Spring has Sprung!

Spring is here… which always makes me want to redecorate or go shopping! Since I don’t always have the budget to pick up things I like, I have found a way to get new things without spending any money! The best part? My friends benefit too!

It’s called a Swap Party, and anyone can do it.

This idea came from a friend of mine that lives in Las Vegas. She sets aside a night and invites a groups of friends over. She asks them to bring a few items that they no longer need or want. (These items must be of good quality. Be clear about what is swap-worthy. Only clean goods in gently used condition) The night of the party everyone comes with their items and you set up shop! Allow everyone to choose items as if they were in a store. You can go home with some pretty awesome stuff you didn’t have to pay for, and you’ll get rid of some things you didn’t want in the process!!

Here’s a few tips:

  • Remember, it is a party, so have fun!
  • Serve your favorite punch and a few simple snack foods.
  • Give guests room to spread out their items by clearing off surfaces, such as dining and side tables. Use bins and trunks to serve as display space.

Make sure to outline one (or all) of these simple rules (or create your own) so everyone is on the same page:

  • Establish a system - Choose one of the following swapping strategies, which should be explained in your Invitation or at the start of the party.
  • Take turns shopping - Roll the Dice to pick who shops first. Limit the number of items to three per turn to keep it fair and moving fast.
  • Use tokens - The host hands out a poker chip for every item a guest donates. If a person brings 10 items, she gets 10 tokens with which she can purchase 10 new items.
  • Keep the numbers even - Everybody goes home with the same number of items that they donated.

Another Swap Option: Clothing and Accessories

How to organize: Set up a garment rack with hangers, or string up a clothesline, then prop up a full-length mirror. Make signs, and sort fashions by size, type, season, or even personality. (Julie, Samantha, Britni, and Miranda, anyone?)

What to consider at a clothing swap: You may want to invite people who are roughly in the same size range (though anyone can trade bags, jewelry, and scarves).

At the end of the night, if there are items left, whoever hosted the party should donate the leftovers to a local charity or thift shop.

**Another fun variation on the Swap Party idea: Hold a Swap Party as a fundraiser! If you’ve got to raise money for the PTO, or want to donate to a local charity or organization, get together and hold a silent auction with items you no longer want. If you do it amongst friends you’re more likely to go home with something you like (rather than your typical rummage sale). And, everyone will still go home with a bargain but you’ll have raised some money for a good cause!

I hope this idea inspires you. Happy Swapping!!!

Contributed by Guest Blogger – Jodi

Safari Users in Online Banking

It has come to our attention that some Safari users have been experiencing intermittent problems while using Central Online Banking. The most common problem is that customers will try viewing their account history but will get an error message. While researching this, it was discovered that these issues began with the recent release of Safari version 5.1.4, and numerous other industries have also been impacted. Our online service provider has notified Apple, and they are working together to determine the necessary changes that will allow our customers to navigate our website seamlessly.

In the meantime, we recommend that customers try using a different browser, such as Internet Explorer or Firefox, when using Central Online Banking. We hope that this problem can be resolved in a timely manner, and we apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

UPDATE (4/9/12): We have identified a temporary workaround that Safari users may use until the problem is permanently fixed.  Immediately after you log in, and before doing anything else, click the refresh button on your browser toolbar to reload the page.  Then, try going to the transactions page of an account.  You should now see the page contents and not the blank white page.

UPDATE (5/10/12): The latest version of Safari, 5.1.7, should fix this problem.  If you are still experiencing it, please update your browser.

Fraudulent Communication Purporting to be from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Fictitious correspondence, allegedly issued by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) regarding funds purportedly under the control of the OCC and other government entities, is in circulation. Correspondence may be distributed via e-mail, fax, or postal mail.

Any document claiming that the OCC is involved in holding any funds for the benefit of any individual or entity is fraudulent. The OCC does not participate in the transfer of funds for, or on behalf of, individuals, business enterprises, or governmental entities.

The letters may indicate that funds are being held by the OCC, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, or the U.S. Department of Justice because of the need for payment of a 0.059 percent revenue charge to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

The correspondence in question contains forged signatures of actual OCC officials. In addition, the material contains a fictitious mailing address that is not associated with the OCC.

Before responding in any manner to any proposal supposedly issued by the OCC that requests personal information or personal account information, or that requires the payment of any fee in connection with the proposal, you should take steps to verify that the proposal is legitimate.

At a minimum, the OCC recommends that you:

  • Contact the OCC directly to verify the legitimacy of the proposal (1) via e-mail at occalertresponses@occ.treas.gov; (2) by mail to the OCC’s Special Supervision Division, 250 E St. SW; Mail Stop 2-7, Washington, DC 20219; (3) via fax to (202) 874-5214; or (4) by calling the Special Supervision Division at (202) 874-4450.
  • Contact state and/or local law enforcement.
  • File a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov, if the proposal appears to be fraudulent and was received via e-mail or the Internet.
  • File a complaint with the U.S. Postal Inspector Service by telephone at (888) 877-7644, by mail at U.S. Postal Inspection Service, 222 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 1250, Chicago, IL 60606-6100, or via online complaint form at:https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/forms/MailFraudComplaint.aspx, if the proposal appears to be fraudulent and was delivered through the U.S. Postal Service.

Below is a copy of this fraudulent correspondence, which is being sent  by fraudsters in an attempt to elicit funds and to gather personal information to be used in possible future identification theft.

Hey, that is what friends are for!

Many of our faithful followers are already telling their friends about the excellent service they receive at Central National Bank, but those that aren’t are about to miss out on an excellent deal. In January and February we’re offering $25 to our customers who refer their friends to us. All you have to do is pick up your friend referral cards at your local branch and fill in your information. Then, hand them to your friends and tell them about the excellent service you receive at Central! When they open an account, all they have to do is hand over the card. See details below. It’s for a limited time only, so don’t miss out!

 

CNB Android App Now Available!

After months of development your requests have been answered. The Central National Bank Android App is finally available for download on the Android Market. And, yes, just like the iPhone App it will be free to users!

Don’t forget, to use the app, you must first be enrolled in Central Online Banking. For more information about Central Online Banking including enrollment instructions, click here.

What can the app do?

Users are able to view their account balances, pay bills, transfer funds, and more! The Android app uses the phone’s native features, so using the app has never been easier.

How do I get the app?

Get it on the Android Market

https://market.android.com/details?id=com.jackhenry.CentralNationalBank

Fraudulent Email Purporting to be from the Fed

The Federal Reserve Bank has confirmed that there currently are fraudulent emails circulating claiming to be a public service announcement jointly distributed by the Federal Reserve Banks in collaboration with the Internet Crime Compliant Center (IC3) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C).

The email message encourages financial institutions and their employees to visit a rouge website to download the “announcement.”

These are fraudulent emails! Do not click on any of the links or forward to other recipients.
A sample of the email is below:
************************************************************************************************
From: Federal Reserve Financial Services (fedcommunications numbers @ mail – frbservices dot org)
Subject: ATT : Your Name and Organization

This message is to be delivered to: Your Name at Your Organization

In an effort to notify and update all financial institutions and their employees of the recent fraud scenarios The Federal Reserve Banks in collaboration with IC3 and NW3C issued the following message:

A Public Service Announcement has been issued by the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), which is a joint partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C). Financial Institutions are encouraged to share this public service announcement with account holders.
Visit (Fraudulent link was inserted here) for exact instructions and details on fraud scenarios.

IC3′s website provides a vehicle for consumer’s to file Internet crime complaints. Complaint information will be combined with other related subject information and referred to federal, state, and local law enforcement for the initiation or enhancement of investigations.
****************************************************************************

Improving Your Credit Score

This is the second article in a two-part series about credit score information.  Our [previous post] showed you what information is included in a credit score.

 

Now that you know a little more about what goes into your credit score you may be wondering what you can do to improve it. Here are a few simple tips:

 

Pay Your Bills!

First, and foremost, pay your bills ON TIME, EVERY TIME. You can pay them a few days early to make sure they process on time. Being even one or two days late affects your score the same as being 30 days late. Over 30 days late? You are hurting your score even more.

 

If you can afford it try and make more than the minimum monthly payment on your credit cards. It will save you money, in the long run, because you end up paying less interest. It will also show lenders that you take your debt seriously and work hard to repay it.

 

Close Unused Accounts

Close unused accounts. If you have paid off a loan or a high interest credit card and you no longer intend to use it, close it. You do not want to close every line of credit offered to you because another thing credit bureaus look at is your used credit versus your available credit. Bottom line: If it is a card with a high rate then have it closed.

 

Get a Free Credit Report

You can always get a free copy of your credit report once a year from all three major credit bureaus. It’s simple to call and request your report. Then you know what lenders are looking at when they evaluate you as a borrower. Looking at your free credit report can also help you determine where you can improve.

 

To request a free credit report, visit http://www.annualcreditreport.com

Shop & Win Promotion!!

The biggest shopping day of the year is less than 48 hours away! We can’t offer you a great deal on a flat screen tv or e-reader, but that doesn’ t mean we can’t make you a deal!

If your Turkey Day plans include taking a trip to the stores at Midnight, be sure to check out the details of our Shop & Win Promotion. Each time you use your debit card between Black Friday and Cyber Monday you’ll be entered to win a $100 VISA Gift Card!

For Your Protection

At Central National Bank we’re all about service to our customers. And one of the services we provide is fraud monitoring.

For your protection, we recently placed a block on certain types of Central National Bank debit card transactions.  If you have problems using your debit card to conduct International telephone or Internet transactions, it may be due to our attempt to protect your account from fraud. Transactions affected are those that require you to key in your card number in order to make a payment.

This change will not affect traditional retail transactions (those made in person). So, if you’re traveling feel free to continue use your debit card overseas!

We know that being away from home can be tough sometimes. So make sure to let us know if you have travel plans. We can put extra monitoring in place to lend you “peace of mind” while you’re away from home.

Call your local branch if you have questions regarding this change or specific transactions.

We appreciate your business, as well as your patience and understanding! Thank you!

New Fraudulent E-mails Claiming to Be From Equifax

Equifax Corporate Security has received notice that some customers and consumers have received fraudulent emails and/or letters falsely claiming to be from Equifax.

One email purports to be from Global Customer Support Center. The email advises customers that they need to download a zip file in order to maintain their secure connection to Equifax. The file to download, however, contains a link to a malware site. There are also several links in the email to Equifax and Oracle. Other emails/letters ask customers to provide bank name, account number and other confidential information.

If you are an Equifax customer and have clicked on a link in one of these emails, immediately contact Equifax Security at Security.DataAdministration@equifax.com. If you have supplied any bank account numbers or other confidential information requested in a letter, you should immediately contact your financial institution.

If you are an Equifax customer and you have clicked on this link, contact Equifax Corporate Security immediately at (866) 493-5983 or Security.DataAdministration@equifax.com