the person’s confidence, they often ask for gift cards, or funds to visit a sick relative. The scammer may send money to the Senior and then ask for them to send some of it elsewhere as well. They money they send may be stolen from another account or a counterfeit check.
Online Sales– The fraudster connects with a person online and sends them a counterfeit check for an item listed for sale. Then, claiming they sent too much money, they asked for some funds back. The customer then is on the hook for the entire amount.
Grandparent Scam – The scammer will call an older adult and confirm they have a grandchild. Then, posing as law enforcement official, they’ll ask for funds to bail the grandchild out.
Identity Theft – The options here are almost endless. The bottom line is that if your personal identifiers (social security, account information, DOB, Credit cards number, or account passwords) are used without your permission, your identity has been stolen.
If you believe you’ve been the victim of a scam or identify theft, do the following:
- First contact your bank
- Next, go to the Federal Trade Commission’s website and complete the ID theft affidavit
- File a report with your local police
- Check your credit report.
Sheltering in place may continue for the foreseeable future. So now is a good time to check in on older relatives and assure that they, as well as their funds, remain safe. If you have any questions or need help, please feel free to reach out to your banker. We are here to help.