The Village Bank announces promotion, three new hires

Joseph DeVito, president and CEO of The Village Bank, has announced the promotion of Slater Cram as well as the hiring of Michael Jordan, Regina Farnese and Chris Letourneau.

Slater Cram, who joined The Village Bank in 2006, was promoted to assistant vice president/digital banking manager. A Newton native, Cram had been the manager of the Auburndale branch since 2016. He previously served as the assistant manager of the West Newton branch, a supervisor in Auburndale and a teller at the Waban branch. In his new role, he will be responsible for advancing the Bank’s digital banking strategy through online and mobile channels. He holds a degree from Boston College.

Michael Jordan was hired in February as vice president/branch administrator. He previously was a senior vice president at Members Plus Credit Union and also held positions at Metro Credit Union, Salem Five Bank and Marblehead Savings Bank. The Peabody resident will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Bank’s branch network, elevating the customer experience and executing best practices for retail banking. He holds degrees from Bentley University and Northeastern University.

Regina Farnese was hired in February as assistant vice president/Auburndale branch manager. A resident of Auburndale, Farnese had been an assistant vice president/branch manager for Santander Bank since 2010. She also held positions at Randolph Savings Bank, Boston Federal and Citizens Bank. She will be responsible for managing the Bank’s largest branch office. She holds a degree from Fisher College and enjoys traveling with her husband and three children.

Chris Letourneau was hired in January as assistant treasurer/marketing officer. He previously worked as a sports editor for the Boston Herald and has done marketing work for Laudio, Inc. He will be responsible for driving and executing the Bank’s marketing initiatives and managing The Village Bank website. He is a Newton resident and holds a degree from Stonehill College.


Beware of top frauds

2020 was a busy year for fraud. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received more than 2.2 million reports about fraud and reported nearly $3.3 billion in losses. The top scams of last year:

·         Imposter Scams: Fraudsters pretending to be government officials, businesses, family and friends ware atop the list in 2020. The FTC received 500,000 reports of imposter scams and reported losses of $1.2 billion. Fraudsters also made good use of COVID-19 and stimulus payment news to make their scams effective.

·         Online Shopping: The pandemic increased our online shopping habit, and there were many reports of sellers never delivering their promised goods. The FTC reported 350,000 cases and losses of more than $245 million.

·         Phone Scams: Both calls and texts remain the top method fraudsters use to reach their victims. Many of these scam calls were pandemic-related, including promises of economic relief, stimulus payments and small business loans.

The Village Bank is committed to keeping its customers safe. If you have spotted or fallen victim to a scam contact The Village Bank immediately at (617) 969-4300 and report it to the FTC here.


Newly Renovated Wayland Branch Ribbon Cutting

The Village Bank held a ribbon cutting ceremony to commemorate the grand opening of its newly renovated branch in Wayland. The renovation includes an update to the floor plan.

“We hope that the new look and functionality of our Wayland branch will make for a more pleasant and efficient banking experience for our customers,” said President and CEO of The Village Bank Joseph A. De Vito.


The Village Bank announces 2021 scholarship program

NEWTON, MASSACHUSETTS — Joseph A. De Vito, president and CEO of The Village Bank, announced the Bank’s Auburndale Community Charitable Foundation is now accepting college scholarship applications from local high school seniors.

Seventeen scholarships totaling $50,000 will be awarded to college-bound students of the Class of 2021. The scholarships can be applied toward tuition, room and board, or supplies at an accredited college or university. The application deadline is April 2, 2021.

The Foundation will award two $10,000 scholarships and fifteen $2,000 scholarships. The $10,000 scholarships require that, in addition to academic achievement, the recipient must have been actively involved in community and/or charitable causes, in a leadership capacity. Eligible applicants who are Newton or Wayland residents will be considered in both award categories. Eligible applicants who do not reside in Newton or Wayland will be considered for the $2,000 awards.

“The $10,000 scholarships will recognize students who not only excel, but who also share The Village Bank’s strong commitment to supporting the community and initiatives that directly benefit our friends and neighbors,” De Vito said.

Complete rules, requirements, and application forms are available at local high schools and at The Village Bank’s branches in Auburndale, Newton Centre, Newtonville, Nonantum, Newton Highlands, Waban, West Newton and Wayland. The information also is available online at

The Auburndale Community Charitable Foundation’s investment in education since the program began in 1998 will total more than $900,000 with this year’s awards, according to De Vito. The scholarships are funded in part by the Golf Classic held by The Village Bank each fall.

The Village Bank, chartered by the state in 1910, has eight full-service offices in Newton and Wayland and a Village Loan Center in Upper Falls. The Bank offers online banking services at and maintains a Facebook presence at

The Bank is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Depositors Insurance Fund (DIF).


Safer Internet Day 2.9.21

Tuesday, February 9 is Safer Internet Day, an event geared toward creating more positive and safe usage of digital technology by all people, especially the younger generations. Once again, the theme this year is “Together for a Better Internet,” which hopefully will raise awareness of emerging online issues and concerns, from digital identity to cyberbullying.

Join The Village Bank in celebrating and raising awareness for a safer internet. The following resources outline ways to keep digital technology safe and accessible:


Identity Theft Awareness Week, Part 3: Resources

Identity Theft Awareness Week comes to a close on February 5, but the risk of identity theft remains. At The Village Bank, the security of your information is a top priority, and as threats continue to grow and evolve, we will continue working hard to keep you safe and informed. The following is a list of resources outlining what identity theft is, how to protect yourself from it, and steps to take in the event identity theft strikes.

If you feel you have fallen victim to identity theft, please contact The Village Bank immediately at (617) 969-4300.


Identity Theft Awareness Week, Part 2: Protecting yourself

Identity Theft Awareness Week is February 1-5, and in the second part of our series, we want to focus on steps you can take to protect yourself from becoming a victim of identity theft. There are a variety of ways your information could become compromised, so be sure to take proactive steps to keep your personal information safe.

  • Use strong passwords: Passwords are your first defense against identity thieves. Use long passwords, include numbers and special characters where possible, and change them frequently. Don’t include your name or birthdate, and be sure to change your password if you suspect it has been compromised.
  • Mix up your passwords: Identity thieves count on victims using the same password across multiple devices and financial accounts. Use a variety of passwords, and change them regularly.
  • Avoid suspicious links and websites: It’s common for fraudsters to use shady websites, links and email attachments to gather personal information from victims. Never click a link or attachment from someone you don’t know, and use caution browsing websites you don’t recognize. Never enter usernames and passwords on unfamiliar login screens.
  • Don’t give out your information: Fraudsters often pose as legitimate organizations requesting your personal information, such as social security number and bank information. No company or organization will ever call you asking for personal information.
  • Check your credit report: Check with a credit monitoring agency such as Experian, Equifax or Transunion to see your credit report for any discrepancies. If you believe identity theft has occurred, you can also set up a fraud alert to notify you in the event of a security breach or suspicious activity.
  • Protect documents: Limit the amount of physical records you keep by shredding unnecessary documents, mail and receipts. Store documents in a safe place, and don’t leave sensitive information out in the open.
  • Limit your exposure: Don’t carry your social security card or more credit cards than necessary in your wallet. If stolen, the impact will be less severe. Additionally, be careful visiting websites you are not familiar with and use caution when making online purchases.

As we go through Identity Theft Awareness Week, we will provide resources you can use as identity theft adapts to the changing financial landscape. As always, resources are freely available at the FTC website and The Village Bank Security Center.

If you feel you have fallen victim to identity theft, please contact The Village Bank immediately at (617) 969-4300 and report the identity theft by clicking this link. At The Village Bank, we are committed to protecting your privacy. We pride ourselves on maintaining confidential information with the utmost respect and integrity.


Identity Theft Awareness Week, Part 1: What is Identity Theft?

Identity Theft Awareness Week is February 1-5, and in this first post, we at The Village Bank want to share with our customers what exactly identity theft is and how it works. Later in the week, we will offer tips and information on how to protect yourself.

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, identity theft cases surged in 2020. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), there were double the number of reported identity theft cases (1.4 million) in 2020 than in 2019, three times the number of tax identity theft cases (89,390), and 30 times the number of government benefits fraud reports (394,280).

Identity theft is a broad term which applies to any use of stolen personal information, such as a social security number, to create new accounts, make purchases or commit other fraud. Identity theft can occur as the result of data breaches, unsecure browsing of the internet, malware activity, phishing, email and phone spam attacks, mail theft and card skimming. In many cases, by the time victims realize identity theft has happened, the damage already has been done.

One general tip to follow: If anyone makes a request for personal information that you were not expecting, do not give them any information. It is a scam.

As we go through Identity Theft Awareness Week, we will review ways you can keep yourself safe from identity theft and provide resources you can use as identity theft adapts to the changing financial landscape. As always, resources are freely available at the FTC website and The Village Bank Security Center.

If you feel you have fallen victim to identity theft, please contact The Village Bank immediately at (617) 969-4300 and report the identity theft by clicking this link. At The Village Bank, we are committed to protecting your privacy. We pride ourselves on maintaining confidential information with the utmost respect and integrity.


Renovated Wayland branch now open

The Village Bank is excited to welcome customers into our renovated Wayland lobby beginning Monday, January 25, at 9 a.m. The project began on November 9 and spanned 11 weeks, during which the branch remained open and serviced customers through the drive-up window. The new look features renovated office space, a coin machine, cash recycler, CSR desk and a small conference room. We thank all Wayland customers for their patience during the renovation project and invite you to stop in and check out this beautiful space!


Small business fraud a legitimate threat

Recent coronavirus-related scams are targeting small businesses. It starts with emails claiming to be from the “Small Business Administration Office of Disaster Assistance” stating the business is eligible for a loan up to $250,000. The email then asks for personal information such as date of birth and social security number.

Here are the red flags of a COVID-related scam targeting small businesses:

  1. Unexpected emails or phone calls claiming to be from the IRS, Social Security Administration or Small Business Administration. The FTC warns about government imposter scams.
  2. Automatic eligibility for big loans. Real lenders never do this.
  3. Requests for date of birth and social security number. This is a tip-off that the sender is trying to steal personal information.

Phishing attempts aren’t the only scam business owners are reporting. Some victims report having applied for loans through websites claiming to be part of the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, which has been extended to December 31, 2021. Others report being contacted to repay loans which fraudsters took out in their name.

Here are steps to protect ourselves and our customers from fraud targeting small businesses:

  • Check credit reports. The worst time to learn someone has taken out a loan in your name is when you’re applying for a loan yourself. Credit reports can be checked at, the authorized source for the free reports consumers are guaranteed by law. In addition, the three major credit bureaus are offering free weekly online reports to consumers through April 2021. If you’re not in the market for credit or a loan, freezing your credit offers a free extra measure of protection.
  • Look for reliable sources of information. Don’t click links from unsolicited emails and be careful with online search engine results. Scammers often bait their online traps with sound-alike names and URLs, phony endorsements, and professional-looking websites. For small business owners looking for COVID-relief programs, always start at, the official site of the Small Business Administration. Or reach out to a trusted financial institution in your community.
  • Check out lenders before sharing personal information. Scammers impersonating lenders have the perfect excuse to request personal information. Don’t leave a trail of personal information exposed by filling out applications online with lenders you don’t know. Investigate lenders first. If you spot something suspicious, file a report at

If you believe you or another customer have fallen victim to fraud, contact The Village Bank immediately at 617-969-4300.

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