CNB to Host 2017 Economic Forecast Presentations

Bob-MorganRobert J. Morgan, Economist, Featured Speaker

Citizens National Bank will host a series of free seminars featuring Robert J. Morgan, Senior Consultant with Austin Associates, LLC. Local business owners are invited to hear Mr. Morgan present his economic forecast for 2017. He will discuss current market conditions and what he expects to see in regards to unemployment, housing and the challenges facing business owners in the upcoming year.

Prior to joining Austin Associates, Mr. Morgan served as a senior vice president and chief economist with a multi-billion dollar regional bank. He directs his firm’s Financial Management Division and works with clients on all aspects of asset/liability and interest rate risk management, investment portfolio management and other aspects of bank financial performance.

Be Positively Sure to Avoid Check Fraud

check-fraudPositive Pay Could Have Prevented Fraud

One of our business customers recently experienced the costly side of check fraud. Two men came into three different branches to cash a check from one of our business clients. The check looked like a business check with the Citizens National Bank logo printed on it. They each had a photo ID from another state. Two of the checks were cashed. A teller at a third CNB location questioned the validity of the check and requested assistance from the branch manager, at which point the two men left the bank, leaving the fraudulent check and ID behind. Unfortunately, the two previous checks were cashed and the money has yet to be recovered.

Had this business client been enrolled in Positive Pay the tellers at each location would have received an alert as these items would have been flagged as possible fraud. With Positive Pay, the business client submits a file of their outstanding checks that is reviewed each time a check is presented for payment. If someone brings in a check to be cashed, and the business has Positive Pay, the bank’s system gives the teller an alert to contact the business for approval before cashing the check.

If your business writes checks, you can benefit from Positive Pay. This automated system reviews every check presented for payment against the file submitted by the business and flags any that do not match by amount, payee, check number, etc… You the business owner make the call whether or not to pay the flagged check. If you’re interested in learning more about preventing check fraud and the potential loss of dollars for your business, contact Treasury Management.

Protect Your Identity
Provided by Jean Chatzky, Today show contributor

According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, there were more than 630 data breaches in the U.S. through August 31 of this year, which puts us on track to beat the 780 breaches recorded in 2015. And according to Bill Hardekopf of another study notes 1 in 3 Americans have been hacked in the past year. Whether you’ve been breached, hacked or neither, it’s time to take this threat seriously.

If you’re an employee whose company has been hit with a data breach, start by using any and all identity theft services the company offers. Then, call one of the three credit reporting companies (Equifax, Experian or TransUnion) and report you’re a victim of identity theft. Ask them to place a fraud alert on your credit file, confirm the company will contact the other two companies and mark your calendar so you can decide whether or not to renew the alert in 90 days. If you’ve been hacked, you can also ask for a fraud alert. But also pull your own credit reports (you can do this for free at to make sure that no one is taking out credit using your personal information.Then monitor your report again every few months. For more on what to do if your identity is stolen, check out this report from

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Popmoney – Fast, Easy and Safe Person to Person Payments!

No cash? No problem! Popmoney, a personal payment service offered by Citizens National Bank, makes it easy to pay anyone electronically. Stop writing checks and send money in a fast, convenient and safe way. All you need is an email address, mobile phone number or the account number of the person you want to pay … it’s that simple!

Learn more at

Check Fraud, Spoofing and a New Type of Attack

hands-laptopCheck Fraud Can Happen To You!

Counterfeit checks are a genuine threat as one of our business customers recently realized. They received a phone call from another bank asking them to verify checks that were being cashed. Fortunately the other bank was aware enough to recognize there was something suspicious about the check. It was written on our customer’s business account and would have meant a loss of thousands of dollars if not caught. One way to prevent such a situation is to use Positive Pay. This service allows a business customer to upload a file of all the checks written which is then compared to payee, check number, check stock and amount before being approved for payment. If any of those don’t match, or the amount is more than the desired preset limits for immediate approval, the business is notified and has the option of approving or denying the check before it hits their account. For more information about this powerful tool, check out our online demo or contact a business banking officer at any of our CNB office locations.

Find Out If Your Email Server Will Let Spoofed Emails Through…
Provided by KnowBe4 –

Ransomware attacks are getting more and more sophisticated. Some strains now grab an email address from your own domain as the “from” address and trick your users into believing the email is from a co-worker or the CEO.

Are you aware that one of the first things hackers try is to see if they can spoof the email address of your CEO? If they are able to commit “CEO Fraud”, penetrating your network is like taking candy from a baby.

Would you like to know if hackers can spoof your domain? KnowBe4 can help you find out if this is the case with our free Domain Spoof Test. It’s quick, easy (just one email from us to you) and often a shocking discovery. Find out now if your email server is configured correctly, many are not!

Get Started Here

New Type of Hybrid Attack: First a phone call, then an email

There’s a new type of spear phishing scam that’s come to light. You may receive a phone call from a vendor. They then say they’ll follow up with an email with more information. That email is then laced with malware. You might be a bit less skeptical of an email that follows a phone call you just had. Don’t let your defenses down! Always hover over a link in an email to look for anything suspicious before you click, or type the url directly into your browser for the company rather than using the link provided. They are targeting system administrators because they have admin credentials and could inadvertently hand over full network access to attackers.

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CardValet – Prevent Debit Card Fraud with this FREE App!

woman-coffee-shop-phone.jpgNow available in the App Store or on Google Play

Are you leery about using your debit card for fear of fraud? Debit cards are more convenient than carrying a checkbook or a lot of cash, but many people are fearful of losing it due to its easy access to their bank account… Enter CardValet, an app to track your debit card. Download this easy to use app for your smartphone and track your transactions, set spending limits for your debit card, limit your debit card use by merchant category, or even turn it off completely if you’re not using it. It’s all at your fingertips and changes are made instantly.

It’s easy to set up –

  1. Simply search the App Store or Google Play for “CardValet”.
  2. Download the app and install it on your phone.
  3. Enter your debit card number and create a username and password.
  4. Set up what limits you want to use.
  5. Set up alerts for what you want to receive notifications for.

Learn more by watching our online video and viewing our demo. Look for your new CNB debit card soon! We’ll be reissuing all our debit cards over the next year. The newly designed cards include the EMV chip which also makes in person transactions more secure than ever before!

– See more at:

Craig von Stein Named Vice President/Business Banking Officer at Citizens National Bank


Craig von Stein      Business Banking Officer

Citizens National Bank (CNB) has named Craig von Stein as VP/Business Banking Officer for their Bluffton Office.  In this position he is responsible for establishing new commercial and agricultural banking relationships for CNB, as well as analyzing current customer portfolios on a regular basis.

Born and raised on a farm outside Jenera, Ohio, von Stein attended Cory-Rawson High School and is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a degree in Agri-Business and Applied Economics. He spent several years in sales at a farm equipment dealership working out of both Ottawa and Bowling Green, Ohio. He serves on the board of trustees for the Hancock County Farm Bureau and belongs to the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jenera. He resides near Rawson with his wife Emily and daughter Kendra.

With offices in Bluffton, Celina, Defiance, Elida, Findlay, Lima, Springfield, Van Wert and Toledo, Citizens National Bank has assets totaling more than $746 million and has been serving the communities of West Central Ohio since 1920.

Ask the Lender – How Do Construction Loans Work?

Ask the Lender Header
Andrew Rager

Andrew Rager | NMLS #554353

Many people dream of one day building their own home. Choosing floor plans, trim packages, and paint colors can be fun and exciting. Finding a way to finance a home build can be daunting and difficult. Most people cannot afford to pay for the cost of home construction up front, and getting a mortgage can be complicated. After all, you’re asking a bank to give you money for something that doesn’t even exist yet. A standard mortgage loan is not an option as it is designed to finance an existing or finished home. You will need to obtain a construction loan to finance the project during the building process.

A construction loan is typically a short-term line of credit used to pay for the cost of building a home. It may be offered for a set term (usually around a year) to allow sufficient time to build your home. At the end of the construction phase, when the house is complete, you will need to refinance the construction loan and obtain permanent financing.

Once you are qualified and approved for a construction loan, the lender begins disbursing the money to the builder as the construction progresses. These disbursements are called “draws”. Draws are designated intervals at which the builder can receive the funds to continue with the project. There may be several draws throughout the duration of the build. For instance, the builder may get the first 10% when the loan closes, and the next 10% after the lot is cleared and the foundation is poured. The next disbursement of money may come after the house is framed, and then the subsequent payout after the house is under roof.

The number of draws and the amount of each is negotiated between the builder, the buyer, and the bank. It is common for the bank to require an inspection at each draw request before releasing the money to the builder. This helps to ensure that everything is on track and that the money is being spent as it should.

With a construction loan, as with all other loans, you must pay interest on the money you borrow. Typically, construction loans require monthly interest-only payments. The construction loan is a line of credit so you will only pay interest based on the amount borrowed throughout the construction phase.

Building a home can lead to a level of satisfaction that you can’t achieve through buying an existing home and enables you the ability to tailor-make a home to fit your specific needs and desires. If you have the financial ability and partner with a lender who possesses the tools and experience needed to help you through the process of a construction loan, you can achieve what so many dream of – building your own home.

If you’re interested in discussing a construction loan, contact a mortgage lender at CNB. We’ll be happy to meet with you to walk you through the process.