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!

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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.

10 Apps that Help Teach Children Financial Skills

kids-tabletsExcerpts from Jessica Sommerfield,

Research shows children learn most of their money habits from their parents and schools don’t seem to be providing financial literacy programs to the extent that children feel comfortable managing their finances once grown. The best way to instill good habits is to begin explaining simple money concepts to children early on. The wonder of digital devices is that you can make it fun for them by making it like a game and utilizing these easy apps.

Ages 5+

1. Kids Money
Kids Money (free on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch) is basically a savings budget app for kids. Children set savings goals, such as getting a new bike, and enter how much they plan to contribute toward it. The app then shows them the time frame it will take to save for that goal – teaching them the concept of delayed gratification.

2. Green$treets: Unleash the Loot
In this app (free for iOS), designed for children ages 5 to 8, kids rescue endangered animals while learning finances through a budget-based care plan. Reviews show that the game’s premise leads children to engage on a more emotional level and play it longer than other finance-related apps.

Ages 6+

3. PiggyBot
The classic piggy bank has been teaching children the value of savings for decades. This simple app converts it to an electronic version. Kids can visualize their savings in a virtual piggy bank and track their allowance. Designed for ages 6 to 8, it’s free for iOS devices.

4. Renegade Buggies
This fun, fast-paced shopping game designed for ages 6 to 11 is a race to see who can save the most money within the time limit. Children earn ‘buggie bucks’ to apply toward savings and investment decisions. This one’s so fun, you might find yourself getting sucked into it right along with your child. This app is free for both iOS and Android devices.

5. Celebrity Calamity
Using kids’ interest in their favorite celebrities, this free game compatible with iOS devices puts kids in charge of managing their finances to avoid overspending. Players must keep their celebrity on a budget, but also keep them happy. By extension, kids learn the importance (and challenge) of living within their means, as well as the consequences of overspending.

Ages 7 to 8+

6. Savings Spree
This deluxe Parents’ Choice Award-winning app uses engaging visuals to promote healthy financial habits, teaches the cause/effect relationship of financial decisions, and helps children grasp the emotional and psychological implications of money and assigned value. You can purchase it for $5.99 on iOS devices.

7. Motion Math: Cupcake
It’s never too early to teach kids complex money management skills, as long as it’s fun. In this app ($4.99 for iOS), kids are responsible for running a cupcake business, managing all costs and revenue while keeping their customers fed and satisfied.

Ages 13+

8. FamZoo
Older children are capable of taking greater responsibility for their personal spending. This app provides a monitored atmosphere that allows children to get hands-on money management experience. Using pre-paid debit cards, parents set up a bank account for their kids that records their savings, spending and giving choices. Although children younger than 13 can certainly participate, the makers recommend parents retain main responsibility.

9. Flocabulary
This music-video app designed for children in 6th to 12th grad hosts educational videos based on rap lyrics, 12 of which deal with personal finance topics like credit, investing, career and banking. A bit costlier than other apps, Flocabulary charges $15/month or $120 a year.

All Ages

10. Visa Practical Money Skills Apps
These free apps (currently, 6 are offered) created by Visa have something to teach every age range basic money management skills. Give them a shot. Did I mention that they were free?

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Recipe – Easy, Elegant Peach Cobbler

peach-cobblerYields 4-8 servings.

1 stick butter or margarine
1 cup white sugar
4 cups peaches, washed, pitted, peeled and sliced
1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup whole milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put the butter in a 9×6 baking dish and place in oven until melted. In a separate bowl, stir together flour and sugar. Add the milk all at once and stir to blend. Spread the melted butter evenly in the bottom of the baking dish. Pour half of the batter into the baking dish. Arrange prepared peaches on top of the batter. Add the remaining batter, spreading evenly over the peaches. Bake for 45 minutes or until lightly browned.

Note from the cook: This cobbler freezes well. Bake it in aluminum pie tins (the type with plastic lids), cover and wrap in aluminum foil. When ready to serve, remove the lid, thaw slightly and heat in the oven.

Recipe was submitted by Shelley K. from our “Cooking It Up with CNB” recipe contest.

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Enter to Win a Char-Broil Gas2Coal Combo Grill and Grilling Package!

char-broil-gas2coal-grillEnter to win by August 30 by visiting the Home Loans section of our website and clicking the Enter to Win ad on the top right. The Home Loans section provides everything you need to know about applying for a mortgage, CNB’s mortgage options, links to our mortgage calculators and even our current rates. Couldn’t you use a new grill to go with a new home?

To enter, simply complete the online entry form. Indicate any products you might be interested in learning more about and submit. The grand prize package which includes the grill, a $50 Omaha Steak gift card, a 3 piece grilling tool set, serving tray, cookbook, towel, seasoning and 2 can coolies, will be drawn on September 1. Good luck!

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