Category: Online Banking

The Most Common Phishing Scams and How to Avoid Them


The Most Common Phishing Scams

Phishing is a common term for the unfortunate schemes hackers and online criminals use to lure users into giving their personal information. Typically disguised as familiar online activity, these scam artists have cleverly found several distinctive ways to attempt to trick YOU into handing over your private details. Be on the lookout for these common phishing scams next time you’re roaming the web!


  1.   Foreign Lottery Scam

With this tactic you generally receive an email informing you that you have just won the lottery of some far-away land! To obtain these exorbitant funds you simply have to send a small fee to cover the transfer cost. A simple online search will show that this thrilling lottery is no more than phony website with a long distance phone number. Typically if the sending address doesn’t look familiar, or if you have not applied to any foreign lotteries, it will be a dead giveaway that this email is just an attempt to get your information and your money.


  1.   Survey Scam

Do you like supporting the humane society or other animal organizations? This scam takes advantage of your online history and sends you a survey to submit your opinion on issues that matter to you. Instead of using your responses on animal treatment, this system discovers your email address, and other relative personal information, to hack your account and send out further spam emails.


  1.   Online Banking Scam

Most phishing schemes disguise themselves as something familiar, often as PayPal or even your personal bank. This particular scam typically indicates that some type of immediate action is needed, and your financial account is at risk. Before sending any type of reply communication, check the source of the email, and call your personal contact at the organization to see if the email is legitimate. If you question the validity of any portion of the email, delete it and call the company this con artist is attempting to masquerade as ASAP.


  1.   Clickbait

Social media has a hacking arena all its own. With links scattered across newsfeeds, it’s often hard to determine what is genuine and what is clickbait. Clickbait is a link generated using common controversial issues to get you to click on it. Once clicked, the link may switch to a Facebook login, where you login again. Unfortunately this false login page is a common maneuver by cyber criminals to get your social media login. Having this information, online criminals can now access your account and spam the people you are connected with.


If you think you’ve been a victim of an online phishing scam and your personal banking information has been compromised, call Raccoon Valley Bank. We’ll help you watch for signs of identity theft within your personal bank accounts.

The Top 5 Budgeting Apps to Get You Organized

Online Banking

Have you noticed yourself hitting the “check out” button a little more frequently when you shop on your phone? You’re not alone. In 2015, mobile commerce grew to a staggering 30% of all U.S. online shopping. This shows a growing trend of mobile purchasing moving billions of dollars in sales via handheld technology.

While smart phones enable spending, they can also be powerful tools for strategic saving. Check out these top budgeting apps and learn how to easily keep track of your finances.

  1. By pulling all your balances and transactions into one simple design, Mint allows you to see the big picture. You can add accounts, cards, and bills and track spending patterns and investments in real time. A budget calculated by your average spending will break down where your cash is flowing from month-to-month and year-to-year so you can watch your savings progress over time. (Free)
  2. If spur-of-the-moment spending is your weakness, PocketGuard is here for you. Connecting directly to your bank accounts, the app’s home screen tells you how much you’ve spent for the day, week, or month in relation to your income. With transactions automatically updated 24/7 you have an instant visual of your personal cash flow. (Free)
  3. Level Money. This helpful app aids you in spending for the short-term and saving for the long-term. By analyzing your income and expenses, Level Money reveals a daily allowance to help you save for a larger purchases or pay down debt. Connect the app straight to your bank account and create goals for saving and spending, all backed by a planning module that sends reminders and encouragements to help you stick to your goals. (Free)
  4. You Need a Budget. YNAB operates on 4 Rules; Give every dollar a job, save for a rainy day, roll with the punches, and live on last month’s income. This app adjusts your entire budget to prevent overspending. This app also ensures a constant safety cushion of funds so you’re never scrambling to cover unexpected expenses. ($5/month or $50/year)
  5. Good Budget. Unclutter your envelope budget with this exciting app. Instead of juggling a stack of envelopes for different expenditure categories, you can open digital folders on one simple screen. For joint accounts, you can easily synch the app with your spouse across multiple devices to prevent double dipping into funds. ($15/3 months or $24/6 months)

If you’re ready to take the first steps in re-evaluating your budget stop by Raccoon Valley Bank today. With knowledgeable lender, we’re here to answer all of your budgeting needs.

Five Budgeting Tips for 2016



The average debt-carrying household has more than $15,000 in outstanding credit card balances. That kind of debt places a significant strain on your finances, and can really hurt your credit score.


To avoid running up a big balance — or accumulating a bigger one, if you’re already behind on credit card payments — use the first few weeks of 2016 to create a well-thought-out budget.


Here’s how to get started.


  1. Have larger goals in mind

Most people don’t create budgets for their own sake. Instead, their monthly spending plans allow them to meet larger goals, including paying down debt, bolstering retirement savings or saving enough for a mortgage down payment.


Before you draw up your budget, think about your personal big-picture objectives. They should be as specific as possible. Detailed goals are much easier to track and measure than vague ones.


  1. Create spending categories

Apply the same level of detail to your budget’s spending categories, and go beyond simply differentiating between essential and nonessential expenses. Set aside money for your rent or mortgage, groceries, gas, and contributions to short- and long-term savings accounts. Then divide your nonessential spending into categories such as restaurant meals, trips to the movies and new clothes. This specificity will give you much better insight into your spending habits.


  1. Track your spending

Sorting your spending into smaller categories also makes it easier to track how much you’re shelling out each month — and the areas in which you need to spend less. Conversely, if your spending in a certain category is far below the upper limit that you’ve set, reduce the amount you budget for that category and reallocate those funds elsewhere, perhaps to your retirement savings.


  1. Review receipts and online statements

Make tracking your spending easy by keeping paper receipts or using online banking tools offered by financial institutions like Raccoon Valley Bank. Without them, it will be difficult to remember your last four weeks’ worth of spending. Receipts and statements also let you track your outgoing expenses based on various date ranges, which should give you better insight into your spending habits.

  1. Hold yourself accountable

All the time and effort you expend coming up with a budget will be wasted if you abandon it after only a few weeks. One of the best ways to stay on track is to regularly remind yourself of your larger financial goals.


Knowing what you’re working toward — be it debt elimination or saving for a summer trip — will keep you motivated, and will help pave the way for a financially secure 2016.


Tony Armstrong, NerdWallet

© Copyright 2015 NerdWallet, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Making Banking Easier: Our Online Tools

Mobile Deposit

Raccoon Valley Bank

Online Banking Tools


Technology is a constantly evolving medium, and we’re continuing to grow with it! At Raccoon Valley Bank we offer a variety of digital tools for our customers. Take a look and discover a new way to manage your finances through our online technology!


Online Banking: Conveniently access all your banking accounts through our secure online portal. Not only does this give you a quick and easy way to manage your finances but it’s also where you can view a complete account history, re-order checks, transfer funds, and more!


Mobile Banking: Enjoy all the perks of online banking from the comfort of your mobile device. This easy mobile tool allows you to keep up on your finances while you’re away or during your busy day.


Remote Deposit: Not sure if you’ll have time to stop by for a quick deposit? Deposit your funds on the go with our quick and secure remote deposit. Available on our convenient app!


Online Bill Pay: Tired of writing checks for your monthly expenses? With our Online Bill Pay you can schedule reoccurring payments and take the hassle out of paying your monthly expenses. Go through our easy setup process and you can start paying bills directly from your Online Banking account!


Online Mortgage Applications: You can now apply for a home loan from anywhere!  Simply visit the Raccoon Valley Bank Mortgage page on our website and follow the easy step-by-step process.


E-Statements: Make a difference and go green with our E-statements at Raccoon Valley Bank. Not only are you helping the environment, but our E-Statements offer a quicker, simpler process to obtain your monthly statements. Simply log-in to your Online Banking page, click on User Services and select Account Statements to sign up!


Open a Savings or Checking Account: We want to make your transition to Raccoon Valley Bank as simple as possible! If you’re looking to open a new account simply hop on our website to sign-up.


Here at Raccoon Valley Bank it’s all about YOU, our customers! We love the ease and simplicity these products offer for the everyday financial tasks. Sign up online or call us at (515) 993-4581 to try them out! We would love to help you find the best product solution for your individual needs.


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