Equifax Cyber Fraud Update

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On September 7, 2017, Equifax announced a cybersecurity incident potentially impacting approximately 143 million U.S. consumers.  Criminals exploited a website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files between mid-May through July 2017. The information accessed primarily includes names, Social Security Numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. In addition, credit card numbers of approximately 209,000 U.S. consumers, and dispute documents with personally identifying information for 182,000 U.S. consumers were accessed.

To find out if you are one of the affected individuals, Equifax has established a dedicated website, equifaxsecurity2017.com,screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am to help consumers and to sign up for free credit file monitoring and identity theft protection. The offering, called TrustedID Premier, includes 3-Bureau credit monitoring of Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion credit reports; copies of Equifax credit reports; the ability to lock and unlock Equifax credit reports; identity theft insurance; and Internet scanning for Social Security Numbers – all complimentary to U.S. consumers for one year. Equifax has also set up a dedicated call center number at 866-447-7559 and is open every day from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. Eastern time.

Equifax will send direct mail notices to consumers who were directly impacted.  The above website and phone will allow concerned U.S. consumers to confirm if they were impacted. Grandpoint Bank recommends our customers review the free premium monitoring service provided by Equifax.

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Junior Roman Joins Bank of Tucson

Junior Roman CroppedWe’re pleased to announce that Junior Roman has joined Bank of Tucson as Vice President and Relationship Manager. This former Chicago White Sox professional minor league player is batting for our team, now!

Junior comes to us by way of Bank of America, where he served as Financial Center Manager, and Tucson Old Pueblo Credit Union before that. In total, he has 13 years of banking experience.

Junior, who has risen quickly through the ranks during his banking career, attributes his success to going the extra mile to support his clients.

“I really care about all of them,” he says. “They see me as an advisor and become confident taking my advice.”

In fact, it was Junior’s close business relationships with his clients that led him to Bank of Tucson. After he heard about our bank and culture, and even lost some deals to us, he says he jumped at the opportunity to join us when a position opened up.

In addition to his work with Bank of Tucson, Junior is pursuing a degree in business management and finance with an eye toward further developing a long-term career in banking and helping Bank of Tucson grow.

Fluent in English and Spanish, Junior says his minor league baseball experience allowed him to learn about American culture. Originally from the Dominican Republic, Junior learned about differences with food, language, social habits and more.

Since moving to Arizona, he has always been eager to engage with his Tucson community, He has volunteered with the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation, Pima Probation Partnership, the Eric Hyde foundation, the Boys & Girls Club of Tucson and Youth on Their Own.

As for his hobbies, it’s no surprise that he counts baseball among them. Two of his three sons play baseball, Junior coaches a Little League team and he’s a volunteer for professional baseball clinic for kids of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe.

We’re excited to have such a well-rounded, dedicated professional joining our team. Welcome, Junior.

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The Children’s Museum Tucson/Oro Valley – A Community Treasure

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From l to r: Hilary Van Alsburg, Michael Luria, Michael Hannley and Teresa Truelson

We love supporting great non-profit institutions that define our region and make Tucson a wonderful place to live and visit. We recently presented a $2,500 check to The Children’s Museum Tucson to help the organization continue its tremendous work in providing creative spaces for kids to play, imagine and learn.

The Children’s Museum Tucson, located in the historic Carnegie Library, was founded in 1986. The museum features 11 indoor exhibits and party rooms as well as an outdoor courtyard with three additional exhibits. Some of the attractions, which are regularly changed and upgraded, include Whistle Stop, Gravity, Investigation Station, Techtopia, Wee World and Public Safety.

Every third Saturday of the month, kids can participate in the museum’s MyTime Inclusion Program, which “serves families with unique needs and in collaboration with community service providers. MyTime is open to any family who feels they and their children can benefit from an inclusive, positive environment.”

The museum’s second location, The Children’s Museum Oro Valley, located on N. Oracle Road, is targeted to kids from infants to five years old and provides arts, literacy and science-based programs to cultivate school readiness. Exhibits include Farmers’ Market, Toddler Town, Literacy Corner, Peek-A-Boo Palace, Art Studio and Lullaby Lounge.

As the holidays near, look out for the popular Gingerbread Workshop, held at the Oro Valley location, where kids can be creative decorating their own, premade gingerbread house.

Combined, the two museums serve more than 200,000 visitors each year. In 2016, the organization offered 48 free or reduced-admission days, representing a reinvestment of nearly $270,000 back into the community.

Tucsonians can be proud of The Children’s Museum Tucson, but the biggest fans are likely our smallest citizens. We’re proud to support the museum’s efforts to engage, challenge and delight Tucson’s youngest generation. Visit their website at childrensmuseumtucson.org.screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am

Childrens museum logo

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This icon appears next to every link that directs to a third party website not affiliated with Bank of Tucson. Please be advised that if you click this link you will be taken to a website hosted by another party, where you will no longer be subject to, or under the protection of, the privacy and security policies of Bank of Tucson. We recommend that you review and evaluate the privacy and security policies of the site that you are entering. Bank of Tucson assumes no liability for the content, information, security, policies or transactions provided by these other sites.

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Lilly Pulido Joins the Team at Bank of Tucson

Lilly PulidoWe’re excited to have added Tucson banking professional Liliana (Lilly) Pulido to our team as a client service specialist.

Lilly has 12 years of management experience and has proven herself a consummate people person. She’s fluent in both English and Spanish, so she can help our customers find creative banking solutions in both languages!

“I think the thing that has stood out the most since joining Bank of Tucson is how genuine everyone is about wanting to help,” she said. “The first week I arrived, our president, Mike Hannley, personally welcomed me and wanted to get to know me. Everyone else was like that too, and I didn’t even feel nervous about joining the lunch room my first day.”

Lilly says that she’s seen that same dynamic between Bank of Tucson’s employees and clients.

“The customer is our number one priority. No one has to wait to be served, and we even have a receptionist who makes sure everyone who calls gets to speak with a person…and never to a computer.”

Lilly says she’s looking forward to growing with the bank and getting to know the clients.

“It amazes me to see all the businesses that bank with us,” she said. “I recognize our customers all over town.”

Having lived in Tucson since 1989, Lilly understands the importance for a business to maintain a reputation of trustworthiness and superior service.

“I interviewed at several banks, and all my other interviewers told me that Bank of Tucson is their main competition,” she said. “I can already see why.”

When she’s not working, you might see Lilly at the gym, a concert or a museum. She loves to visit the Children’s Museum with her niece and nephew and was excited to learn that the museum banks with Bank of Tucson. She’s also an animal lover and has rescued four dogs from the streets.

“I love helping, and even if I don’t have the means, I’ll find a way to make a difference,” she said.

We think that she is a great fit for Bank of Tucson and our clients. Welcome, Lilly.

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Happy Independence Day

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In observance of our nation’s birthday, we wish everyone a happy 4th of July.

In honor of the holiday, we’d like to share some history about the American flag with you from usa-flag-site.org↗:

On January 1, 1776, the Continental Army was reorganized in accordance with a Congressional resolution which placed American forces under George Washington’s control. On that New Year’s Day the Continental Army was laying siege to Boston which had been taken over by the British Army. Washington ordered the Grand Union flag hoisted above his base at Prospect Hill. It had 13 alternate red and white stripes and the British Union Jack in the upper left-hand corner (the canton).

In May of 1776, Betsy Ross reported that she sewed the first American flag.

On June 14, 1777, in order to establish an official flag for the new nation, the Continental Congress passed the first Flag Act: “Resolved, That the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.”

Between 1777 and 1960, Congress passed several acts that changed the shape, design and arrangement of the flag and allowed for additional stars and stripes to be added to reflect the admission of each new state.

  • Act of January 13, 1794 – provided for 15 stripes and 15 stars after May 1795.
  • Act of April 4, 1818 – provided for 13 stripes and one star for each state, to be added to the flag on the 4th of July following the admission of each new state, signed by President Monroe.
  • Executive Order of President Taft dated June 24, 1912 – established proportions of the flag and provided for arrangement of the stars in six horizontal rows of eight each, a single point of each star to be upward.
  • Executive Order of President Eisenhower dated January 3, 1959 – provided for the arrangement of the stars in seven rows of seven stars each, staggered horizontally and vertically.
  • Executive Order of President Eisenhower dated August 21, 1959 – provided for the arrangement of the stars in nine rows of stars staggered horizontally and eleven rows of stars staggered vertically.

Today the flag consists of thirteen horizontal stripes, seven red alternating with 6 white. The stripes represent the original 13 colonies, the stars represent the 50 states of the Union. The colors of the flag are symbolic as well: Red symbolizes Hardiness and Valor, White symbolizes Purity and Innocence and Blue represents Vigilance, Perseverance and Justice.

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Erika Lee Joins Bank of Tucson

Lee Erika CroppedAs our new Executive Assistant, Erika Lee will have a key role in interacting with our clients and our staff, as well as providing our ever-busy President, Mike Hannley, with the support he needs to make sure Tucson businesses have the banking services and counsel they need to thrive and grow.

Erika came to us from COUNTRY Insurance & Financial Services, where she interacted with policyholders and agents and acted as a liaison between the agents and their office network, as well as providing general support. She’s fluent in English and Spanish, and she is a self-described people person.

“I really enjoy interacting with people,” she said. “I can be very social, but I’m also very observant.”

One thing Erika’s noticed since she started working at Bank of Tucson is the high level of customer service and positive energy that “stands out in my work history.” She’s already been quick to hit her stride at Bank of Tucson, saying, “They welcomed me so quickly that I feel like I’ve been here for years.”

Erika has expanded her community involvement through her work as a board member with Cascade Foundation of Southern Arizona, with a mission that is focused on providing a local support system for the bleeding disorder community in Southern Arizona. While she has volunteered in the past with Susan G. Komen and the American Diabetes Foundation, Cascade is her first experience serving on a board.

“When I began volunteering with the Cascade Foundation board, I was intrigued by how they give back – not just to a great cause, but also to one that’s exclusively focused on Southern Arizona. Through my board service, I’ve learned so much about hemophilia and the need to help people who have to deal with this genetic bleeding disorder.”

Erika encourages anyone who may want to volunteer with Cascade Foundation to contact the organization or even serve on its board. “This board is a great group of dynamic people, and we’re always looking for Tucsonans who want to make a difference in our community,” she said.

When she’s not working or helping charitable organizations, Erika likes to seize any opportunity to spend time with her family, including her teenage daughter, who has a talent for softball. “I’m at the ballpark most weekends, rooting her on,” she said.

Erika has her own fans here at Bank of Tucson. We’re excited to have her on our team, and we hope you have the chance to meet her.

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This icon appears next to every link that directs to a third party website not affiliated with Bank of Tucson. Please be advised that if you click this link you will be taken to a website hosted by another party, where you will no longer be subject to, or under the protection of, the privacy and security policies of Bank of Tucson. We recommend that you review and evaluate the privacy and security policies of the site that you are entering. Bank of Tucson assumes no liability for the content, information, security, policies or transactions provided by these other sites.

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Bank of Tucson Supports Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Southern Arizona

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For more than 76 years, Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Southern Arizona (JFCS), a nonprofit, nonsectarian organization, has provided responsive, quality, personalized behavioral healthcare and social services to children, families and adults without regard to race, gender, age, ethnicity, religion or income.

In support of their mission, Bank of Tucson recently made a $5,000 donation to JFCS for its First Responders Counseling Program, which provides confidential 24-hour therapeutic counseling to our community’s firefighters, police officers and other first-responders along with their families—at no cost to them.

According to JFCS, more than 700 first responders in Tucson respond to more than 80,000 calls every year. “First responders work long hours, face frequent danger and witness countless traumatizing events,” said Carlos Hernández, President & CEO of JFCS. “At JFCS, we recognize the urgency and need to provide confidential counseling with the goal of helping these brave men and women to cope and reduce personal and family stress.”

Bank of Tucson has actively supported many nonprofits in the Tucson community, including other emergency support services through the Tucson Police Foundation and Red Cross blood drives. We are also committed to perpetuating quality, accessible services to Tucson’s children and families.

“In light of recent incidents involving firefighters and their families, we want to do everything we can to help and hopefully prevent these tragic events from happening,” said Mike Hannley, President & CEO of Bank of Tucson.

In our community, we are fortunate to have many additional resources available to Tucson firefighters, including (compiled by the Tucson Fire Department):

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Defenses Against Cybercrime

Through our work in cyber and information security, we have formed relationships with professionals at Secure the Villagescreen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am and Citadel Information Group.screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am They have kindly allowed us to post on our blog site some of the articles they have authored about cyber security. This articlescreen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am provides a great overview of the business email compromise scam and how to avoid being taken in by it.

Business E-mail Compromise: Don’t Be a Victim

By Stan Stahl, PhD, President of Citadel Information Group, Inc. & Founder and President of Secure the Village

What to Do: Implement very strong controls on wire transfers

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 5.47.51 PMAssume all email or fax requests from a vendor to change bank accounts are fraudulent. Assume all email or fax requests from the company President or others are fraudulent. Assume all email or fax requests to set-up a new vendor are fraudulent. Pick up the phone, call the party in question and verify the request is legitimate.

If you discover you are a Business Email Compromise victim, immediately contact the FBI’s Southern California Cyber Fraud unit at sccf@leo.gov. They have established banking relationships and are often able to recover funds if they are notified within 72 hours.

And talk to your banker. Make sure they have your back.

It’s also a good idea to check with your insurance broker to ensure that business email compromise losses are covered.

Background

Not too long ago, email scams were relatively easy to detect. They were often from unknown contacts and referenced bank or credit card information which was clearly incorrect. Sometimes, the emails would simply contain a link. As time has passed, fraudulent attempts to gain control of your online banking, your critical information, and your identity have become more skillful and harder to spot. These days’ emails often appear to come from recognized accounts, are well written, and–at least at first glance–seem legitimate.

The newest — and one of the costliest — in a long line of fraudulent e-mail scams is “Business E-Mail Compromise” (BEC).

Business Email Compromise (BEC) is a very sophisticated attempt to induce a business to willingly hand over their money to a cybercriminal. In Business Email Compromise (BEC), crooks spoof communications from executives or vendors at the victim firm in a bid to initiate unauthorized wire transfers.

According to the FBI, thieves stole nearly $750 million in such scams from more than 7,000 victim companies in the U.S. between October 2013 and August 2015. Business Email Compromise cost Ubiquiti Networks $46 million.screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am

Collectively, Business Email Compromise has resulted in actual and attempted losses of over a billion dollars worldwide. The FBI reports, “…since the beginning of 2015 there has been a 270 percent increase in identified BEC victims. Victim companies have come from all 50 U.S. states and nearly 80 countries abroad.”

BECs can target businesses working with foreign suppliers or regularly performing wire transfer payments, although they have also targeted some that do not strictly fit this criterion. In order to solicit unauthorized transfers of funds, the scams compromise legitimate business e-mail accounts through social engineering or computer intrusion techniques. Prior to making contact, the scammers learn enough about their target to create emails that use language specific to the company and request wire transfers that seem legitimate.

For more information on BECs, see https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2015/august/business-e-mail-compromise/business-e-mail-compromisescreen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am and http://krebsonsecurity.com/2015/08/fbi-1-2b-lost-to-business-email-scams/screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am

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This icon appears next to every link that directs to a third party website not affiliated with Bank of Tucson. Please be advised that if you click this link you will be taken to a website hosted by another party, where you will no longer be subject to, or under the protection of, the privacy and security policies of Bank of Tucson. We recommend that you review and evaluate the privacy and security policies of the site that you are entering. Bank of Tucson assumes no liability for the content, information, security, policies or transactions provided by these other sites.

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FBI: How to Protect Your Computer 

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Below are some key steps to protecting your computer from intrusion, as detailed on the Federal Bureau of Investigations’ cybercrime webpage:

Keep Your Firewall Turned On: A firewall helps protect your computer from hackers who might try to gain access to crash it, delete information, or even steal passwords or other sensitive information. Software firewalls are widely recommended for single computers. The software is prepackaged on some operating systems or can be purchased for individual computers. For multiple networked computers, hardware routers typically provide firewall protection.

Install or Update Your Antivirus Software: Antivirus software is designed to prevent malicious software programs from embedding on your computer. If it detects malicious code, like a virus or a worm, it works to disarm or remove it. Viruses can infect computers without users’ knowledge. Most types of antivirus software can be set up to update automatically.

Install or Update Your Antispyware Technology: Spyware is just what it sounds like—software that is surreptitiously installed on your computer to let others peer into your activities on the computer. Some spyware collects information about you without your consent or produces unwanted pop-up ads on your web browser. Some operating systems offer free spyware protection, and inexpensive software is readily available for download on the Internet or at your local computer store. Be wary of ads on the Internet offering downloadable antispyware—in some cases these products may be fake and may actually contain spyware or other malicious code. It’s like buying groceries—shop where you trust.

Keep Your Operating System Up to Date: Computer operating systems are periodically updated to stay in tune with technology requirements and to fix security holes. Be sure to install the updates to ensure your computer has the latest protection.

Be Careful What You Download: Carelessly downloading e-mail attachments can circumvent even the most vigilant anti-virus software. Never open an e-mail attachment from someone you don’t know, and be wary of forwarded attachments from people you do know. They may have unwittingly advanced malicious code.

Turn Off Your Computer: With the growth of high-speed Internet connections, many opt to leave their computers on and ready for action. The downside is that being “always on” renders computers more susceptible. Beyond firewall protection, which is designed to fend off unwanted attacks, turning the computer off effectively severs an attacker’s connection—be it spyware or a botnet that employs your computer’s resources to reach out to other unwitting users.

https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/cyberscreen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am

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This icon appears next to every link that directs to a third party website not affiliated with Bank of Tucson. Please be advised that if you click this link you will be taken to a website hosted by another party, where you will no longer be subject to, or under the protection of, the privacy and security policies of Bank of Tucson. We recommend that you review and evaluate the privacy and security policies of the site that you are entering. Bank of Tucson assumes no liability for the content, information, security, policies or transactions provided by these other sites.

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We’re celebrating 15 consecutive 5-Star ratings from BauerFinancial

march bauerIndependent rating and research firm BauerFinancialscreen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am has released its March 2017 bank ratings, giving Grandpoint Bank and its divisions, Bank of Tucson, Regents Bank and The Biltmore Bank of Arizona, a fifteenth consecutive quarterly 5-Star rating for strength, stability and soundness.

Based on December 31, 2016 financial data filed with the government, only banks BauerFinancial considers to be the strongest in the nation earn the 5-Star rating. Four- and five-star banks appear on BauerFinancial’s Recommended Report.

BauerFinancial has rated banks since 1983 and is regarded as “the nation’s bank rating service.” Banks cannot pay to be rated nor opt out of being rated.

Criteria for earning the 5-Star rating include the strength of the institution’s capital ratios, profitability/loss trends, the level of delinquent loans and repossessed assets, the market versus book value of the investment portfolio, regulatory supervisory agreements, the community reinvestment rating (CRA) and liquidity.

Thank you to all our wonderful clients for your business and your trust. We’re a 5-Star bank because we work with 5-Star clients.

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This icon appears next to every link that directs to a third party website not affiliated with Bank of Tucson. Please be advised that if you click this link you will be taken to a website hosted by another party, where you will no longer be subject to, or under the protection of, the privacy and security policies of Bank of Tucson. We recommend that you review and evaluate the privacy and security policies of the site that you are entering. Bank of Tucson assumes no liability for the content, information, security, policies or transactions provided by these other sites.

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