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Protect Your Personal Information with Kasasa Protect

With identity theft on the rise at an alarming rate, many of us have had some sort of personal information compromised at some point. In 2016, identity theft affected 15.4 million Americans, stealing more than $16 billion; a 16% increase from 2015. Some examples may include debit card fraud, falsified or multiple tax returns using your personal social security number, or even something as strange as someone stealing your Facebook profile picture to create additional accounts. With activities like this going on all around us, it can be easy to be scared of being the next victim of identity theft every time you step out into the public. However, there are ways to combat identity theft. One of the best ways to do that is with Kasasa Protect. Kasasa Protect acts like a bank vault for your personal information, keeping it safe and secure for your peace of mind.

Kasasa Protect employs around-the-clock monitoring for fraudulent activity and will alert you immediately if there is any suspicious activity. Additional features of this tremendous service include 24/7 credit monitoring, with access to annual credit reports with a monthly credit score and tracker. Kasasa Protect will monitor the dark web and scan millions of international sources in real time to help spot stolen data such as social security numbers. One of the best features is that in the event that fraud or identity theft occurs to you, certified specialists will go to work filing, disputing and helping resolve issue with your credit report and other authorities, if needed. In addition, while you can never be completely safe, Kasasa Protect is the next best thing to provide yourself with peace of mind, knowing that your personal information is being monitored and protected by specialists! Inquire with our knowledgeable staff on how to make the most out of this service!

Elderly Scams

From when were small children, we were always protected from various threats and outside influences from our parents. Their sage advice may have always seemed superfluous at the time but usually proved right repeatedly. Now that we have grown up ourselves and have put our parent’s advice to good use over the years, it is only fair that we can return the favor. As our parents and grandparents enjoy their retirements, it is our obligation to make sure that they live out their golden years with as little worry as possible. However, today’s seniors are now prime targets for financial abuse. This abuse can range from taking property or assets, to something as simple as forging a signature on a blank check. There are more advanced means of taking advantage of our elders such as scams, cons and telemarketing. Most of the abuse occurs from a trusted family member or someone close to the situation. There may even be people in your life that have had elder abuse affect them, or know someone who had been conned, or have been convinced to send money to a Nigerian Prince with the promise of massive wealth. 

When you can wrap your head around the fact that people over 50 years old control 70% of the nation’s wealth, you can understand how they can become easy targets. As criminals are becoming increasingly clever, it could be a crime of opportunity or something more sinister like stealing from a loved one to fuel a bad habit. Whatever the case may be, the best defense is a good offense and education on the topic. We can teach them to never give out personal information over the phone or internet, especially social security numbers and date of birth, and be wary of any social worker or caregiver that seems slightly too interested in their financial well being when they should be focused on their health. At the end of the day, we owe it to our parents, grandparents and loved ones to lend a watchful eye over them and educate them the best we can to help prevent them from being a victim of elder abuse. To find out more information or to learn how to report elder abuse, please visit https://www.mass.gov/report-elder-abuse for more details.

Fraud & How Chip Cards Can Help

We have all checked our bank statements at one point, seen a transaction, and gone “What’s this transaction?! I did not make this purchase.” In this day and age, this utterance is becoming more and more frequent as criminals have found a way to commit fraud using your debit card and taking your hard-earned money. However, with the implementation of new EMV chip cards taking place at financial institutions and retailers across the country, there is hope that this enactment will help assuage the effects of debit card fraud on a large scale.

What you probably didn’t realize about your old debit card was that magnetic stripes store unchanging data. Whoever is able to gain access to your magnetic strip (through a skimmer, physical or digital) is able to gather all the information they need in order to make purchases and can use the stolen information repeatedly. Unlike magnetic-stripe cards, every time an EMV card is used for payment, the card chip creates a unique transaction code that cannot be used again. And although EMV technology will not prevent data breaches from occurring, it will make it much harder for criminals to successfully profit from what they steal.

As of July 2016, Millbury National Bank has been using EMV cards for all new debit cards. If you request an EMV chip card or happen to have an old card that is due for renewal, your new card will automatically have an EMV Chip! MNB is also proud to offer CardValet at no cost to our customers as well. This is a smartphone app that allows you to set spending limits on your debit card, alert you when unusual transactions take place to be able to stop them in real time, and even close your debit card if you happen to lose it. Between the implementation of the EMV chip cards paired with CardValet, MNB is cracking down on fraud and protecting your valuable information and money.

E-Statements vs. Snail Mail

How many times have your waited for a statement to come in the mail and it seems to take forever to arrive? You have bills that you need to pay, but you need to be able to reconcile your account in a timely manner and without your statement, you are in the dark. If there was only a way to expedite the process and get your bank statement into your hand faster…well as history would have it, back in 1990, computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web or the “internet”, and revolutionized data cataloging and storage. With all of the modern conveniences that we have today, one of the most utilized features in the financial industry is online banking and specifically e-statements.

Instead of having to wait for your statement to be delivered in the mail, e-statements allow you to access an electronic version of the exact same statement on the first day of the month! With paper statements, there is a delay from the time that statements are printed, mailed and then received. All of these steps takes time; time that is valuable to each and every one of us. By enrolling in e-statements, you can limit your impact on the environment by not having a paper statement. E-statements also eliminate the risk of a fraudster snagging your statement out of your mailbox when you’re not home. You can even save them or even print them for your own records. All of these features come courtesy of Millbury National Bank and is a safe and secure way to do your banking online. With all of this information at your fingertips, only one question remains…when are you going to sign up?

Which Mortgage Is Right for You?

Which is the better mortgage option for you? Purchasing a home is one of the biggest purchases you will make in your life. When finding your perfect home, you also want to find the perfect mortgage product for you. You may hear people talking about a product called an ARM, also known as an adjustable rate mortgage, and a fixed rate mortgage. Many people see how attractive a fixed rate is, but they do not know that they are more likely to get more flexible terms with an adjustable rate mortgage. The decision boils down to what is more suitable for you.

When searching for the best mortgage product, you want to look at the life of a mortgage v.s. life of ownership, reason for your loan request, and cost. As a borrower, you should ask yourself “How long do I plan on keeping this mortgage?” Some may be surprised that the average life of a mortgage is seven years. Down the road, you may be looking to do home improvements, pay or consolidate student loans, get a better rate, or maybe get assistance with unexpected financial issues. You also want to consider the cost associated with fixed loans v.s. an ARM. This includes rate, closing costs, and the overall financial impact. Why pay for a 30-year rate when you will likely only keep the mortgage for 5-10 years?

ARM products help with consumers who do not always fit into the box. For example, consumers who are self-employed, have past financial challenges, or a unique or large property that may be outside the requirements for fixed products. When choosing which product is right for you, it is important to do your research and discuss with your lender the difference between fixed rate and adjustable rate products.

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