Financial News

We'll post financial tips and news here for you to stay up to date.

Avoiding Scams and Scammers

When cybersecurity is inadequate, it can lead to stolen identity and financial loss. Most scams and scammers have two main goals--to steal your money and your identity. You should know what to look for, how they work, and what to do, so you can protect yourself and your finances.

Read tips from the FDIC here.

Cybersecurity Matters

From the Independent Community Bankers of America: 

Bank customers and employees alike should educate themselves on topics that include:  

  • Best practices for passwords—long, strong, and never reuse passwords on multiple Internet login accounts
  • Ways to identify phishing emails and other social engineering threats
  • Monitor credit reports and bank account activity to timely identify and prevent fraud and identity theft
  • Financial abuse and exploitation of elders
  • The need to keep operating systems and other applications current with software security patches and updates
  • The need to uninstall software that is end of life and no longer supported with vendor security patches. No security updates are available to plug security holes found in these unsupported versions of software.

BBB Update

The Better Business Bureau has monthly updates for citizens in our area. Here are the most recent updates:

  • In light of the Biden administration’s student loan forgiveness announcement, BBB warns, scammers may try to take advantage of any confusion around the decision. BBB advises consumers to know the terms of their student loans and the relief program, never pay money for a free government program, and beware of out-of-the-blue phone calls, texts, and emails from government agency imposters. For more information, visit
  • After leaving a comment on a YouTube video, a consumer reported to BBB he received a reply from a scammer impersonating a YouTube personality, claiming he had won a giveaway. The consumer lost money by paying “shipping fees” for the giveaway. Be wary of celebrity impersonators online, as well as any unsolicited messages about giveaways that consumers did not enter.
  • BBB continues to receive reports from Indiana consumers who have received text messages regarding an Indiana Department of Workforce grant. This is a government imposter scam. Disregard these text messages if you receive them.
  • Beware of con artists impersonating the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. The scammers used the names of real (but retired) officers and tried to trick the local consumer into thinking he missed a court date and owed several thousands of dollars in fines as a result. Luckily the consumer followed up with the actual Jefferson Co. Sheriff’s Office, who was able to confirm this was a scam. Beware of phone calls regarding missed court appearances or other legal matters and contact the government agency or office directly with any questions.
  • BBB continues to receive reports of puppy scams in the area. When buying a new pet, make sure you see the animal in person first, check the breeder’s credentials and references, and only pay with a secured method such as a credit card. Adopting from an accredited charity is also an excellent way to find your next pet!
  • BBB has received multiple reports of Powerball text message scams. The texts claim to come from a Powerball jackpot winner looking to share their winnings with random individuals. This is a scam – do not reply to the texts or give out any personal information!
  • Consumers continue to report receiving fake Publisher’s Clearing House phone calls. The real Publisher’s Clearing House only notifies their winners by mail or in person, not by phone. Any “sweepstakes organization” that asks for money upfront to claim a grand prize is likely a scam.
  • A consumer reported receiving debt collection calls from a scammer impersonating a real collection agency that was no longer in business. BBB warns, if you receive any suspicious debt collection calls, ask for proof of the debt and the agency. Don’t give in to scare tactics, and don’t give out financial information over the phone.
  • BBB has received reports from multiple consumers of an anti-virus confirmation email scam. The email claims to verify the consumer’s purchase of anti-virus software protection and provides information on how to get a refund. In every case, the consumers never purchased the software in question. This is a phishing scam. If you receive a similar email, check your credit card statement or bank account for any purchase, and don’t reply to the email.
  • Multiple consumers have reported online shopping scams to BBB in the past month, involving everything from jewelry to whiskey. BBB reminds consumers to always check for reviews of companies before purchasing items online, and to use a secured form of payment like a credit card when buying.

Military Scams

According to the Better Business Bureau, military families and veterans are more likely to lose money to scams. The likelihood of loss reported across all consumers was 46.4% in 2020. Veterans reported a slightly higher likelihood of loss at 46.8%. Military families reported the highest likelihoods of loss at 50.8% for military spouses and 59.7% for service members. If you're in the military, or connected to someone who is, stay alert.

For more information, see this Better Business Bureau article.

National Veterans Small Business Week

Join us and the SBA in celebrating National Veterans Small Business Week. As the pandemic continues, it’s vital for military and veteran entrepreneurs to be aware of the local resources that are available to assist them during this time. We hope we can play a small part in helping celebrate, strengthen, and empower our nation’s military and veteran entrepreneurs. The SBA will be showcasing our nation’s military and veteran-owned small businesses all week long. For details, visit this webpage.

What Is A Credit Score?

A credit report is a record of your current and past debts, including your payment history. It is used by banks, other financial institutions, and businesses to make decisions about your loan, rent, and even employment applications. Understanding the information in your credit report can help you achieve and maintain a good credit history; good credit opens the door to opportunities.

Learn more in this article from the FDIC.

Federal Rental Assistance for Landlords

If you’re a landlord, you might depend on rental income to cover your own housing costs. This means that if your tenants had trouble paying their rent during the coronavirus pandemic, it could affect your financial well-being too. The federal government has set aside a portion of money for landlords that depend on the rental income. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has a list of resources to help that you can find here.

Child Tax Credit Scams

As child tax credit payments are beginning to be dispersed around the country, fraudsters are targeting those who may benefit from these payments. Consider these tips from the Kentucky Bankers Association to avoid being the subject of fraudulent activity.


Customers should be wary of any unsolicited calls, e-mails and text messages. The IRS generally communicates by mail.


Many fraudsters will offer assistance to “sign up” for the child tax credit. Signing up is not necessary, and payments are based on filed tax returns.


Customers should not click on links or open attachments as this may lead to money loss, tax-related fraud and identity theft. Any website other than is not an official government website.


Only certain individuals are eligible for the child tax credit. Know the eligibility requirements to determine if you should be eligible to avoid unnecessary risk. Eligibility requirements are monitored by the IRS only.


The IRS will not leave a pre-recorded, threatening voicemail regarding lawsuits or arrests, nor will it call for taxpayers to verify their personal information in order to receive the credit.


Customers will never be asked to send the IRS money via wire transfer, gift card or cryptocurrency. In fact, there should not be any payments by customers associated with the child tax credit.


If an inquiry seems suspicious, it probably is.

For a printable document, click here.

Unemployment Text Scam

There is no limit to the lengths scammers will go to gain access to your personal information.

According to the Indianapolis Federal Bureau of Investigation, fraudsters are posing as the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and sending a text with a link to click on. Upon using the link, it's highly likely they have accessed at least some of your personal information.

Unfortunately, hundreds of Hoosiers have already been affected by this scam. Don't become one of them.

The DWD will never send a text message to verify eligibility for unemployment benefits or to report issues with receiving benefits. Unless the message is from a known and verified source, never click on links in text messages or emails.

If you believe you may have received and clicked on this type of text message, and entered information into a fraudulent website, resources on how to protect your information can be found here.

Click here to learn more about identifying and protecting yourself from phishing attempts.

Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program that provides a temporary discount on monthly broadband bills for qualifying low-income households. If your household is eligible, you can receive:

  • Up to a $50/month discount on your broadband service and associated equipment rentals
  • Up to a $75/month discount if your household is on qualifying Tribal lands
  • A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer (with a co-payment of more than $10 but less than $50)

Only one monthly service discount and one device discount is allowed per household.

The FCC has announced that consumers can begin applying for and enrolling in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program on May 12, 2021. The program will end when the fund runs out of money, or six months after the Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the COVID-19 health emergency, whichever is sooner.

You can find out more information and apply on


Cybercrime is rampant. Hundreds of thousands of people are affected each year. Here are some helpful links to help you avoid being scammed or discover if you are being scammed.

  • Cybercrime Support Network - Support individuals and businesses against cybercrimes.
  • Fight Cybercrime - A resource database for those affected by cybercrime and fraud through a process of “Recognize, Report, and Recover” after an incident occurs.
  • Scam Spotter - Helps you identify scams and stop fraudsters by outlining scams currently being used.

Understanding Your Financial Aid Offer

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has a podcast called Financial inTuition. The goal of the podcast is to educate, inform, and engage students, parents, and practitioners with tools and resources created to help them make more informed financial decisions. This podcast will help listeners with tips and strategies to find their inner financial intuition, one money topic at a time.

The CFPB has released a new series of episodes about "Understanding Your Financial Aid Offer." You can find the podcast here.

Future episodes will cover race and economic equity and student loans, navigating COVID-19 during your higher education decision-making process, repaying student loans, and more.

Budget Through Tough Times

Many consumers establish a budget as a planning tool. It is especially important to take a look at your finances and have a plan when your income decreases. By understanding what money you are getting and what you are spending, you may be able to make changes to help you through the tough times.

Learn More

COVID-19 Vaccine

If you want to know more information about what your state is doing for COVID-19 vaccines, see the links below. These sites are the best places for vaccine information. Please confirm information you may hear on social media by reviewing the information from your state.

Indiana Housing and Utility Help

With COVID-19, many people have struggled financially. The Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority (IHCDA) reached out to us to be sure our Hoosier customers knew of the resources available to them in housing and utilities. The IHCDA believes that growing Indiana's economy starts at home.

Everyone can agree that all Hoosiers should have the opportunity to live in safe, affordable, good-quality housing in economically stable communities. That's the heart of IHCDA's mission. The IHCDA wants to help communities build upon their assets to create places with ready access to opportunities, goods, and services. They also promote, finance, and support a broad range of housing solutions from temporary shelters to homeownership.

What kind of help can the IHCDA provide? Many kinds! Here are just a few of the things that IHCDA can help with:

  • Down payments
  • Low interest rate loans
  • Federal tax credits
  • Mortgage assistance
  • Rental assistance
  • Utility costs

For more specifics, we encourage you to visit the IHCDA's website at

We are #INthistogether.

Indiana Rental Assistance

Indiana's Rental Assistance Portal is now accepting applications for the Emergency Solutions Grant CARES Act (ESG-CV) rental assistance program. This program can provide eligible renters with up to six months in rental assistance to help cover past due and ongoing monthly rent payments. More information, including the steps for tenants to apply both online and over the phone, can be found on the top banner of the website.

While there is no application due date at this time for the ESG-CV rental assistance program, any renter that is need of assistance is encouraged to and apply now. Please don’t wait.

Banks Never Ask That

The American Bankers Association has created a humorous website to educate the public on things that banks will never ask. Can you outsmart scammers? Take the quiz to see how you do. They even mention there are prizes involved!

From time to time, we link to external videos that are not controlled by us. It doesn’t mean that we necessarily endorse any products or services offered on the linked video, but we think the content of the video is of value to you. We just want you to know that it’s not our video.

FinCEN Guidance On Pandemic Fraud Scams

Fraudsters remain relentless in times of crisis including COVID-19. Here are a few things to be mindful of when it comes to scams.

Financial Path to Graduation

Planning for college can be tough. There are so many options when it comes to financial aid, scholarships, loans, and more. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has created a great tool for you to:

  • Understand your financial aid offer.
  • Plan to cover the remaining costs.
  • Estimate how much you’ll owe and if you can afford that debt.
  • Compare offers from different schools.
  • Decide what to do next.


Check out the CFPB's tool to get started!

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