Security Articles & Alerts

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Did you know that National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is observed every October? Launched in 2004, the effort looks to ensure every American has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online. With the help of the American Bank’s Association and the National Cybersecurity Alliance, we will be promoting awareness and providing resources for our customers about staying safe when banking online.

Here are some resources you can refer to at any point in time:

American Banks Association:

National Cybersecurity Alliance:

Follow us on social media as we post more tips and tricks throughout the month!

 

Newsroom

Gittens elected to Village Bank Board of Directors

The Village Bank Chairman Kenneth C. Brennan has announced the election of Donna Latson Gittens, MBA, of Dorchester to the Board of Directors.

“We are extremely excited to have someone of Donna’s experience, knowledge, and community commitment join the Board of Directors,” Brennan said. “We welcome her aboard and look forward to her contributions to the continued success of our organization.”

Gittens is the founder and chief executive officer of MORE Advertising in Watertown, a women-founded and women-led firm focused on mission-based and cause-related marketing. Before founding MORE in 1997, she worked at WCVB-TV in Needham, where she held positions of vice president and director of community relations.

Gittens is a graduate of Cathedral High School and Park University in Kansas City. She did her graduate work at Northeastern University, where she received an MBA. She has earned numerous awards and achievements throughout her career, including the first annual Most Valuable Diverse Partner award from the Boston Red Sox and Major League Baseball and the Pinnacle Award for Entrepreneurship from the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. She holds an honorary degree from Elms College.

Gittens is a frequent guest speaker at symposia, meetings and conferences on topics ranging from entrepreneurship to health communications and community issues. She is on the executive committee for the Associated Industries of Massachusetts and is a member of the Massachusetts Marketing Partnership and Massachusetts Women’s Forum.

“It is an honor to add Donna Gittens to our talented group of directors,” Village Bank president and CEO Joseph A. De Vito said. “Her experience and dedication to the community make her a perfect fit for the Bank and its mission.”

Newsroom

The Village Bank awards $66,000 in scholarships to Class of 2021 students

Joseph A. De Vito, president & CEO of The Village Bank announced today that the Auburndale Community Charitable Foundation has awarded scholarships totaling $66,000 to 25 local students.

Clara Gross of Newton North High School and Meredith Prince of Wayland High School each received a $10,000 scholarship. Both were selected for their academic achievement and for taking a leadership role in community and charitable causes.

In addition, 23 students from local high schools were awarded $2,000 scholarships, including:

Abigail Arndt – Newton South High School
James Babcock – Arlington Catholic High School
Adriana Cedrone – Newton North High School
Alexa Cerone – Newton North High School
Dante D’Antonio – Walnut Hill School for the Arts
Ava DeNucci – Newton North High School
Christopher DiSciullo – Boston College High School
Abigail Ferraro – Waltham High School
Noah Heinstein – Newton North High School
Liam Henley – Wayland High School
Megan Innis – Framingham High School
Michael Leary – Newton North High School
Michael Lee – St. Sebastian’s School
Anthony Mastroianni – Waltham High School
Christopher Mastroianni – Waltham High School
Aidan McCarthy – Newton South High School
Claire Nye – Ursuline Academy
Romina Paola – Newton North High School
Giuseppe Presti – Catholic Memorial School
Grace Tourtelotte – Newton South High School
John Tramontozzi – North Reading High School
Mark Tramontozzi – North Reading High School
Michael Yerardi – Newton North High School

“We’re delighted to not only continue our tradition of recognizing the achievements of local students, but also to expand our giving to award 25 scholarships this year,” said De Vito.

Since its inception in 1998, The Auburndale Community Charitable has awarded more than $900,000 in scholarships. The scholarships are funded in part by the Bank’s Annual Golf Classic held each fall.

Security Articles & Alerts

Rising fraud cases come in many different forms

Unfortunately for citizens of the United States, fraud never has been more prominent. Banks around the country have seen the number of fraud incidents in 2021 surpass the total from all of 2020, and we’re not even through the summer yet. Customers of The Village Bank should beware of many different types of fraud. Here are a few examples, along with some ways to protect yourself:

IMPOSTER SCAMS

How they work: You might get a call or email from someone pretending to be a friend, a member of your family, a government official or someone you met online. The fraudster will ask you to wire him/her money for a number of different reasons, usually an emergency.

What you can do: The smartest action would be to call that person. If the email in question is from a family member, call them to confirm their situation. Odds are they would have called and not emailed you in the first place. The same strategy applies if the message is from a government official. No real government agent or agency will ever ask you to wire money to them.

IDENTITY THEFT

How it works: A fraudster will obtain your credit card information, social security number, Medicare number, etc., and compile a bill in your name.

What you can do: The best defense against identity theft is to use strong and secure passwords for all your accounts. Also, never give out your social security number unless it is a trusted source on a secure platform. Another way to protect yourself is to shred any document that has this information of it before throwing it away.

CHARITY SCAMS

How they work: You will be contacted by someone asking you to make a donation to a charity. It might sound like something you’ve heard of or even donated to in the past. Typically, the fraudster will try to pressure you into donating quickly with cash or a money wire. Often they will not send you any specific information about their “charity” or what the money will be used for.

What you can do: One way to deal with this is to ask the “charity” to send you information in the mail. If the person agrees, make sure to do some research before the information arrives to be sure it is a legitimate source. Another option is to ask the “charity” a lot of questions. For example, you could ask how the charity wants to be paid, if the donation is tax deductible, how much of it goes to the charity, what the money will be used for, etc.

“YOU’VE WON” SCAMS

How they work: Somebody will contact you saying you’ve won something, perhaps a trip, a car or another expensive prize. The fraudster will sound excited on the in order to make you to feel like it is real. Then, in order to claim your winnings, the fraudster will tell you there’s a small fee and that your credit card or bank is required.

What you can do: Unless you remember entering a contest and can prove it’s real, never give out this type of information to someone claiming they need it.

At The Village Bank, nothing is more important to us than the privacy and safety of our customers. We are committed to keeping your accounts and personal information safe. If you ever have questions about a potentially fraudulent situation, contact our Customer Care Center immediately at (617) 969-4300.

Newsroom

Welcome back!

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a time of uncertainty and separation, in the banking industry and around the world. After more than a year of social distancing and capacity limits, we are onto better days. Massachusetts relaxed all remaining COVID-19 restrictions on May 29, and everyone at The Village Bank is proud to say:

Welcome back!

The Village Bank, like many other banks during the pandemic, has been intensely focused on helping our customers remotely. We have steered customers to our website, our Customer Care Center and to Village Online Banking, our digital platform. And while we will continue to build and enhance these options (click here to enroll in Village Online Banking), we are seeing a resurgence in foot traffic at our branches.

As a community bank, this is music to our ears. We love seeing our valued customers back at the branches in person and encourage you to come in and visit us. We’ve missed you, and we’ve missed seeing your faces! Face coverings no longer are required for customers or employees at our branches. Those who wish to wear face coverings are welcome to wear them. We want you to be as comfortable as possible.

At The Village Bank, the safety and service of our customers, community members and team members continue to be top priority. Here are some other reminders about what you’ll see in our branches:

  • Plexiglass dividers will remain in place at each teller window and in each platform office.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available in all branches, and nanoseptic skins will remain on high-touch surfaces.
  • Floor stickers have been removed, and social distancing protocols no longer are in place.
  • Transactions slips are now available in check-writing desks for customer usage.
  • Chairs have been placed back into lobbies.
  • Coffee stations, computer kiosks and business tables will remain unavailable for the time being.

And perhaps most importantly, lollipops are available in all branches!

For the safety of all, we still ask you to refrain from coming into our branches if you have symptoms of COVID-19. Otherwise, welcome back to The Village Bank. We are so happy to see you again, and we are ready to help with all your banking needs.

Newsroom

The Village Bank promotes Rouleau, Hopkin; hires Abazi

Joseph De Vito, president and CEO of The Village Bank, has announced the promotions of Corey Rouleau and Elijah Hopkin as well as the hiring of Valdet Abazi.

Corey Rouleau was promoted to vice president and treasurer in April. Rouleau joined The Village Bank in September 2009 as a staff accountant. In 2014, she was promoted to assistant treasurer/staff accountant, and in 2017 to assistant vice president/staff accountant. In 2019, Rouleau was promoted to assistant vice president/assistant controller.

In her new role, Rouleau will be responsible for overseeing the Bank’s accounting operations and fiscal reporting, with a focus on establishing and meeting financial objectives. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Nichols College and a master’s degree in finance from New England College of Business. The Charlton resident also earned a banking certification in finance and management from the Connecticut Bankers Association.

Elijah Hopkin was promoted to Waban branch manager in April. An Idaho native and Boston resident, Hopkin was hired by The Village Bank in April 2015 and most recently held the position of assistant branch manager at the Auburndale branch office. Previously, he progressed from teller to senior teller to teller supervisor to senior customer service representative. In his new role, Hopkin will foster new customer relationships, share responsibility for the daily branch operations and develop the team at the Waban branch office. He holds degrees from BYU-Idaho and Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge.

Valdet Abazi was hired as Newton Centre branch manager in March. Abazi previously was an assistant branch manager for East Boston Savings Bank and also held positions at Belmont Savings/Peoples United and Brookline Bank/First Commons Bank. Abazi will be responsible for the growth and success of The Village Bank’s newest branch office. The Kosovo native and Framingham resident holds a degree in management and informatics from the University of Pristina in Kosovo.

Security Articles & Alerts

Tech and romance scams on rise

Dear Village Bank customers,

Tech support and romance scams have risen dramatically in recent months. In some cases, the fraudster claims to be a service provider verifying a charge you didn’t make. In others, the fraudster reaches out through social media under the guise of starting a romantic relationship. In both cases, the fraudster wants access to your money and personal information.

If someone you don’t know contacts you unexpectedly, always keep in mind:

  • Never give out personal or bank account information.
  • Never give remote access to your computer to anyone.
  • Never call a provided number. Always look up the number online first.
  • Never send money to people you met on social media.

The Village Bank is committed to keeping your accounts and personal information safe. If you ever have questions about a potentially fraudulent situation, contact our Customer Care Center immediately at (617) 969-4300.

Newsroom

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.

Security Articles & Alerts

How to Spot, Stop, & Report Government Imposter Scams

 

Consumers reported more than 498,000 imposter scams to the Federal Trade Commission in 2020.

  • Nearly 1 in 5 people reported losing money
  • Overall, reported losses were nearly $1.2 billion
  • The median loss was $850
  • Almost one-third of the imposter scams reported involved someone posing as a government representative

How to Spot the Scam

Scammers will call, email, text, or direct message you on social media.

  • Scammers say you did not appear for jury duty and must pay a fine or you will be arrested.
  • Scammers say you will be fined, arrested, or deported if you do not pay taxes or some other debt right away.
  • Scammers say your Social Security or Medicare benefits have been suspended because of COVID-19-related office closures.
  • Scammers say you can get a free COVID-19 test kit from Medicare in exchange for giving personal or financial information.
  • Scammers say you owe back taxes, there is a problem with your return, or please verify your information.

STOP. These are all scams!

How to Stop & Report the Scam

  1. Don’t give information or money to anyone who calls, texts, emails, or direct messages you on social media. Keep your Social Security, bank account, debit and credit card numbers to yourself.
  2. Never make a payment to someone you don’t know, especially by gift card, mobile payment apps, money transfer, or cryptocurrency. Only scammers will demand you pay that way. They know these payments are hard to reverse.
  3. When in doubt, check it out. If you’re concerned about the request, contact the agency directly. Look up the government agency’s real number on the agency’s site and call to get the story.
  4. Report the scam to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov. Tell your bank, and be sure to share these tips with your friends and family.

Learn more at ftc.gov/imposters and aba.com/consumers

 

Newsroom

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.

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