Consumer Alerts

Counterfeit Bills in Thorp March 29, 2019

Multiple reports are coming in from different areas for counterfeit bills. See details below:

From the City of Thorp (3/29/2019): Businesses and residents of Thorp, please keep an eye out for FAKE $100 bills circulating throughout the City. Thorp Police Department has recovered several of these fake bills. If you do find any, contact the PD at 715-669-5523. There are Chinese characters on the back side and the paper feels differently than real bills, but at quick glance look very similar.

counterfeit bills - thorp wisconsin

 

From the Eau Claire Police Department (3/28/2019):

Information for retailers! We have seen an increase in counterfeit currency being exchanged the past few weeks. This is a $100 bill passed this morning.

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Here are some tips to identify a counterfeit bill:

  • Feel of the bill
  • Look for the watermark portrait
  • Look for a security thread
  • Look for color changing ink
  • Pay attention to blurry boarders
  • Use a counterfeit money detection pen
  • The money may have a “Motion Picture Use Only” written on it

 

Mobile Bank App Upgrade-Coming Soon March 14, 2019

Forward Bank is dedicated to providing the best tools and banking experience for our customers. That’s why we’re upgrading our current Mobile Bank App. New features will include: 

forward bank mobile bank app - sample 1

 

forward bank touch id login

 

Login with your fingerprint

Use your fingerprint for faster, easier, and safer access to your mobile bank app account.

 

 

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Turn Debit Card On/Off

If you misplace your debit card, turn it off instantly right from your mobile device.

forward bank mobile app - apply online

Turn it back on just as easily! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Open a new account or apply for a mortgage

No need to come into the bank – open your new checking, savings, CD or money market account anytime, anywhere with your mobile device! Or take advantage of the Online Mortgage Center and fill out your application quickly from the convenience of your home. 

 

 

 

 

Continue to enjoy these convenient mobile app features:
  • Pay a Bill
  • Deposit a Check
  • Make Loan Payment
  • Transfer Funds
  • Pay-a-Friend
  • and more!

 

TIP: Turn on Automatic Updates on your mobile device to receive the app upgrade automatically. If choose not to, then you will need to go to the app store for your device and initiate the update manually.

 

We hope you enjoy these new features and we appreciate your patience as we continually work to provide you with the latest in convenience banking technologies. If you have any trouble accessing the mobile banking app after the update, please give us a call or stop by one of our offices. We would be more than happy to help walk you through the process.

 

Protect Yourself from Gift Card Scam December 6, 2018

Scam-AlertIt is being reported that several old and reliable scams are circulating in the area. These have included email impersonations of executives requesting gift cards for the holidays, human resource record requests, payroll information changes, and fraudulent local sports fundraising campaigns.

 

With the holiday season these activities usually peak. 

 

A few businesses in the area have fallen victim to this scam. We encourage you to advise your staff to watch the email addresses requesting gift card purchases and pay close attention to unusual requests from internal personnel, dealing with customers, and personally.

 

Be safe out there!

 

Are You Covered for 2019? Don’t Miss the Deadline! November 26, 2018

It’s a busy time of year. The holidays have rushed in and you’re probably swamped with shopping, decorating, parties, and visits from the in-laws. In the midst of year-end chaos, don’t miss an important deadline. Open Enrollment for 2019 coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) ends on Saturday, December 15.

Have you signed up for a plan for next year? If not, contact your insurance provider right away to make sure you have coverage when the calendar flips to 2019. ACA coverage is provided through the Health Insurance Marketplace for those who don’t have health insurance through another source, such as an employer or Medicare. Cost for the insurance is based on your income.

Your insurance agent can walk you through the various options available and help you complete the necessary paperwork. To sign up for a plan, you’ll need information about the size of your household, basic contact information and social security numbers for those being covered, employer information, income amounts, and current policy numbers if you have 2018 coverage.

 

2019-open-enrollment-calendar

 

What happens if you miss the deadline? Certain individuals may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. Others may be eligible for an extension. For example, those whose current plan was discontinued and those who have had certain life events, such as getting married, usually qualify for an extension. Additionally, some states offer state-based marketplaces that have deadlines later than December 15. Areas affected by hurricanes have also been given extensions.

Contact your agent to determine if you qualify for any of these special circumstances and to get your coverage process underway.

Correct Way to Dispose of Old Computers October 24, 2018

old_computer_recycleGetting rid of your old computer? You can ensure its hard drive doesn’t become a treasure chest for identity thieves. Use a program that overwrites or wipes the hard drive many times. Or remove the hard drive, and physically destroy it.

 

Understand Your Hard Drive

Computers often hold personal and financial information, including:

  • passwords
  • account numbers
  • license keys or registration numbers for software programs
  • addresses and phone numbers
  • medical and prescription information
  • tax returns
  • files created automatically by browsers and operating systems

When you save a file, especially a large one, it is scattered around the hard drive in bits and pieces. When you open a file, the hard drive gathers the bits and pieces and reconstructs them.

When you delete a file, the links to reconstruct the file disappear. But the bits and pieces of the deleted file stay on your computer until they’re overwritten, and they can be retrieved with a data recovery program. To remove data from a hard drive permanently, the hard drive needs to be wiped clean.

 

How to Clean a Hard Drive

Before you clean a hard drive, save the files you want to keep to:

  • a USB drive
  • a CDRom
  • an external hard drive
  • a new computer

Check your owner’s manual, the manufacturer’s website, or its customer support service for information on how to save data and transfer it to a new computer.

Utility programs to wipe a hard drive are available both online and in stores where computers are sold. These programs generally are inexpensive; some are available on the internet for free. These programs vary:

  • Some erase the entire disk, while others allow you to select files or folders to erase.
  • Some overwrite or wipe the hard drive many times, while others overwrite it only once.

Consider using a program that overwrites or wipes the hard drive many times; otherwise, the deleted information could be retrieved. Or remove the hard drive, and physically destroy it.

If you use your home or personal computer for business purposes, check with your employer about how to manage the information on your computer that’s business-related. The law requires businesses to follow data security and disposal requirements for certain information that’s related to customers.

 

How to Dispose of Your Computer

Recycle it.

Many computer manufacturers have programs to recycle computers and components. Check their websites or call their toll-free numbers for more information. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has information about electronic product recycling programs. Your local community may have a recycling program, too. Check with your county or local government, including the local landfill office for regulations.

Donate it.

Many organizations collect old computers and donate them to charities.

Resell it.

Some people and organizations buy old computers. Check online.

Remember, most computer equipment contains hazardous materials that don’t belong in a landfill. For example, many computers have heavy metals that can contaminate the earth. The EPA recommends that you check with your local health and sanitation agencies for ways to dispose of electronics safely.

This article and any information contained herein is intended for informational purposes only.  The publisher will not be responsible for errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. 

Sources: Federal Trade Commission – Consumer Information

 

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