Business analysis paperwork

News & Promotions

What does skimming mean?
A skimmer is a card reader that can be disguised to look like part of an ATM or gas pump card reader. The skimmer attachment collects card numbers and PIN codes, which are then replicated into counterfeit cards. Skimming is the type of fraud that occurs when an ATM/card reader is compromised by a skimmer.
When you slide your card into an ATM/card reader that has a skimmer attached, you’re unwittingly sliding it through the counterfeit reader, which scans and stores all your information from the magnetic strip as well as capturing your PIN from the keypad. This makes skimmers particularly dangerous compared to other forms of card compromise because the collected card data can be used to make ATM cash withdrawals.
How to check for skimmers
The most frequently used methods of skimming are used on the card reader insert area. Before using an ATM, be observant of the following parts of the ATM:
  • PIN keypad
  • Card insert slot
When visiting an ATM, check these parts for:
  • Tape and/or sticky glue residue on any part of the ATM
  • Bulkiness on the card insert area or the PIN keypad
  • Anything hanging from the ATM
  • Wiggle the card slot or keypad for loose-fitting attachments
So how can you spot a skimmer and reduce your risk of card fraud during your travels?
1. Use your eyes: Look before you insert your card.
Before you slide your card in a fuel pump or ATM, take a good look at the keyboard and card reader.
Does anything look different if this is an ATM you’ve used before?
Bad guys can use a 3-D printer to create a new keyboard to put on top of the real one. The keyboard might look different from the rest of the ATM, or the keys could look bigger.
With fuel pumps, is the seal broken? To place a skimmer inside a fuel pump, fraudsters must open the fuel dispenser door to insert the skimmer.
Station employees may place serial-numbered security tape across the dispenser door, so check to see if the tape has been broken, according to NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing. If there’s no tape, check to see if the dispenser door looks as though it has been forced open.
Also, look inside the throat of the card reader to see if you can spot anything hidden there. A skimmer inside a gas pump or ATM can steal the information off the magnetic stripe of your credit card or debit card.
2. Use your fingers: If something doesn’t feel right, move on.
Wiggle the ATM card reader to see if it’s loose. The crooks might place a card reader on top of the existing one.
You should also be wary if it’s hard to insert your credit card or debit card.
Some gas station credit card skimming victims have, in hindsight, remembered that the card reader had a weird feeling, like the slot had been tampered with.
3. Use your phone: Apps now can alert you to possible skimmers.
A free Skimmer Scanner Android app scans for available Bluetooth connections looking for a device with title HC-05. How does it work? If found, the app will attempt to connect using the default password of 1234. Once connected, the letter ‘P’ will be sent. If a response of ‘M’ then there is a very high likelihood there is a skimmer in the Bluetooth range of your phone (5 to 15 feet).
If your smartphone detects a skimmer, use a different pump or go to a different gas station.
How does Bluetooth relate to skimmers?
In the past, bad guys had to return to the the fuel pump or ATM to retrieve skimmers. That’s not always the case now. Thieves have begun to use Bluetooth technology to glean your credit card or debit card information. The crime is called bluesnarfing or blue skimming, and the crooks can sit 100 yards away in their vehicle while credit and debit card information is transmitted to their laptop.
4. Use your common sense: Use fuel pumps and ATMs in safe places.
Avoid gas pumps that are out of sight of the clerk and ATMs in areas with little traffic.
It’s particularly important to be cautious at nonbank ATMs, such as those located at convenience stores or nightclubs.
At banks, on the other hand, security is tighter, with cameras recording transactions and more people coming and going.
At ATMs, always cover the keyboard when you type your PIN. There might be a new brochure box containing literature next to the ATM, which crooks set up to conceal a pinhole camera. They use the camera to record you as you key in your PIN.

IRS Issues Remaining EIPs Via Debit Card

The Internal Revenue Service last week issued a press release outlining what taxpayers could expect when receiving Economic Impact Payments issued on prepaid debit cards. The debit card will arrive in a plain envelope from “Money Network Cardholder Services” and can be used to:

  • Make purchases online and at any retail location where Visa is accepted
  • Get cash from in-network ATMs
  • Transfer funds to personal bank accounts
  • Check card balances online, by mobile app or by phone

The card also provides consumer protections available to traditional bank account owners, including protection against fraud, loss and other errors. Read the news release.

First Bank of Baldwin

COVID-19 Update

At First Bank of Baldwin, protecting the health and finances of our customers, employees and the communities we serve during the COVID-19 pandemic is our number one priority.  To support efforts in reducing the spread of this virus First Bank of Baldwin will offer lobby access BY APPOINTMENT ONLY with FACE MASKS REQUIRED for face to face appointments until further notice.

Access Banking Services:

  • Drive-ups in Baldwin, Spring Valley and Balsam Lake will remain open regular business hours.
  • Night depositories available throughout the day at all locations.
  • ATM 24 hour access at all locations.
  • Customer Service available during regular business hours via phone.
  • Loan payments and deposits received through the mail will process as normal.

We welcome customers by appointment, FACE MASKS REQUIRED:

  • Lending Services
  • Safe Deposit Box Access
  • Account Opening

Stay connected 24/7/365 with Mobile and Online Banking:

  • Check Balances and monitor transactions
  • Transfer funds and make loan payments
  • Pay Bills
  • Mobile Deposit checks
  • Send Person To Person payments (P2P)
  • Set up debit card and account activity text and email alerts
  • Turn your Debit Card on/off

Enroll in First Bank of Baldwin Online Banking

Download the First Bank of Baldwin Mobile App Apple

Download the First Bank of Baldwin Mobile App Android

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this unprecedented time.  We appreciate that you trust us with your business.

 

Baldwin Office: 800-499-4362 or 715-684-3366
Balsam Lake Office: 715-405-3366
Plum City Office: 715-647-3791
Spring Valley Office: 715-778-5537

 

*Chippewa Falls Loan Production Office by appointment only.  715-861-5567

First Bank of Baldwin has received a few questions about what to do with economic impact checks that have been sent to deceased individuals.  The link below from the IRS gives specific directions on how to handle these types of situations.

The IRS has updated its FAQs on the CARES Act economic impact payments to reflect that the deceased (as well as heirs receiving payments in their name), non-resident aliens and incarcerated individuals are not eligible to receive EIPs and must return them. The obligation to return funds is on the ineligible recipients, not on banks.

https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payment-information-center

Click below for the IRS link to track your Economic Impact Payments:

https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments

 

To help answer common questions about these payments, the American Bankers Association has developed the following questions and answers.

1. How large a payment will I receive?

The CARES Act outlines the parameters of who is eligible to receive a payment. The Internal Revenue Service is the agency responsible for determining eligibility. In general, single adults with an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less will get $1,200. Married couples earning a combined adjusted gross income of $150,000 or less will receive a total of $2,400. Individual and married taxpayers earning over $75,000 and $150,000 respectively will get reduced payments with full phase-outs at $99,000 and $198,000. There are additional $500 payments for dependent children.

For complete eligibility information please visit the IRS website.

2. Will college students be eligible to receive a payment?

The CARES Act definition of eligible individuals excludes those who are claimed as a dependent on another taxpayer’s return. Accordingly, to the extent a college student is claimed as a dependent on the tax return of a parent, he or she would not be eligible for the rebate.

For complete eligibility information please visit the IRS website.

3. When will I receive my payment?

The Department of the Treasury intends to send the payments out as soon as possible. If you filed taxes in 2018 or 2019 and included your bank routing and account number for payments or refunds, and this information has not changed, the IRS has the information it needs to send your payment electronically. This could be as soon as the middle of April, according to Treasury. In addition, for Social Security recipients, the IRS will use direct deposit by the Social Security Administration to facilitate payments. If the direct deposit information you have provided in the past is for a bank-issued prepaid debit card, you will receive your funds on that card account.

Recipients will be mailed a check if the IRS does not have your information on file. Check payments will follow weeks or possibly months after the direct deposits are sent.

4. Can I receive my payment electronically if my current information is not on file with the IRS?

The IRS is developing an online portal so you can check the status of your information and your payment. That portal—which will be called “Get My Payment”—is expected to be available by April 17. In addition, the IRS has launched a new web tool allowing quick registration for those who don’t normally file a tax return. For the most up-to-date information, visit IRS.gov/coronavirus.

While the IRS has extended the tax filing deadline this year from April 15 to July 15, another option is to file your 2019 taxes as soon as possible with bank routing and account number provided on the form.

5. What if I am typically not required to file a tax return?

People who typically do not file a tax return and are not Social Security beneficiaries will need to file a simple tax return to receive an economic impact payment. Certain low-income taxpayers, veterans and individuals with disabilities who are otherwise not required to file a tax return will not owe tax. IRS.gov/coronavirus will soon provide information instructing people in these groups on how to file a 2019 tax return with simple but necessary information, including their filing status, number of dependents and direct deposit bank account information. As noted above, Social Security recipients who have not been required to file tax returns will not be required to file a tax return to receive their payments.

6. What is a bank routing and account number?

Bank routing and account numbers direct payments to the right bank account at the right financial institution. If you have a checking account at a financial institution the information is on the paper check. The bank routing number is on the lower left-hand side of the check and tells Treasury the correct bank to send the payment. Your individual account number is to the right of the routing number. That tells the bank to credit your specific account. Bank-issued reloadable prepaid debit card accounts have the same numbers, but the way they are provided to you will vary.

7. How do I find this information if I can’t find my checkbook or was never issued any checks at all?

Log in to your bank account online or by mobile app. Bank routing and account numbers may be located in different places in your app or online if you are logging in from a laptop or PC, depending on your bank. If you can’t find it easily, search “bank routing” within the app or website. If you still can’t find the information or can’t log on, call your bank for more information. You can also look up your bank’s routing number at aba.com/routingnumber. Please remember that to protect your finances from fraudsters, banks will not provide your account number over the phone.

8. I have a reloadable prepaid card with a bank. Can I direct the payment to that account?

Yes, follow the same instructions to gather the routing and bank account numbers to provide via the IRS online portal.

9. I have a bank account. Can I still receive a paper check?

Yes, but be aware that your payment will be slower than an electronic transfer. Paper checks may be sent out weeks after the electronic checks are sent.

If you are willing to wait, we recommend that you deposit the check through remote deposit capture, if your bank offers this service. This is basically taking a picture of your check through your bank’s smartphone app. Follow the simple directions and you can make the deposit from the comfort and safety of your home the same day the check arrives in the mail.

Alternatively, you can make the deposit at your bank’s ATM.

The important thing to remember is that with branches closed or restricted, you may be required to visit a bank drive-through location if you want to deposit the check in person.

10. I don’t have a bank account, but want to receive my money faster. What can I do?

Many banks open accounts for most customers online without you ever needing to step into a bank branch. That is important because most bank branches are restricting access due to coronavirus concerns. Search online for banks that offer digital account opening, and reach out to banks to see if they are offering new, flexible ways to become a customer. One type of bank account that accepts direct deposit is a bank-issued reloadable prepaid card often available at retailers that partner with a bank. Please make sure that the card is “reloadable” in order to receive direct deposit. When the account is open you will have the bank routing and account number to provide to the IRS. Please check with the bank you are working with to understand all of the terms and conditions of opening an account.

11. What can I do to prevent fraudsters from accessing my funds?

There will be a large amount of funds disbursed to qualifying individuals. Accordingly, there is a risk for fraud of various types. The IRS has announced various ways individuals can be on guard against these types of bad activities. See the notice.

It is important to remember that banks or the federal government will never contact you by telephone, text or email asking for your account information. Do not provide any banking information to anyone claiming to be registering you for your relief payment.

 

Small Business Administration (SBA) Relief Loans/Economic Impact Disaster Loan

The SBA is providing low-interest disaster loans to businesses that have suffered substantial economic injury due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Click here to learn more about eligibility and the application process on the SBA website.

U.S. Department of the Treasury Assistance for Small Businesses

Get details on Paycheck Protection Program application, program overview, frequently asked questions and more. Visit Treasury Department website.

 

State of Wisconsin Resources

Helpful resources for businesses located in Wisconsin.

State of Minnesota Resources

Helpful resources for businesses located in Minnesota.

Coronavirus checks: flattening the scam curve

There’s a lot to worry about when it comes to the Coronavirus crisis, including the new ways scammers are using the economic impact payments (so-called “stimulus checks”) to trick people. To keep ahead of scammers who are trying to cash in on those payments, read on.

Scammers have no shame, and nothing – not even a global health crisis – is off limits. They’re pitching fake Coronavirus vaccines, unproven cures, and bogus at-home testing kits. So, it’s not surprising that scammers are exploiting confusion about economic impact payments too. But it’s still shameful.

Most people who qualify for a check will automatically get it direct deposited by the IRS within weeks. But as details emerge about how and when payments will arrive, some scammers may start using official-looking fake checks to steal money and confuse people into turning over personal information. Here’s some information to help avoid fake check scams that might be arriving soon.

  • The check’s not in the mail – yet. Reports say that paper checks – for people without direct deposit – will start arriving in May at the earliest. So, if you get an economic impact payment, stimulus, or relief check before then, or you get a check when you’re expecting a direct deposit, it’s a scam.
  • The IRS will not send you an overpayment and make you send the money back in cash, gift cards, or through a money transfer. If you get an official-looking check for more than what you were expecting – say, for $3,000 – the next call you’re likely to get is from a scammer. They’ll tell you to keep your $1,200 payment, and return the rest by sending cash, gift cards, or money transfers. It’s a scam that will leave you owing money to your bank.
  • That’s not the IRS calling, texting, or emailing. Scammers are sending official-looking messages – including postcards with a password to be used online to “access” or “verify” your payment or direct deposit information. The IRS will not contact you to collect your personal information or bank account. It’s a scam.

For trusted information and updates about IRS payments – including eligibility, how to sign up for direct deposit, or where to file a short tax form – always start with irs.gov/coronavirus. Learn how to avoid scams by subscribing to the FTC’s consumer alerts, and report scams to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.

Common Scams

  • Phishing and supply scams. Scammers impersonate health organizations and businesses to gather personal and financial information or sell fake test kits, supplies, vaccines or cures for COVID-19.
  • Stimulus check or economic relief scams. There are reports that the government will help to ease the economic impact of the virus by sending money by check or direct deposit. However, the government will NOT ask for a fee to receive the funds, nor will they ask for your personal or account information.
  • Charity scams. Fraudsters seek donations for illegitimate or non-existent organizations.
  • Delivery of malware through “virus-tracking apps” or sensationalized news reports.
  • Provider scams. Scammers impersonate doctors and hospital staff and contact victim claiming to have treated a relative or friend for COVID-19 and demand payment for treatment.
  • Bank/FDIC scams: Scammers impersonate FDIC or bank employees and falsely claim that banks are limiting access to deposits or that there are security issues with bank deposits.
  • Investment scams often styled as “research reports,” claiming that products or services of publicly traded companies can prevent, detect, or cure COVID-19.

10 Tips to Avoid Becoming a Victim

  1. Watch out for phishing scams. Phishing scams use fraudulent emails, texts, phone calls and websites to trick users into disclosing private account or login information. Do not click on links or open any attachments or pop-up screens from sources you are not familiar with, and NEVER give your password, account number or PIN to anyone.
  2. Ignore offers for a COVID-19 vaccine, cure or treatment. If there is a medical breakthrough, it wouldn’t be reported through unsolicited emails or online ads.
  3. Rely on official sources for the most up-to-date information on COVID-19. Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization and your state’s health department websites to keep track of the latest developments.
  4. Remember that the safes