At PennCrest Bank®, we are diligent about protecting your personal information.

We use a variety of methods to ensure your privacy. As always, we recommend changing your passwords on a regular basis and not using the same password for multiple online accounts. You may access the link to our Customer Alerts and Tips below, where more tips are available.

Please take as many precautions as you, our valued customer or visitor, can take to help lower the risk of unauthorized activity on your account(s) and protecting your computer(s) and devices.

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Your Computer Internet Access Security

With Wired Internet Access:

  1. The operating system should have current Service Packs and Security Patches installed.
  2. A current and updated anti-virus/anti-spyware/anti-malware with real-time scanning should be installed.
  3. At least the Windows Firewall should be activated, but a software firewall and Intrusion Prevention System(IPS) or Intrusion Detection System(IDS) is preferable.
  4. If the system has the Adobe Acrobat and/or Java programs,these should also be removed or updated with security patches from the vendors.

With Wireless Internet Access:

  1. The operating system should have current Service Packs and Security Patches installed.
  2. A current and updated anti-virus/anti-spyware/anti-malware with real-time scanning should be installed.
  3. At least the Windows Firewall should be activated, but a software firewall and Intrusion Prevention System(IPS) or Intrusion Detection System(IDS) is preferable.
  4. If the system has the Adobe Acrobat and/or Java programs,these should also be removed or updated with security patches from the vendors.
  5. In addition, the wireless router should have no less than WPA-2 encryption, while WPA-2 PSK is considered stronger.
  6. The router should be strong password protected.
  7. Preferably, the router should not broadcast its address, but if it does, the encryption should be strong.

Internet Banking Security

PennCrest BANK provides security through RSA Multifactor Authentication Device Security.  In conjunction with RSA’s device forensics to seamlessly authenticate our customer’s computers/devices, the traditional Access ID and password required at login and security challenge questions used to verify our customer’s identity are used as a method of layered security.  This type of multifactor authentication device security is in compliance with FFIEC guidelines.

RSA Multifactor Authentication Device Security includes the use of Extended Validation (EV) certificates.  PennCrest BANK customers can easily and reliably verify this site’s identity and security by looking for the green website address bar above. The Extended Validation (EV) certificate triggers web browsers to display a green address bar and our site provider’s name (Fiserv, Inc.).  Each browser displays the EV certificate differently. 

Customer Alerts and Tips

How to Prevent Senior Fraud

As the senior population in this country continues to grow, so do the financial crimes committed against them. Stealing seniors’ hard-earned money is one of the most prevalent forms of financial fraud that takes place today. Scammers are repugnant but not stupid, and they prey on the vulnerability, trusting nature and, often, the loneliness that make seniors an easy target.

The best way to prevent this is education about the common scams and fraud techniques used by those who target the elderly. This means not only ensuring that seniors in your life know what to watch, but also that they will come to a loved one for advice before they take action when approached by someone asking for money or personal information. Listed below are some of the most common scams currently used to victimize seniors.

The Grandparent Scam
A perpetrator pretends to be a grandchild, law enforcement officer or medical professional with a story that the grandchild is in legal or medical trouble and needs money immediately to resolve the issue. Scam artists can easily access grandkids’ personal information from simple internet research. Never give money or personal information. Say you’ll call back, and check with other relatives before doing anything.

Telemarketing, Email and Sweepstakes Scams
This includes fake sweepstakes, the most common form of fraud that impacts seniors. Any sweepstakes or lottery that requires advance fees or upfront charges is a scam. Never wire money to a stranger. Another type of telemarketing scam is the fake governmental agency call, which aims to get access to government benefits and includes requests for personal information such as social security numbers or Medicare information. Never give personal information to someone who calls. Ask for the request in writing and go to the official government webpage—if it exists—to find contact information. Then call that agency directly.

Medicare Fraud
Every American older than 65 is eligible for Medicare, and scam artists often pose as Medicare representatives to solicit personal information. As mentioned above, a caller may claim to represent a government agency and state that a Medicare or Medicaid card needs to be replaced. This is a ruse to get a senior’s personal information for the purpose of identity theft.

Fraudulent medical bills are then filed with Medicare, using the stolen identity. With other scams, services and screenings are provided through mobile clinics at senior centers, and personal information is collected to bill Medicare for fraudulent services. Always ask questions and know that free services should never require that personal information be provided.

Investment Schemes
Remember that if it seems too good to be true, it usually is. Be suspicious of anyone who promises massive returns on an investment or offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Be sure to only deal with reputable and credible institutions. Before making any investment, no matter the amount, check with your financial planner or a trusted love one to ensure it’s legitimate.

Repair Fraud
Repair fraud is very common among seniors. Never pay for a repair upfront—often the services may never be provided. Check with friends and family members about costs and the schedule of things you’re unsure of, such as how often to change your tires or what the going rate is for lawn care.

Funeral and Cemetery Scams
This usually happens in two ways. In the first, a perpetrator will scan obituaries and contact the grieving widow or widower with a claim that the deceased had an outstanding debt. Never pay this without independent confirmation. Alternately, seniors are exploited by disreputable funeral homes, which will use unfamiliarity with funeral costs to add unnecessary charges.

It’s not always strangers perpetrating these crimes. According to the National Council on Aging, the majority of reported elder abuse is committed by an older person’s own family members, most often the adult children, followed by grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

The best rule of thumb for seniors to avoid being victimized by a stranger is to never provide personal information, and don’t send money or provide a credit card number to “verify,” “guarantee” or “process” a prize.

This information is provided with the understanding that the association is not engaged in rendering specific legal, accounting, or other professional services.  If specific expert assistance is required, the services of a competent, professional person should be sought.

 

Online BillPay Will Keep You On Time 

We've become a nation of time-savers. One of the simplest and most burgeoning time savers is online bill pay. By using online bill pay, we can save time, postage and ensure that our bill payments arrive on time.

Some people are hesitant to use this service because they don't understand how it works, are distrustful of putting financial information on the web or prefer the traditional method of paying bills by writing a check so they can have a paper trail.

There are three ways to pay your bills online:

  1. First, you may want to check with your community bank or other financial institution to determine whether they offer online bill pay to their customers. Many financial institutions offer online bill pay as a free service to their customers. You simply set up an online account on the bank's secure server, register your bills and schedule payment dates.
  2. Secondly, you may want to use a third-party bill pay service to set up accounts for all of your monthly bills. This system works in the same manner. Just be sure the service you select has a safe encrypted Internet site. To ensure that you are not being directed to a fraudulent site, look for an image of a padlock in the lower portion of your computer screen. When you double-click the padlock, you'll be able to read the certification information on the pop-up screen. If there is no padlock image, you need to keep searching for another secure bill pay service.
  3. As a third alternative, many companies accept online payments without charging you a fee. Additionally, once you set up an online bill pay account with one of your creditors, the company will send you an e-mail reminder that your bill payment is due and then send you a follow-up e-mail after you confirm your payment.

With online bill pay, you can schedule your payment due date and won't have to worry about finding time to sit down and write checks. Should you be on vacation or have an emergency situation, you don't have to worry about paying your bills. With your established due date, the bank online bill pay service will automatically deduct your stated amount from your account. Just be sure that you have enough money in your bank account each month to cover your payments. 

If you are really serious about getting all of that clutter off your desk, you can also request that your creditor e-mail your statement to you. At the click of a button, you can access all of your account information whenever it is convenient for you. You can review payment history, transactions and recent activity so you will know if someone is using your account without authorization without waiting for a statement in the mail.

Once you see how easy an online bill pay service can be, you'll wonder why it took you so long to get started. Just remember to always use caution any time you transact business via the Internet. Be sure to use a reliable and trusted company with a secure server. 

This information is provided with the understanding that the association is not engaged in rendering specific legal, accounting, or other professional services. If specific expert assistance is required, the services of a competent, professional person should be sought.

Provided as a public service by the Pennsylvania Association of Community Bankers.

Contact: Pennsylvania Association of Community Bankers (717) 231-7447

You're Entitled to a Free Credit Report!

Thanks to a recent change in federal laws, Americans are now entitled to receive one free copy of their credit report every year from each of the nation's top three credit reporting agencies - Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

And according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the only website authorized to provide those free reports is www.annualcreditreport.com.

However, there are plenty of companies that charge consumers for access to their credit reports, so the FTC cautions you to type that web address carefully to avoid accidentally ending up on a site that charges a fee for a service you're entitled to receive for free.

Consumer Alert: Equifax Breach

On September 7, 2017, Equifax announced a cybersecurity incident potentially impacting approximately 143 million U.S. consumers. Equifax has established a dedicated website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, to help consumers determine if their information has been potentially impacted.

In their press release, Equifax stated they will send direct mail notices to consumers whose credit card numbers or dispute documents with personal identifying information were impacted.

We encourage you to pay close attention to your account activity through Click&Go Internet Banking® and PennCrest Mobile Banking.  Contact the Bank immediately at 888-716-7587 if you suspect fraud on your account so that appropriate action may be taken.

If you feel you are a victim of identity theft please visit www.IdentityTheft.gov, the Federal Trade Commission’s resource site which will help you report and recover from identity theft.

Consumer Alert: New Medicare Cards/New Scams 

Changes are coming to your Medicare card. By April 2019, your card will be replaced with one that no longer shows your Social Security number. Instead, your card will have a new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) that will be used for billing and for checking your eligibility and claim status. And it will all happen automatically – you won’t have to pay anyone or give anyone information, no matter what someone might tell you. Read more on the Federal Trade Commission site https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2017/05/new-medicare-cards-are-way 

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