New Gadget? Proceed with Caution
No matter what you may or may not be celebrating this holiday gift giving season, chances are high that you’ll enter 2021 with a new gadget or smart toy. While technology gifts and gadgets are useful tools (or just plain fun!), they may take a little more setup to ensure they’re as safe as possible to use. Any time an electronic can connect to the Internet, it becomes vulnerable to outside threats.
BLC Community Bank Supports Local Housing Needs
November 18th, is Housing Day, which was established in 1998 as part of a movement to combat homelessness all over the world. On this day BLC celebrates the donation made to LEAVEN, an organization whose mission is to stabilize and empower people in crisis by providing emergency financial assistance (including rent, mortgage payments, security deposits, and utilities) to help those struggling to get back on their feet.
Holiday Fraud - Mystery Shopper Check Scams
Being a Secret Shopper sounds like fun, until you find out it's a scam and you're left on the hook for the funds. While legitimate mystery shopping opportunities exist, so do plenty of scams. If an opportunity is on the up and up, you won't have to pay them or deposit a check and wire money, send money orders or send gift cards on to someone else.
BLC Community Bank Matches Donations to St. Paul Elder Services
During Octoberfest Reimagined, BLC Community Bank will match donations made to St. Paul Elder Services through the end of October up to $10,000. Octoberfest Reimagined is the response to the cancellation of the Fox Cities 2020 Octoberfest event. While it will not be held in the traditional manner due to concerns about large gatherings amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the mission remains the same – supporting nonprofits and businesses in the local community.
Cybersecurity Awareness Month
Cybersecurity Awareness Month - observed every October since 2004 - was created to help educate consumers in an effort to help you stay safer and more secure online. It's a great time to prepare yourself to avoid end-of-year scams. The fast approaching Black Friday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other holiday and shopping-related occasions always bring an increase in cyber-criminal activity along with them.
Beware of Fraud - Fake Check Scams
If you've recently received an "Official Check" from BLC Community Bank, for a large dollar amount you weren't expecting... you can bet it's a scam. The check may look real and be signed by a BLC employee, but these checks are nonetheless fake. According to the FTC, check scams are on the rise. Before you deposit a check you weren't expecting or wire funds to an unknown recipient, do a little digging.
BLC’s Reopening Plan During COVID-19
With the Safer at Home restrictions now lifted, we are preparing to open all lobby doors on Monday, June 1, 2020. To continue to minimize the risk of exposure and protect our employees, customers and community, we will have new precautions in place.
Change in Terms Notice - Funds Availability Policy
Changes have been made to Federal Regulation CC, changing the amount of funds that must be made available to you, effective July 1, 2020. Depending on the type of check deposited or certain circumstances, funds may not be available to you until the second business day after the day the deposit is received.
BLC Community Bank Extends Support to Community and Customers
As customers, businesses and members of our community struggle in the current status of our economy BLC Community Bank is finding ways to support them during these unprecedented times. “Due to the extraordinary circumstances our communities are facing, BLC, along with numerous other community banks, have decided to step up and assist our customers in any way possible,” said BLC Community Bank President, Steve Tramp.
BLC Offers SBA Paycheck Protection Program for Small Businesses
Congress recently signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which included nearly $350 billion to help aid small businesses affected by the pandemic. These funds were provided to the Small Business Association for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) which will help by assisting businesses in the payment of certain operational costs.
BLC Community Bank Announces Payment Relief Related to the COVID-19 Virus
Posted: 3/23/2020The current pandemic situation has begun to cause financial hardship throughout for our customers, employees and community. Many state governments, including Wisconsin, have now closed down numerous “non-essential” businesses, to slow the spread of the virus. BLC wants to do its part to help with COVID-19 Payment Relief.
A Message from BLC Community Bank Regarding the COVID-19 Virus
Posted: 3/16/2020By now, all of you have been impacted in some manner by the CORONA or COVID-19 virus. This message is to provide you with some additional information and let you know what BLC is doing in response to the situation...
You’re Not the Only One Preparing Your Taxes
Posted: 2/20/2020Preparation for tax season has begun, which means criminals and fraudsters are already busy deploying their next scam. Tax season typically brings about an influx of phishing scams with the intent of siphoning personal and financial data from unsuspecting victims.
Traveling for the Holidays? Tips to Keep Your Money Safe
Posted: 12/13/2019With holiday travel and spring vacations just around the corner, we want to provide you with some safety tips to help you keep your money safe. It’s a good idea to carry VISA TravelMoney® Cards or credit cards, and leave your debit and ATM cards at home.
Five Things to Know About Safe Deposit Boxes, Home Safes and Your Valuables
Posted: 11/26/2019Over time, your valuables change, and so do your options to protect them. Here are a few choices, including safe deposit boxes and home safes, along with suggestions on how to assess each option for your specific needs.
Fraud Can Happen to You When You Least Expect It
Posted: 10/10/2019At BLC Community Bank we have tips and resources to empower you in the fight against fraud. And the more you understand about fraud, the better prepared you are to help us fight fraud and keep your financial accounts safe.
IRAs, 401(k)s and More: Making Sense of Retirement Accounts
Consumers and small business owners are fortunate to have a variety of retirement savings opportunities available to them — from IRAs and SEPs to 401(k)s and 403(b)s — that can be used to save for retirement and save on some taxes. Determining which retirement savings vehicles may be right for you is especially important as traditional pensions and other employer-funded retirement plans have become increasingly rare.
How to Improve Your Credit Score
Your credit score is a three-digit number used by lenders to help them determine how likely they are to be repaid on time if they loan you money or you open a credit card. A good credit score helps you qualify for the best rates and terms when you borrow money or even pay for insurance. Use these tips to raise your score and keep it there...
When Small Charges Can Signal a Big Crime
Most people looking at their bank statements would probably notice if their credit or debit card were used without their approval to purchase a big ticket item, and they would quickly call their bank or card issuer to report the error or fraudulent transaction.
Going Mobile: How to be Safer When Using a Smartphone or Tablet
Our phones go with us everywhere and we continue to use them more and more to shop online, access accounts and store information. Use these tips to help keep you safe in this mobile world.
Marriage and Managing Finances
If you're getting married but your checking accounts are still single, here are some topics to discuss about your finances before merging them as one.
Where are Rates Headed?
Record low unemployment, consistent job growth, steady consumer confidence numbers...all of these would lead one to believe the economy will continue to be robust and no stimulus is really required.
How to Save Money: Build Habits with These Savings Tips
We can all afford to put a little extra away each month for a rainy day or retirement. Saving money doesn’t have to be complicated and should become one of your top priorities. Here are some easy savings tricks to help you get started.
Keep Your Money Safe While Traveling
Are you counting down the days to an upcoming vacation? You’re probably very excited for the adventure that awaits you, but don’t let the fun be ruined by someone out to steal your hard-earned money. Protect your money when traveling with these tips:
Financial Elder Abuse: Protecting Your Loved Ones
Did you know that more than $36 billion dollars is stolen from seniors each year? If you’re worried that someone might be taking financial advantage of an elderly loved one it’s important to know how to spot the signs and what to do about it.
Is Your Password Up to Par?
How protected are your online accounts? If you have a post-it with your passwords written on under your keyboard, you may want to check out these tips for making your accounts more secure.
Where to Start When Buying a Home
Whether it’s your first home purchase or your fifth, it will be one of the largest purchases you’ll ever make. The process can be as overwhelming as it is exciting. These tips will help you be proactive and navigate the process.
Living with Parents After Graduation
There are 24 million young adults living at home with their parents. If you had to make the move back home after college, here are some tips to make your new living arrangements easier.
10 Tips for Fun Summer Savings
Just because the temps are starting to go up, doesn't mean your spending has to as well. Here are some tips to keep your budget under control.