On Our Minds

What are the best college savings plans?

Let’s start with the popular 529 College Savings Plans, also known as “qualified tuition plans.” They are sponsored by states, state agencies, or educational institutions and are authorized by Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code.

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Retirement planning considerations

In the AARP’s “Five Secrets to a Happy Retirement,” Secret No 1 is “money isn’t everything.” Solid counterarguments notwithstanding, remember that in retirement, you won’t be commuting to work, paying payroll taxes toward Social Security and Medicare, or putting a chunk of every paycheck into a retirement account.

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What do I need to know before buying a home?

First things first, and that means getting your personal finances in order. Track your living expenses and create a strict budget, which will be invaluable in finding a home you can afford.

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Business owners: Your data is at risk from ransomware

Your company’s computer files are the lifeblood of your business, and cybercriminals are out to steal them. Imagine you or an employee receive an email at work that looks legitimate and includes a link the sender asks you to click for more information. As soon as you click on it, your entire network locks up and your entire operation grinds to a painful halt.

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Don’t neglect your financial information during hurricane season

If you’ve lived in Florida for any length of time, you know what happens every summer: Hurricane season. Longtime residents know the drill – protect yourself and your loved ones in terms of shelter, safety and supplies.

For a refresher, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and the National Hurricane Center have posted some important operational guidelines.

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Don’t Fall Prey to Tax Time Fraud

Scammers routinely use the anxiety of tax season to prey on the unsuspecting, and this year, they’re also using the pandemic and the government’s Economic Impact Payments to steal money and identities from taxpayers.

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Watch Out for Fake Currency

You may think counterfeiting is not the problem it once was, but according to the United States Department of Treasury, an estimated $70 million in counterfeit bills are in circulation, or approximately one counterfeit note for every 10,000 in genuine currency.

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Avoid Corporate Account Takeover

Cybercriminals are targeting small businesses with increasingly sophisticated attacks. “Corporate account takeover” is a form of identity theft of a business. Criminals phony emails pretending to be someone you know to trick you into clicking on links or attachments that can lead to malicious software being installed on your computer. Once this happens, they will ask you to enter credentials where they will gain access to your email account. At that point, they will send emails to the bank appearing to be from you to initiate ACH and wire transactions.

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6 WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR BUSINESS FROM BUSINESS EMAIL COMPROMISE SCAMS

Companies of all sizes are being targeted by criminals through business email compromise scams. In these scams, cybercriminals gain access to an employee’s legitimate business email through social engineering or computer intrusion. The criminal then impersonates the employee often a senior executive or someone who can authorize payments and instructs others to transfer funds on their behalf. According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, over $10 billion has been lost by victims in the U.S. due to these scams.

“Any business that conducts transactions overseas or regularly performs wire transfers should stay alert for these scams,” said Certified Information Security Manager Margo Leiter. “Companies can protect themselves and their employees by using alternative communication channels to verify any large transaction requests and by educating their employees on potential red flags of fraud.”

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Why should I use my debit card?

One reason is our new “Use It. Love It. Win It.” Sweepstakes.* You can earn $500 just by using your Wauchula State Bank Visa® Debit Card for everyday purchases. Sound good? Check out the official rules and details.

The sweepstakes is not the only reason to use your debit card. You may already be using it for dining and entertainment, groceries, gas, shopping online, and monthly bills like utilities, cell phone plans, gym membership, auto insurance, and much more.

What are some of the other advantages of using a debit card?

  • Convenience. Regular debit card users appreciate how fast and easy transactions are made.
  • Reduced dependency on cash and checks. Writing checks is time consuming and antiquated. Many vendors no longer accept personal checks, and even if they do, you have to be careful and monitor your account balance to avoid overdraft fees. It only takes a moment to complete a purchase with a debit card.
  • No debt. With a credit card, it's easy to purchase anything you want, even if you don't have the funds, which can lead to enormous credit card debt. WalletHub.com reports that Americans began 2020 owing more than $1 trillion in credit card debt.
A debit card draws on money you already have. Retailers know people usually spend more when using plastic than if they were paying cash. By using debit cards, impulsive spenders can avoid the temptation of credit and the interest, late fees, and other charges paid by those who do not pay off their credit card balances each month. With debit cards, you don't have to remember to pay the credit card bill every month.

  • No approval necessary. If you have poor credit, it can be difficult to be approved for a credit card and the interest rate will likely be sky high. Debit cards require no application or minimum credit score, and most just require you to have a checking account.
  • Fraud protection. Insert your card rather than swiping it. The introduction of chip card technology for debit and credit cards has stopped a lot of point-of-sale fraud.
Downloading the bank’s MobiMoney app allows you to manage your Visa® Debit Card from the palm of your hand. You can receive instant card usage alerts, turn your card on or off, limit the use of your card based on location or merchant, and place spending limits. Learn more and download the app.

Why choose a Wauchula State Bank Visa® Debit Card? Visa’s industry leadership is your assurance of capability and quality at the highest level. Here’s what sets Visa apart:

  • The Visa Network – widely accepted around the world, with over 46 million merchant locations globally.
  • A commitment to uncovering debit potential and increasing usage.
  • Sophisticated risk and fraud detection techniques to safeguard transactions.
All this, PLUS the chance to win $500! That’s a real win-win for everybody.

*No Purchase Necessary | See Official Rules at http://www.uselovewin.com.

Click here to see some recent winners.

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