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Cornhusker Bank is pleased to welcome you to our blog. You’ll find tips and advice from our collaborative associates, as well as updates on the bank and events. Cornhusker Bank associates feel it is important to share insights and we love bringing you into the conversation. Our posts on this blog are an extension of our relationship with you, and we hope you find value here which proves our commitment to your success!

How to Protect Your Accounts from Fraud

In today’s day and age, cyber security threats are extremely serious and are continuing to grow every day. The sophistication of cyber threats is increasing and in today’s increasingly digital world they can be hard to avoid. Many of these threats are targeting people’s identities and bank accounts, so it’s important to know what’s out there before you wade out in to the internet. Here are some of our tips to safeguard yourself against fraud:

– If someone calls you, do not give out personal or sensitive information.

If you did not initiate a call, it’s usually best practice not to give out any sensitive information. If you are unsure of the legitimacy of a call, hang up and call them back at a phone number you can independently verify, ie. The phone number on the back of your credit card.

  • Do not send information via email.

If you can avoid it, it’s best not to send account or personal information via email, as it tends to be an insecure channel of communication. If replying to an email requesting information, be sure to verify that you are speaking with the true person.

  • Monitor your account online

While your bank does have fraud detection in place, the easiest way to stop anything before it gets too serious is to check your accounts regularly to make sure all transactions are legitimate.

  • Review your credit report

You can receive a free credit report once a year from each of the three major credit bureaus. Pull your credit report to ensure there are no fraud accounts opened up in your name.

  • Use a unique username or password for each account

It can be tempting to reuse usernames and passwords across website profiles, but this means if one account is compromised, then all of them can potentially be compromised.

  • Do not open suspicious looking emails

If you think an email is suspicious, or has attachments and is not in your address book or is not someone you know, do not open the email or download any attachments. Email is the perfect way for scammers to deliver malware straight to your computer.

When online, it is always best to err on the side of caution, especially when it comes to your personal or financial records. Taking a few minutes to be careful today can save you hours of hassle and clean up should your identity or account be compromised. If you are in doubt, or worried that your account may be compromised, contact us today to discuss your options.

5 Steps to Take Before Buying a New Car

young african woman showing her new car key

Buying a car is a huge decision, but it doesn’t have to be as difficult as you think. As long as you do your research it can be a pain free experience. We have compiled the steps to make your car buying experience as easy as possible.

  1. Research Vehicles

Not sure exactly what you want yet? First step is to research what type of vehicle will suit your lifestyle best. Once you decide what type of vehicle you want, figure out your price point and what features you want in your vehicle.

  1. Get Pre-Approved for a Loan

Once you decide on the vehicle you want, figure out your budget. Getting pre-approved for an auto loan will give you an idea on how much you can spend and what your APR will be on the loan. To be pre-approved you will need to provide your loan officer with employer and salary information as well as balances of other debts you may have. This can help narrow down your vehicle selection and allow you to make an offer on a vehicle on the spot without having to go to the bank to be approved for an auto loan.

  1. Figure Out Your Trade-In Value

If you are going to trade-in your current vehicle, determine the value of your car. This will help in deciding if you want to trade-in your vehicle or sell it on your own separately.

  1. Negotiate a Sale Price

After you have test driven the car and have decided you want to buy it, it’s time to negotiate a price. You should price out the car online and figure out the blue book value to make sure you are paying a fair price.

  1. Close the Deal

If you like the car and the price is right, it’s time to close the deal. Before you sign you should ask for a breakdown of all of the fees and taxes you will be paying to ensure you are not blindsided by hidden fees. After you sign all of the paper work it is time to take delivery of your new car!

Once you decide that you are in the market for a new vehicle, call one of our loan officers to set up an appointment to get pre-approved.

Steps to buying a home

Congratulations! You have decided you want to make the leap to homeownership, but now what? For first time homebuyers the process can seem daunting, but we are here to help! Some decisions you make leading up to the purchase of your home can greatly affect how much you will pay for your house in the long run. Here are the steps to ensure that your home buying experience goes as smoothly as possible.

  1. Start doing your research now

Buying a home may be one of the biggest decisions in your life. The last thing you want to do is rush into buying a home. Do some research on the area you are planning on moving to, then figure out what style of house you like and the general price ranges.

  1. Determine your Budget

Calculate out your monthly costs and annual household income to make sure you can afford a mortgage and the added costs of home ownership. This will also help you determine your price range when looking for a house.

  1. Get preapproved

Once you determine a price range for a home you are comfortable with, speak with a banker to get preapproved for a mortgage. This will involve bringing in your financial documents to the bank and they will tell you how much you can spend on a home.

  1. Start Seriously Looking

With your preapproval in hand, it’s time to start looking at houses in earnest. Find houses that fall within your price range. This is the part where you can seek the advice of a real estate agent for help on finding homes in the neighborhoods you like and that are in your price range.

  1. Get a home inspection

Most offers on a house are contingent on an inspection. An inspector will check the home for any damage or serious issues. It is at this time you can renegotiate the price or say that certain damages must be fixed before you close on the house.

  1. Have the home appraised

Have an independent appraiser determine if you are paying a fair price for the house.

  1. Sign all of the paperwork and close the sale

The Danger of ATM Skimmers

Do you ever wonder how credit card fraud is committed? While there are many ways out there that thieves can get your account information, skimming devices are becoming ever more prevalent. So what is a skimming device? A skimming device is an electronic device placed on or in ATMs or card readers with the purpose of stealing or “skimming” the information off of the magnetic strip. Skimmers are generally made up of two components, the first is used to capture the information on the magnetic script, and the second is used to capture the PIN number.

These devices can be as simple as a small chip placed inside of a card reader, or as complex as a false cover that mimics the card reader. Skimmers can be used in conjunction with small cameras to capture PIN numbers of the skimmed cards. Some skimmers work with a false key pad instead of a camera to steal the PIN numbers.

With all of the places that accept cards how are you supposed to know where these skimmers might be? There are two places that seem to be targeted more than others.

ATMs- With more and more people opting to carry cards instead of cash, ATMs are the perfect spot for scammers to place skimmers. Withdrawing money from an ATM requires both swiping your card and entering your PIN number, both of which are needed to skim the account information. ATMs can also be out of the way and do not require face to face interaction. This gives thieves the opportunity to install these devices without having to interact with anyone, and allows them to return to retrieve the device without being noticed.

Gas pumps- The second place that scammers like to place skimmers is on gas pumps. More and more people pay at the pump which gives thieves a large pool of potential targets, and again, these do not require face to face interaction with anyone. A scammer could drive up, get gas, and install a device while blending in and without anyone noticing. After a few days they could then return to the pump and retrieve the skimmer without anyone being the wiser.

Now more than ever it pays to be vigilant with your debit and credit cards. It can be hassle to report your card stolen, deal with the fraud process if your card was used, and to update reoccurring payments your card was on file for. Some signs to watch out for are suspicious attachments to an ATM or gas pump such as off-color pieces of plastic on the device, loose keypads and loose card skimmers.

Scammers are becoming more and more creative every day, and it can be hard to detect a skimmer. If you are suspicious of a card reader, report it to the bank that owns the ATM or the gas station if it is on a gas pump. If you believe your debit or credit card was compromised, contact your financial institution to have them block all activity and replace your cards.

3 Types of Identity Theft College Students Should Be Aware Of

By: Eva Velasquez

Identity theft is one of the hardest-hitting crimes that consumers face, largely because it’s easy to pull off. Whether through old-fashioned means like dumpster-diving or stealing your driver’s license, or through more sophisticated cyber crimes like hacking into a university network, thieves can make off with your entire identity before you even know your information was compromised.

There are a lot of steps that college students can take to prevent this crime. Passcode and password locking their hardware, shredding those pesky pre-approved credit card offers, locking their dorm rooms … the list goes on. But what too many college students aren’t aware of is the wide variety of crimes that fall under identity theft.

Most individuals typically envision identity theft as someone using their credit card or opening a new account in their name. And that’s still a major threat, with the overwhelming majority of cases involving financial identity theft. But don’t be fooled into thinking your identity is safe just because your credit card hasn’t been compromised.

  • Criminal identity theft: College students are particularly susceptible to criminal identity theft, considering they live near so many strangers. If someone in your dorm or apartment building uses your identity at the time of arrest—simply because they know your name, apartment number or other minor details—you could be left facing charges for the unresolved issue. If this person happens to have borrowed or stolen your driver’s license, perhaps because you’re old enough to purchase alcohol and they’re not, then they may even be able to provide your complete identity to the police. You never find out about the incident, and therefore you never resolve it until a warrant is issued for your arrest.
  • Medical identity theft: Much like criminal identity theft, college students have to safeguard their identities against people who want to use them to secure medical care. It might be something that seems harmless on the surface. Maybe, a girl in your building needs a way to access birth control without alerting her parents. But it can also be something very serious, such as someone stealing your identity in order to get a prescription for controlled substances. Not only can your medical record permanently reflect care that you never received, but you could find yourself involved in a crime if those prescriptions are then used for illegal distribution.
  • Internet takeover: One of the scariest identity theft crimes for young people to envision just might be internet takeover. While the other forms of the crime are alarming, they can more easily be resolved. But when someone takes over your technology or gains access to your accounts, the fear of long-term damage is very real. They may just lock you out of your accounts for the fun of it, but it could lead to expulsion and lost job opportunities if a hacker takes over your university account and deletes your work, or accesses your Facebook account and uses it to post hate speech, embarrassing photos, or other potentially harmful content.

So what are college students supposed to do to protect their identities? The first step is to understand the different ways identity theft can hurt you. From there, it’s important to safeguard your information, your documents, even your computer, and to keep others from nabbing your sensitive data. Never give out your university passwords, your account passwords, or even your personal documents. You can be implicated in any crimes that are committed under your identity, and you can face lifelong

Eva Velasquez is president and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center

3 Types of Identity Theft College Students Should Be Aware Of

By: Eva Velasquez

Identity theft is one of the hardest-hitting crimes that consumers face, largely because it’s easy to pull off. Whether through old-fashioned means like dumpster-diving or stealing your driver’s license, or through more sophisticated cyber crimes like hacking into a university network, thieves can make off with your entire identity before you even know your information was compromised.

There are a lot of steps that college students can take to prevent this crime. Passcode and password locking their hardware, shredding those pesky pre-approved credit card offers, locking their dorm rooms … the list goes on. But what too many college students aren’t aware of is the wide variety of crimes that fall under identity theft.

Most individuals typically envision identity theft as someone using their credit card or opening a new account in their name. And that’s still a major threat, with the overwhelming majority of cases involving financial identity theft. But don’t be fooled into thinking your identity is safe just because your credit card hasn’t been compromised.

  • Criminal identity theft: College students are particularly susceptible to criminal identity theft, considering they live near so many strangers. If someone in your dorm or apartment building uses your identity at the time of arrest—simply because they know your name, apartment number or other minor details—you could be left facing charges for the unresolved issue. If this person happens to have borrowed or stolen your driver’s license, perhaps because you’re old enough to purchase alcohol and they’re not, then they may even be able to provide your complete identity to the police. You never find out about the incident, and therefore you never resolve it until a warrant is issued for your arrest.
  • Medical identity theft: Much like criminal identity theft, college students have to safeguard their identities against people who want to use them to secure medical care. It might be something that seems harmless on the surface. Maybe, a girl in your building needs a way to access birth control without alerting her parents. But it can also be something very serious, such as someone stealing your identity in order to get a prescription for controlled substances. Not only can your medical record permanently reflect care that you never received, but you could find yourself involved in a crime if those prescriptions are then used for illegal distribution.
  • Internet takeover: One of the scariest identity theft crimes for young people to envision just might be internet takeover. While the other forms of the crime are alarming, they can more easily be resolved. But when someone takes over your technology or gains access to your accounts, the fear of long-term damage is very real. They may just lock you out of your accounts for the fun of it, but it could lead to expulsion and lost job opportunities if a hacker takes over your university account and deletes your work, or accesses your Facebook account and uses it to post hate speech, embarrassing photos, or other potentially harmful content.

So what are college students supposed to do to protect their identities? The first step is to understand the different ways identity theft can hurt you. From there, it’s important to safeguard your information, your documents, even your computer, and to keep others from nabbing your sensitive data. Never give out your university passwords, your account passwords, or even your personal documents. You can be implicated in any crimes that are committed under your identity, and you can face lifelong

Eva Velasquez is president and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center.

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Congratulations to Tammi Gusler, the 2016 recipient of the Cornhusker Bank Golden Apple Award of Excellence and to Adam Boyle, the 2016 recipient of the Cornhusker Bank 360 Award of Excellence.

The Golden Apple Award of Excellence is presented to the general associate best representing bank standards of excellence.  Ms. Gusler’s position as Loan Servicing Supervisor utilizes her ability to supervise staff, allocating and coordination of work flow in the daily operational responsibilities of the loan administration department.  Tammi “has worked diligently to bring teamwork and respect to her team members and the customers they serve” according to one team member.

The 360 Award of Excellence is presented to a bank officer displaying the highest standards of excellence.  Mr. Boyle serves the bank and its customers as Information Systems Officer.  He is responsible for ensuring the integrity, security, availability, redundancy and efficiencies of the bank’s core data processing and ancillary banking software applications.  Adam is known for his ability to answer questions in a very positive way and embodies a positive attitude.  “Adam is an excellent example of the bank’s 360 Model in action.”

Vacation/Travel Scams to Avoid

Vacation is supposed to be a time to unwind. Unfortunately, there are thieves who are waiting to strike when we let our guard down. That’s why it pays to keep customers updated on the latest travel scams.

Here are five all-too-common scams for customers to watch for:

  1. Fake Deals – Many destinations offer deals on luxury items, but some sellers of gems, jewelry and antiques are scam artists who take a percentage of the agreed sale price, with the rest payable upon delivery. The outcome: Customers lose the down payment and be left waiting for a delivery that never comes. Avoid the scam by shopping at reputable retailers in the area.
  2. Front Desk Scam – Hotel guests should beware if they get a late night call from the front desk claiming their credit card has been declined. Avoid the scam by hanging up or calling the front desk yourself.
  3. Fake Police – You may be approached by someone posing as a police officer, demanding to see—and finding fault with—their identification or accusing them of having committed a crime. If he is willing to overlook the incident for a small fee, it’s a scam. Avoid the scam by knowing where the local police station, hospital and U.S. Embassy are located and offering to drive there to pay the fine.
  4. Photo Bombs – A bystander may offer to take your picture, and when you accept he informs you of the fee. Or, you hand over your phone and he takes off with it. Avoid the scam by just saying no or negotiating prices in advance. Use selfie sticks, too.
  5. Taxi Fare Scam – When a cab fare seems high, it may be due to rigged meters or drivers taking needlessly long routes. Avoid the scam by only taking licensed taxis and determining the fare in advance.

To find out how you can work with a fraud specialist to help manage and protect your identity, contact a personal banker.

Cornhusker Bank Mortgage Originators Recognized by NMA

Cornhusker Bank congratulates the members of its mortgage team recently recognized for the second consecutive year by the Nebraska Mortgage Association (NMA) as members of the 2016 Champions Circle.   Mortgage Loan Originators, Mike Barrett, Andrew Essay, Matt Gutschenritter and Luke Mitchell were recognized at the NMA luncheon in Omaha on Sept. 22nd.  This recognition celebrates and honors the dedication and hard work mortgage professionals put into serving their clients during the home loan process.  Benchmarks for being recognized include origination of either 100 loans or $12 Million in volume in the previous 12 month period.  All four mortgage originators from Cornhusker Bank exceeded both benchmarks.

Cornhusker Bank remains Lincoln’s oldest locally owned bank, demonstrating hometown heart, stability, soundness and continued commitment to the success of its valued customers and associates.

Mortgage_team

Pictured, left to right are Luke Mitchell, Matt Gutschenritter, Andrew Essay and Mike Barrettv

Mission Possible: Protecting Military Personnel

It’s a sad reality: when military personnel are away for long periods, criminals often target their identities.

Compared to the rest of consumers, military personnel experience, “28 percent higher rates of new-account fraud and 18 percent higher rates of familiar fraud,” according to Javelin Strategy & Research. New account fraud happens when someone obtains new credit using your personal information. And familiar fraud is when someone you know, such as a friend, fellow service member or family member uses your information for personal gain.

When thieves are successful, service members may encounter big financial and time-related headaches when they return home. Before they ship off, they should follow these three steps:

•    Place an active duty alert—Adding an active duty alert to your credit files indicates that businesses need to be extra careful about verifying your identity before granting credit in your name.

•    Review your credit report—Understanding where your credit stands before you leave will make it much easier to spot fraud when you get back. Visit http://www.annualcreditreport.com for free copies of your current credit report.

•    Carefully consider your power of attorney (POA)—While you may need to assign a POA to handle personal or business affairs while you are deployed, use extreme caution because your POA is legally allowed to make decisions on your behalf for whatever is stipulated in the POA agreement. So ensure you can fully trust the person. And only give them power over things that cannot be left until you return.

To find out how you can work with a fraud specialist to help manage and protect your identity, contact a personal banker.