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

Scammers Pretend to be the Federal Trade Commission

Did you recently get an official FTC letter from “me”? That’s in quotes because it wasn’t actually from me. And the letter wasn’t official, or even from the FTC at all. In fact, scammers have been faking official-looking letterhead to write scary messages to people, threatening them. But, again: it’s not real.

We know about this scam because a gentleman in Pennsylvania was smart enough to take it to his bank, and together, they reported it to the FTC. The letter said his online and financial activities put him under suspicion of money laundering and terrorism. And now, all his “activities will be under review.”

Our best guess is that this letter is just the first part of a scam. The second part will probably involve “urgent” phone calls telling people to send money right away. Now, though, you can spot the scam. Here’s what to know to protect yourself against government imposters like these.

  • The FTC will never send a letter like this, and we’ll never threaten you.
  • The FTC does write back to people who write to us, and we sometimes send letters about a refund from a case – but then, we’ll never ask you to pay anything or give personal info to collect your funds. (Find more about FTC refunds at ftc.gov/redress.)
  • No government agency will ever demand that you pay by gift card, wiring money, or bitcoin. Anyone who does that is a scammer. Full stop.
  • Find out more about imposter scams of all sorts at ftc.gov/imposters.

If you get a letter from the FTC, we want to know. Before you do anything else, please call the FTC’s Consumer Response Center at 1.877.FTC.HELP (1.877.382.4357).

Meanwhile, sign up to get the FTC’s consumer alerts to stay up on the latest scams.

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.

Equifax Data Breach Settlement: How to Claim Your Benefits

The Federal Trade Commission stated that roughly half the people in the country can get benefits under a settlement that the FTC and others reached with Equifax.  Now, you can find out if you were affected by the September 2017 breach and make your claim for benefits. Read more >  

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 

Consumer Alert: Mystery shop 'til you drop? Not so fast

Who wouldn't love getting paid to shop and dine at cool places and then review them? Whether you're a student looking for a summer job or someone wanting to start a side or full-time business, mystery shopping sounds like an exciting option. But while some mystery shopping opportunities are legitimate, many are scams that rob you, not pay you. Read more.

Flu Pandemic Preparedness

PennCrest BANK® is aware of and monitoring the flu activity.  Current activity levels report a large number of flu cases throughout the nation and across Pennsylvania; however, public health control measures appear to be effective.  This is referred to as Stage 3.  At this time the outbreak has no effect on Banking operations and we will continue to staff our offices as normal.  We will implement our procedures as necessary if there is an increase in the number of confirmed cases in our area.  Please continue to visit our website or call 814-381-7366 for the current pandemic message.  This message will be updated with information on the flu outbreak and Bank operations as changes occur.

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