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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!

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.

Who is Most Vulnerable to Identity Theft?

Think identity theft mostly happens to older people? Or to high-income earners? The truth is that identity thieves focus their efforts wherever the opportunities are, and there are plenty of opportunities across most age groups.

Identity theft complaints are on the rise, with 16 percent of consumers filing reports, up from the previous year, according to the Federal Trade Commission’s 2016 Consumer Sentinel Network Databook.

Tax- or wage-related fraud was the most common reported identity-related fraud, accounting for 45 percent of consumer complaints, followed by credit card fraud and phone or utilities fraud representing 16 and 10 percent of complaints, respectively.

Most Affected Groups

For our nation’s service members, identity theft remains the number one complaint, unfortunately. And while in past years consumers of all ages reported incidents of the crime at relatively similar rates, the numbers now paint a different picture. Consumers between the ages of 40 and 69 are reporting identity theft at higher rates, suggesting a growing awareness of this crime—and vulnerability.

Here’s a look at three groups identity thieves target and why.

Seniors

More seniors are reporting identity theft. Consumers between the ages of 40-49 and 50-59 accounted for 15 percent and 24 percent of complaints, respectively, both up from the previous year. And the numbers for seniors are likely to be even higher, according to an AARP survey which found that “victims 55 years of age and older were significantly less likely to acknowledge that they were defrauded than victims under 55.” All-too-common scams include tax identity theft, medical identity theft and fraud committed by nursing home and long-term care staff

Military Personnel

Service members are reporting identity theft at a higher rate—30 percent—than the previous year. And they’re experiencing more familiar fraud and new-account fraud than most populations, according to the 2015 Identity Fraud Report from Javelin Strategy & Research. The military has used personally identifying information (PII), such as Social Security numbers, as general identifiers for personnel, which increases theft risks. Moreover, deployed military personnel who do not place an active duty alert on their credit files are easy targets for friends or family members.

College Students

Identity theft complaints among college-age students may have dropped slightly, but this group is four times more likely to have their identity stolen through familiar fraud than other populations, according to the 2015 Identity Fraud Study by Javelin Strategy & Research. Much of the issue is likely due to awareness of behaviors that may put them at risk, as well as limited understanding of the costs and challenges of identity theft. For example, students are often very aware of computer security, but they share personal information widely and may not understand the importance of locking away or shredding important documents and IDs, and regularly checking their credit reports.

If you suspect you’re a victim of identity theft or wish to proactively manage your identity, check with your personal banker to find out how you can work with a fraud specialist to help manage and protect your identity.

Blue Ribbon Support of Law Enforcement Personnel Promoted by Cornhusker Bank

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Inspired by the story of Vicki Lamb wanting to show her support for law enforcement personnel by tying blue ribbons to tree trunks which was reported in the Lincoln Journal Star on July 20th, Cornhusker Bank is following her lead. All Cornhusker Bank locations will be placing blue ribbons on trees around the branches. We will also be offering to anyone in the community who wishes to place a ribbon around their trees with a ribbon if they stop by a branch and ask for it beginning Monday, July 25th.

Cornhusker Bank and its associates value the work our police officers do. John Dittman, Chairman noted, “We greatly appreciate Ms. Lamb’s idea of showing support for the law enforcement personnel in our community. We hope people will stop by any Cornhusker Bank location for free blue ribbons to show their support.”

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.

Read Vicki Lamb Article

Fraud Rates Hold Steady While Thieves Shift Gears

Identity thieves are opening new accounts to commit fraud with much more frequency, and chip cards may be behind this shift, a recent report shows.

In new account fraud, criminals use stolen or falsified identities to open new credit card accounts with the intention of committing fraud. This crime nearly doubled in 2015, according to the 2016 Identity Fraud Report from Javelin Strategy & Research.

The reason why? U.S. financial institutions have begun issuing credit and debit cards that use an embedded microchip to authorize a transaction. Chip cards, also known as EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa, early advocates of the technology), are harder to counterfeit than their magnetic stripe counterparts. So criminals have begun using stolen personal information, such as Social Security numbers, to open new credit cards and run up charges in victims’ names.

“With the much-anticipated U.S. shift to EMV well underway, fraudsters are transitioning along with consumers,” the Javelin report said. “This drove a doubling in the frequency of new account fraud,” that is a 113 percent increase in incidents of new account fraud, which now accounts for 20 percent of all fraud losses.

The results are to be expected. Many experts predicted that EMV wouldn’t end fraud, but shift it to other forms, putting pressure on financial institutions and retailers to react.

“Fraud is changing in a way that makes it more dangerous,” said Al Pascual, director of fraud and security at Javelin. “There is some troubling news, but some good news, too.”

The Javelin report found other new trends related to identity theft. More than 13 million consumers fell victim to identity theft fraud in 2015, a small, 3 percent increase over the firm’s 2014 findings. And total fraud losses reached a staggering $15 billion.

And consumers are experiencing more headaches. For example, detecting new account fraud and recovering from it is much more complex than disputing fraudulent charges on an existing card.

Other important findings:

  • 1 in 5 data breach victims experience fraud
  • 1 in 5 fraud victims had a card misused internationally
  • 64 percent more Social Security numbers were exposed in 2015 than in 2014
  • 6 million consumers were victims of card-not-present fraud—when a physical card isn’t needed to commit fraud, like in online or telephone shopping.

Contact your personal banker if you suspect you’ve been a victim of fraud.

Introducing Cornhusker Insurance and Financial Services Group

To serve the needs of our customers, Cornhusker Bank is pleased to announce the formation of a new division within the bank. The Cornhusker Insurance and Financial Services Group will combine Cornhusker Insurance, with all of its current insurance Agents and Customer Service Representatives, and the new Financial Services component. This new department is currently working out of the bank’s Apple’s Way location.

This group will be led by Jason Schluckebier who has been hired as VP/Financial Services Advisor. Mr. Schluckebier is a Registered Financial Consultant (RFC), a Financial Services Specialist (FSS), and is a SEC Registered Representative for Series 6 and 63 securities. Jason has served in the financial services industry for over fifteen years. The bank will be adding additional Financial Service Advisors in the future, who will also have insurance and securities licensing. Series 6 and 63 securities licensing are special licenses to sell securities. The Series 6 license is a limited-investment securities license which allows its holders to sell “packaged” investment products such as mutual funds, variable annuities and unit investment trusts.

CI&FSGpix_webAssociates of the Cornhusker Insurance and Financial Services Group left to right are: Ginger Woodring, Tom Janecek, Terry Stull, Jason Schluckebier, Ashley Burson, Rockne Sorensen, and Sharon Samek.

Financial specialists in this group will meet with customers to help them determine their short-term and long-term financial goals. Products the specialists in this group can offer after a needs assessment  include life insurance, investment services, retirement and college savings, depository products such as certificates of deposit, annuities, 401(k)s, along with other financial services.

The bank’s Wealth Management department is led by Kevinkevin_deaver Deaver, EVP/CFP, with a focus on fee-based management solutions. Wealth Management services include designing and managing corporate 401(k) programs, estate planning, wealth transfer and long-term financial planning and proactive asset management.

Jack Becwar, CFP®
6100 Apple’s Way, Lincoln NE 68516
(402) 434-2279

Kevin Deaver, CFP®
6100 Apple’s Way, Lincoln NE 68516
(402) 434-9331

*Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC, http://www.finra.org, http://www.sipc.org. Advisory services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc., a SEC Registered Investment Advisory Firm, Kevin Deaver, Financial Advisor and Jack Becwar, Financial Advisor. Written by Securities America for distribution by Kevin Deaver and Jack Becwar.
Cornhusker Bank Wealth Management and Cornhusker Bank are not affiliated with the Securities America companies.
Not FDIC Insured • No Bank Guarantee • May Lose Value • Not A Deposit • Not Insured By Any Federal Government Agency

Cornhusker Bank Honored with University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Business Administration Advisory Board Award

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Business Administration held its Advisory Board Annual Awards Luncheon on Friday, April 15, 2016.  The awards recognize the outstanding accomplishments of business leaders and corporations in the state of Nebraska and the world.

Cornhusker Bank was honored to be awarded with the Corporate Leadership Award, which recognizes excellence in Nebraska-based companies that are successful, dynamic and have a high level of commitment to their communities, customers and employees.

UNL award 2Donde Plowman, John Dittman and Jeff Nordhoek at the UNL/CBA Awards Luncheon.

FAQs Regarding Insurance Claim Checks Made Payable to Cornhusker Bank

The May 9th, 2016 storms in Lincoln and surrounding areas generated numerous insurance claims. As we head further into severe storm season, Cornhusker Bank provides you with the following Frequently Asked Questions and answers if you receive a check for damage made payable to Cornhusker Bank:

Who do I contact at Cornhusker Bank?  The Loan Servicing department must review all claims.
Phone:  402-434-220
Email:  loanservicing@cornhuskerbank.com
Mailing Address: Cornhusker Bank Loan Servicing
PO Box 80009, Lincoln NE  68501
Physical Address:  1101 Cornhusker Highway, Lincoln NE  68521

What information do I need to send along with the check? 

  • A copy of all documentation received from your insurance company.
  • Copies of any estimates from contractors that you have obtained.
  • Your contact information.
  • Directions for return of funds to you. (Do you want the check mailed, deposited to your account at Cornhusker Bank, or something else?)

When will my funds be returned to me?  Loan Servicing will review the claim immediately once received. If funds cannot be returned to you immediately, Loan Servicing will contact you regarding the process and timeline for release of funds.

Can I take my check and information to the local branch?  Yes. An associate at the branch will copy any documentation you have and will forward the check and copies to Loan Servicing. Retail staff at the branch cannot review the claim and endorse the check.

Can I bring my information to Loan Servicing in person?  Yes. Loan Servicing is located at 1101 Cornhusker Highway. If you contact them before you arrive, they can review your information immediately and advise you on the status of the funds.

6th Annual Cornhusker Bank One Day Without Shoes Event Gears Up

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On April 12th, Cornhusker Bank will be celebrating One Day Without Shoes. This event is designed to draw attention to the plight of those in our community who are in need of footwear. Cornhusker Bank is partnering with local businesses and organizations to collect both used and new shoes, as well as monetary donations, which benefit the People’s City Mission. Barry Lockard, President/CEO, noted, “This event has become a great opportunity for Cornhusker Bank to rally with the community to give back to it on an annualized basis. Cornhusker Bank’s associates love Lincoln, and this is just one of many ways they display their community pride.”

Cornhusker Bank and various businesses and organizations throughout town will have People’s City Mission collection barrels in place. There will be over 150 locations serving as collection sites throughout the area. New, used, and even unwearable shoes may be donated between April 4th and April 15th by dropping them in any of these barrels. On Tuesday, April 12th, the bank will host a walk from 1101 Cornhusker Highway to the People’s City Mission, starting at 11:00 a.m. A free light lunch will be served at the Cornhusker Highway bank location for those attending the event. The walk helps raise awareness of the need for footwear in our own community and the entire community is invited to participate, regardless of whether or not they can donate. Cornhusker Bank staff members will go shoeless at work on the 12th to help raise awareness as well.

In the first five years of this event, Cornhusker Bank collected over 47,000 pair of shoes and over $42,000 in cash donations for the benefit of the Mission. Bank Chairman, John F. Dittman, noted , “One Day Without Shoes is an event which elevates our associates’ passion to give back to, as well as engage with the community in a meaningful manner. We are thankful for the many individuals throughout the area that help this event be successful.” “With the amazing amount of shoes and money collected, we will be able to help thousands of people” stated Pastor Tom Barber, Executive Director of the People’s City Mission. Please visit CornhuskerBank.com and click on the You Tube icon to view a video about the event which highlights how it impacts the people who receive the donated shoes.

Don’t Fall For These Common Travel Scams

Free wifi access on smartphone

There’s more to travel than road trips and games, as travelers can be prime targets for scams. To make sure you keep every cent in your pocket, we’ve listed the most common scams to watch out for.

‘Free’ Wi-Fi: You might think you’re being slick by “booting” free Wi-Fi at the airport, but think again. That fake access point could cost you, says Robert Siciliano, an online security expert with McAfee.

“Bad guys are setting up fake access points that are called an evil twin,” he explains. “They’ll often have names like AT&T free Wi-Fi, but really it’s just some guy sitting in the terminal with a router who’s watching all the traffic go through that device, including your bank activity, passwords and usernames.”

In general, avoid using a free wireless connection for surfing and opt for a paid connection like 3G or 4G instead. You can also count on a VPN (virtual private network), which works like a tunnel to encrypt your data and connect you to the Web. With a VPN, even if you’re using an ‘evil twin,’ you can still surf with ease. Just don’t forget to turn off any file sharing programs before you log on.

Travelers should also be cautious when they get to the hotel. “Hijackers can get into your device, connect with you and set up a pop-up that will say something with regards to connecting or downloading, and ultimately infect your machine,” Siciliano warns.

Continue reading “Don’t Fall For These Common Travel Scams”

Which is More Secure: Filing Taxes Online or on Paper?

When tax season comes around, taxpayers have two options for filing their taxes: paper or electronic filing. While some taxpayers have strong opinions about which one is better for them, an important question they should all ask themselves is which is more secure? With the increase in the risk of identity theft and tax fraud, consumers should be careful how they file their taxes and consider the advantages and risks of electronic or paper filing.

Filing Taxes Online

Although more consumers have shifted to filing online these days, they may question whether e-filing offers the most security for their tax and personal information. Recently, TurboTax stopped electronic filing for state returns after there were reports of an increase in tax fraud, The Wall Street Journal reported. While the company’s website itself was not compromised, identity thieves were more likely to file fake tax returns using an electronic filing service.

How to be more secure: As consumers file their taxes online, they should be sure to avoid Internet-based tax scams. Consumers may receive emails from senders claiming they are with the IRS, prompting taxpayers to resend their personal information. When filing electronically, consumers should make sure their devices are free of malware, a risk that could allow cybercriminals to access their information remotely, according to the IRS. Taxpayers should also send their information through secure Internet connections.

Filing on Paper

On the other hand, some consumers prefer filing their taxes on paper because they are most familiar with this method. However, there are certain risks involved as identity thieves could attempt to steal important paper documents from taxpayers or by dumpster diving for documents that were thrown away.

How to be more secure: Whether taxpayers do their own taxes or hire a certified tax preparer, they should keep any paper documents and copies secure. Taxpayers should ensure they prevent sensitive documents containing their personal information like Social Security numbers and dates of birth from falling into the hands of would-be identity thieves. Consumers can either shred these documents or lock them away in a safe. They could also consider locking their mailboxes to avoid identity thieves from pilfering their mail without consumers’ knowledge.

As consumers consider the benefits and disadvantages of filing their taxes online or through mail, they should decide how they could improve their personal information’s security to avoid becoming a victim of tax fraud and identity theft.