Monthly Archives: November 2019

Holiday Fraud Trends

Holiday Fraud Trends

This year is expected to be one of the highest online shopping years ever. With the ease of being able to shop at home on your couch, consumers are realizing there is no need to face busy crowds and wait in long lines when you can order virtually every gift online.

With this in mind, here is what you need to be cautious of:

Click Here Emails: Be careful with emails that state you are being given a holiday gift or free gift from a popular merchant. Beware of the ‘Click Here’ catch.

Retailer Email Scam: Be cautious of emails you receive from retailers saying your account is about to expire and your account will be de-activated if you don’t follow the provided steps.

Bargain Shopper: If you are a bargain shopper, make sure to check online for reviews on Google or the Better Business Bureau. Type in the seller’s name/business with “scam” and see if it checks out.

Gift Cards: If you are purchasing gift cards for that hard to buy person, make sure to check the back of the card to verify that the area with the protective scratch-off hasn’t been tampered with.

Charity Giving: The holidays bring out the warm side of people and the desire to spread holiday cheer. If you decide to donate to a charity, make sure it’s one that you are familiar with. Research before donating.

When shopping online, you can follow these steps:

  • Only provide card or account details on secure websites when checking out. Look for the padlock symbol.
  • Use PayPal to check out, if possible.
  • Always keep your device’s security software up-to-date.
  • Check account statements and report any suspicious transactions immediately.

Happy holidays and safe shopping!

How to get the most out of those Black Friday deals

How to get the most out of those Black Friday deals

While there are certain to be some deals to be found in the holiday shopping mix, others aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Here’s how to play the game.

Know the parameters: We live in a world where it’s commonplace for some of your favorite stores to always be running sales. If 25% off the whole store happens every other week (or so it seems) then that becomes the real price and true sales have to feature deeper discounts. In general, if the item is marked at 20% off the typical sale price, then it’s a good deal, says Casey Runyan, Managing Editor for Brad’s deals.

Compare to be sure: has a price checker tool that compares prices for thousands of items in one database. You can look through to see when the product was the cheapest, says Edgar Dworksy, Founder and Editor of Runyan recommends checking the prices that big retail stores are promoting and compare them with each other. Start looking now to weed through the “filler deals” and find the ones that are really worth it.

Bundles can be promising: Look for items that come with a bonus or a bundle, says Runyan. Typically, retailers have to sell an item at a price set by the brand, but they can add extra items (an extra pot or pan, an extra video game) to give the buyer a better value. They also might offer a gift card or cash back option, she says. Getting more bang for your buck is always a good deal.

Stick to your plan: If you’re hitting stores on Black Friday (or the days around the holiday) you should do it with an idea of what you’re shopping for specifically. Then, stick to it. Black Friday is all about the game - getting consumers’ blood pumping because of the excitement of the sale. Try to resist the FOMO, says Runyan.

Happy Shopping.

Information Contributed by: Jean Chatzky of Savvymoney

Holiday Branch Hours

Holiday Branch Hours

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and for many that means the opportunity to spend time with friends and family. Our offices will observe the holidays to give our employees the opportunity to celebrate with their loved ones. Please, make note of the following holiday schedule changes:
Thursday, November 28 | Thanksgiving

All branches are closed and will reopen on Friday, November 29 with regular hours.
Tuesday, December 24, Christmas Eve

All branches will close at 1:00 PM. CT
Wednesday, December 25 | Christmas

All branches are closed and will reopen on Thursday, December 26 with regular hours.
Tuesday, December 31 | New Year’s Eve

All branches are open, but will close at 3:00 PM. CT
Wednesday, January 1 | New Year’s Day

All branches are closed and will reopen on Thursday, January 2 with regular hours.

To find your local branch’s regular hours, please visit the Locations and Hours section of our website.

Happy Holidays!

Introducing Zelle® - Coming Soon!

Introducing Zelle® - Coming Soon!

There was never a reason to celebrate sending money to someone. Until now!

With Zelle, it’s easy to send ’ and receive ’ money.

Fast: Money is sent from your account into theirs typically in minutes.1
Safe: With the security you already know and trust from First International Bank and Trust.
Easy: Send money to almost anyone you know and trust using only their email address or U.S. mobile phone number.2

With these great features, you have a lot to look forward to. So go on, do a little dance. Exchanging money is about to become fun.