Customer Education

Your financial safety and security is our top priority.

Check back often for tips and best practices for keeping your information secure and identifying potential fraud.


**FRAUD ALERT** Mystery Shopper Scam

You’ve been invited to check out a retailer to secretly shop their store and evaluate the quality of service, product availability and the best part – keep the items plus earn a paycheck. It really does sound like a too good to be a true opportunity, however, such a job does exist and is sanctioned by the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) mspa-global.org. Naturally, for every good opportunity, there is a scam behind it.
GBT has recently been made aware that counterfeit GBT money orders are being mailed out by criminals in conjunction with a mystery shopper scam. We are receiving calls from Wisconsin, Minnesota and Tennessee that letters have been received by people who have not applied to become a mystery shopper.
Most of the counterfeit money orders are for the amount of $1,978.77 and have a check number starting with 481.
If the money order you have matches those, it is most likely fraudulent.
You may email any questions regarding these counterfeit money orders to Scott Spillers: [email protected]
Remember: Legitimate companies don’t charge people to work for them – they pay people to work for them.
Read more from the BBB here: https://www.bbb.org/article/news-releases/19227-secret-shopper-sounds-cool-until-its-a-scam


GBT Offers 5 Tips for Soon-to-Be Graduates

As students prepare to graduate and head off to college or begin their professional careers, the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) and Gibsland Bank & Trust (GBT) want to remind them of the importance of planting seeds for their financial future.
“Graduation is an exciting time for many students transitioning from the classroom to the ‘real world’ and starting to establish their financial independence,” said Andy Gilbert, CPA and Chief Financial Officer at GBT. “As your local community bank, we can work with recent graduates to set them up for success by creating a financial plan that incorporates their short and long-term financial goals. Remember, the financial decisions you make now will affect your future.”
GBT offers the following tips to help new graduates take control of their finances:

  1. Create a budget. Put your smartphone to good use and learn about our online banking services available to help you manage your finances and track your spending remotely.
  2. Pay off student loans. It may be tempting to make only the minimum monthly payments, but a more aggressive repayment plan can save you thousands in the long run. Some employers will help you pay off your student debt; make sure to ask about this when negotiating your new job.
  3. Plan for retirement. Automate your savings so that a portion of each paycheck goes directly into a savings account. Take advantage of your employer’s 401(k) plan (and any matching contributions) if offered. If you don’t see it, chances are you won’t miss it.
  4. Spend responsibly. Shopping and weekend getaways are a great way to recharge from the work week, but can quickly eat away at your budget. Research the products you’d like to buy, along with restaurants and excursions in your price range and plan accordingly so these purchases and activities don’t become a financial burden.
  5. Establish an emergency fund to cover life’s unexpected events and to give you greater peace of mind. Start by putting away $1,000 (the daily cost of a tall latte in a year) then contribute spare change or a little from each paycheck until you have between three to six months of net pay.

“This stage of a grad’s life is all about empowerment—and financial matters are no different,” said Gilbert. “We congratulate this year’s graduating class and wish them a prosperous and secure future.”


Gibsland Lions Club Scholarship Application

Gibsland Lions Club is now accepting scholarship applications from graduating students who live in the 71028 zip code. Applications must be submitted by May 13th, 2019.
Please mail to:
Gibsland Lions Club Scholarship Committee
Attn: John Cole, Chairperson
PO Box 180
Gibsland, LA 71028
Click here to download Application: Gibsland Lions Club Scholarship Application


6 Tips for Your Financial Spring Cleaning

As Americans kick off the spring season by cleaning, sorting and tidying up around the house, the American Bankers Association and Gibsland Band & Trust is encouraging consumers to add financial organization to their spring cleaning to-do list. To help, ABA has highlighted six tips for organizing your financial house.
“People are motivated to get things done when the weather warms up and the flowers bloom, which makes it an ideal time to look closely at your savings and spending habits,” said Corey Carlisle, executive director of the ABA Foundation. “Putting in the work now will help you live your best life in the months ahead.”
ABA recommends these six tips to help consumers organize their finances:

  1. Review your budget. A lot can change in a year. If you’ve been promoted, had a child, or become a new homeowner or renter, be sure to update your budget. Determine what expenses demand the most money and identify areas where you can realistically cut back. Develop a strategy for spending and saving – and stick to it.
  2. Evaluate and pay down debt. Take a look at how much you owe and what you are paying in interest. Begin paying off existing debt, whether that’s by chipping away at loans with the highest interest rates or eliminating smaller debt first.
  3. Set up automatic bill pay. By signing up for automatic bill pay, you’ll never have to worry about a missed payment impacting your credit score. You can set it so that money is withdrawn from your checking account on the same day each month.
  4. Sign up for e-statements, paperless billing and text alerts. Converting to paperless billing will help keep your house—physical and financial—more clean and organized, and will help protect you from fraud.
  5. Check your credit report. Every year, you are guaranteed one free credit report from each of the three credit bureaus. Take advantage of these free reports and check them for any possible errors. Mistakes can drag down your score and prevent you from getting a loan, or cause you to pay a higher than necessary interest rate.
  6. Manage your money on the go. Utilize GBT’s mobile app to check your balance, pay your bills, transfer funds, deposit a check and send money to friends from wherever you are.

5 Reasons to Keep Your Desk Clean

Another New Year means it is time once again for National Clean Off Your Desk Day. There are many reasons why this is an important task to help kick your new year off with a strong start.

  1. It keeps you focused and makes accomplishing tasks easier. It is hard to prioritize tasks without organization and focus tends to be divided with more stacks of paper on your desk.
  2. It increases your efficiency. You will save the time it takes for you to go through piles of paperwork by having an organized system for your files. Perhaps cleaning out older files in a filing cabinet will help house the extra papers and keep them off your desk.
  3. It opens up your workspace. While you do need a clean space to be able to work, you also need to have room for other supplies. It is hard to balance books, papers, binders, staplers and other various office items with a cluttered desk. It would also be helpful to have a place for that coffee cup without worrying about spilling it on crucial files.
  4. It makes you look professional. Now that does not mean you are not currently professional, but the look of a clean, organized desk shows an image of confidence and competency to coworkers and even customers. Customers do not want to think they will end up at the bottom of a pile of paperwork never to be seen again.
  5. It keeps sensitive information safe. This is the most important reason to have a clean desk. It helps keep any paperwork dealing with sensitive personal information safe by making sure it all has a place either locked away or in the shred bin if it is no longer needed in physical form. This will lower the possibility of fines or personal information going public.

**FRAUD ALERT** Online Vehicle Scam

If you’re shopping around for a new car, RV or boat, beware of criminals who are posting online ads for items that they do not own.
Be very cautious especially if the seller suggests using a third party to handle the transaction. We have been informed of local residents falling victim to this type of scam. They found a vehicle they wanted to purchase online and began email correspondence with an individual. The individual directed them to wire the money to a third-party shipping company. Turns out that neither the company nor the vehicle actually exist.
Consumers recount almost identical stories to BBB where they find cars, trucks, recreational vehicles, boats, jet skis, semi-trucks or farm equipment at too-good-to-be-true prices ranging from $3,000 to $15,000 primarily on local Craigslists, Autotrader and local free print publications. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is! Please read the details about this type of scam in the BBB link below.
Read more from the BBB here: https://www.bbb.org/en/us/article/news-releases/17905-vehicle-shippers-springing-up-on-internet-may-be-scams-bbb-warns


What Documents Do I Shred and What Should I Keep?

Depending what type of documents you’re dealing with, you need to store some of them for certain periods of time, others you can digitize, and others you can throw away or shred.
Keep physical copies of forever:

  • Birth and death certificates
  • Social security cards
  • Pension plan documents
  • ID cards and passports
  • Marriage license
  • Business license
  • Any insurance policy (good to keep even if they have a digital copy in case problems come up)
  • Wills, living wills, and powers of attorney
  • Vehicle titles and loan documents
  • House deeds and mortgage documents

Keep for certain period of time:

  • Tax records and receipts (keep for seven years)
  • Pay stubs and bank statements (keep for a year)
  • Home purchase, sale, or improvement documents (keep for at least six years after you sell)
  • Medical records and bills (keep at least a year after payment in case of disputes)
  • Warranty documents and receipts (keep as long as you own them)

Keep the most recent version of:


  • Social security statements

  • Annual insurance policy statements
  • Retirement plan statements (401(k), 529, IRA, etc)

Documents to Shred (anything that has personal information like your name, address, phone number, social security number, or bank account information):

  • ATM receipts
  • Credit card receipts
  • Bills
  • Used airline tickets
  • Expired credit cards, visas, passports, and IDs

***FRAUD ALERT*** Mortgage Protection Insurance Scam Postcards May 9, 2018

Please be advised that fraudulent postcards are being sent to people around the country from “Mortgage Protection Services”.
The cards ask people to call a 1-800 number regarding an important matter with their mortgage or loan from GBT. The phone number and account number listed are NOT GBT numbers. This is a fraudulent attempt to collect personal information. DO NOT CALL. As it states on the postcard, “Mortgage Protection Services” is not affiliated with GBT any way and no loan information has been provided to them.
If you have recently purchased or refinanced your home, expect to get multiple offers from companies selling mortgage protection insurance. Many of these offers are scams. The scammers use publicly available loan data to contact potential victims, as with the postcard above. The scammers will attempt to obtain your personal information in order to commit identity theft. Contact your local GBT Branch Office with questions or concerns.
The senders of these emails do not represent GBT.
Please Do NOT reveal your information to them.


8 Ways to Talk to Your Kids About Money

How soon is too soon to talk to your kids or grandkids about money? If they are old enough to ask for a toy or a bike, they are old enough to start learning financial lessons that will last a lifetime.
The best financial lessons are part of everyday experience. Look for opportunities to talk about money, read books aloud and play games that center around spending money wisely. Be open and honest when you discuss your financial experiences—good or bad.
Here are some examples of teachable moments to help you get started:
At the bank
When you go to the bank, bring your children with you and show them how transactions work. Ask the manager to explain how the bank operates, how money generates interest and how an ATM works. Ask the manager for a tour—be sure to ask to see the vault.
On payday
Discuss how your pay is budgeted to pay for housing, food and clothing, and how a portion is saved for future expenses such as college tuition and retirement.
At the store
It’s easy to give clear examples of “needs” and “wants” using different items at a store. Fruits and veggies are a need; Candy, toys or expensive cereals are a want. Explain the benefits of comparison shopping, coupons and store brands. You can hold up two items and compare pricing and make a decision together on which you should choose.
Chores and allowances
Assign chores and give them a monetary value. Discuss ways to budget and divide allowances. Encourage children to set a financial goal, such as saving for a new toy, and figure out how to achieve it.
Paying bills
Explain the many ways that bills can be paid: over the phone, paper or by check, electronic check or online check draft. Discuss how each method of bill pay takes money out of your account. Be sure to cover late penalties, emphasizing the importance of paying bills on time.
Using credit cards
Explain that credit cards are a loan and need to be repaid. Share how a credit card statement comes in the mail with a bill. Go over the features of different types of cards, such as ATM, debit and credit cards.
Online
While online, explain to your children how valuable their personal
information and privacy is to you, to them and to online predators. Discuss the risks and benefits of sharing certain information. Then, as a family, make a list of rules for keeping personal information safe online.
Planning a vacation
Whether you are planning an outing to a local amusement park or a once-in-a-lifetime trip, emphasize the value of saving as a family. Set a family savings goal that involves your children. Figure out the cost and discuss ways everyone can help to reach the goal.


Customer Training on Cybersecurity & Corporate Account Takeovers

An introduction to Cybersecurity including Myths, Top Challenges, and Simple Steps to Cybersecurity

Material: Corporate Customer Training on Cybersecurity Handout
Recording: Corporate Customer Training on Cybersecurity & CATO 5/25/17

What is a corporate account takeover?

Simply put, corporate account takeover is the business equivalent of personal identity theft. Hackers, backed by professional criminal organizations, are targeting small and medium businesses to obtain access to their web banking credentials or remove control of their computers.
These backers will then drain the deposit and credit lines of the compromised bank accounts, funneling the funds through mules that quickly redirect the monies overseas into backers accounts. A computer can be compromised very easily by visiting an infected website or by simply opening an email.
There has been a steady increase in account takeovers since 2009 resulting in billions of dollars of damage.Security best practices

When it comes to protecting sensitive financial information from hackers, there’s no substitute for good old-fashioned knowledge.
As a business owner, you should have a level of understanding about how to secure your computers that allows you to take proactive steps and avoid, or at least minimize most threats.
Experts advise following best practices including using a dedicated computer, keeping patches and anti-virus up to date, installing a host based firewall, verifying all transactions before approving and reviewing bank transactions daily.
These best practices should be the minimum security baseline for every company’s online banking transactions.Steps for better security

  • Use a dedicated computer for financial transactional activity. Do not use this computer for general web browsing and email.
  • Apply operating system and application updates regularly (patches).
  • Ensure that anti-virus/spyware software is installed, functional and is updated with the most current version.
  • Have host-based firewall software installed on computers.
  • Use the latest version of internet browsers, such as Explorer, Firefox or Google Chrome and keep patch up to date.
  • Activate a “pop-up” blocker on internet browsers to prevent intrusions.
  • Turn off your computer when not in use.
  • Do not batch approve transactions; be sure to review and approve each one individually.
  • Review your credit report/banking transactions regularly.
  • Contact your information technology provider to determine the best way to safeguard the security of your computers and networks.

Warning signs of a system or network compromise

  • Inability to log into online banking (thieves could be blocking access so that you won’t see the theft until the criminals have control of the money).
  • Dramatic loss of computer speed.
  • Changes in the way things appear on the screen.
  • Computer locks up so the user is unable to perform any functions.
  • Unexpected rebooting or restarting of the computer.
  • Unexpected request for a one time password (or token) in the middle of an online session.
  • Unusual pop-up messages, especially a message in the middle of a session that says the connection to the bank system is not working (system unavailable, down for maintenance, etc.).
  • New or unexpected toolbars and/or icons.
  • Inability to shut down or restart the computer.

Examples of deceptive ways criminals contact account holders

  • The FDIC does not directly contact bank customers (especially related to ACH and Wire transactions, account suspension, or security alerts), nor does the FDIC request bank customers to install software upgrades. Such messages should be treated as fraudulent and the account holder should permanently delete them and not click on any links.
  • Messages or inquiries from the Internal Revenue Service, Better Business Bureau, NACHA, and almost any other organization asking the customer to install software, provide account information, or access credentials is probably fraudulent and should be verified before any files are opened, software installed, or information provided.
  • Phone calls and text messages requesting sensitive information are likely fraudulent. If in doubt, contact the organization at a phone number you obtained from a different source (such as the number you have on file, that is on your most recent statement, or that is from the organization’s website). You should not call phone numbers (even with local prefixes) that are listed in the suspicious e-mail or text message.

If you believe your Gibsland Bank & Trust account has been compromised contact us immediately.


Online Banking Authentication Information/Tips/FAQs

The one-time refers to the security code being good for one-time only, not that the authentication security will occur one time. It will be at least once from each device and it also depends on your computer settings. Below are some FAQ’s that may help:Advanced Login Authentication FAQs OLB Device Profile
Q: Why did I have to go through the additional authentication process? (Why did I get stepped up?)
A: Most common reason would be this is a new device profile identified for the customer or there has not been enough consistent use of the Device to confirm the correlation.
Because the Device Profiling looks at many factors together, as well as a system cookie and a Flash Object from a prior session, there are some instances where changes to a combination of factors would trigger a risk score that requires additional authentication.
Examples Include:

  • Clearing Cookies + a Browser Setting Change
  • Many devices used by a single user in a short period of time
  • Multiple people using the same device can trigger a risk profile
  • A Browser Update, Cleared Flash Object, Dates Out-of-Synch

These situations are difficult to pinpoint and difficult to explain but essential to appropriate assessment of risk.
Suggested response to consumers: We recently upgraded our security system and our system controls are asking you to confirm your PC and network path before proceeding. Please follow the instructions to provide additional authentication so the system can learn this profile is safe and you can access the system from this profile in the future.


Q: Are there adjustments that can made to my PC to make it work better?
A: There are some settings in a PC that make Device Profile work more effectively. Essentially these settings will expose more of the PC Profile to the Device Review so make it easier for the system to tell the legitimate customer from a fraud attempt.
If a user continues to get stepped up over and over, we have found that sometimes users’ browsers don’t encrypt the Device ID correctly and therefore cannot be recognized as a previously used Device.
Here are some hints we have found helpful in resolving client-side issues that prevent device from properly registering and resulting in users being stepped on every login:

  • Clear cookies but do not check “preserve favorite sites” in Internet Explorer. (NOTE: this should be done once to give user a clean slate for registration to adhere, it should not be done frequently as this can cause step up to take place. See item # 6)
  • Add the bank site and online banking to trusted sites list in your browser setting
  • Ask the user delete any Flash cookies for the bank and online banking website (this can be done at http://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/settings_manager07.html and scroll through the list to find the bank website, highlight and click delete website)
  • Confirm that user is using a supported browser. If they are, attempt with a different supported browser. The list of compatible browsers is available on FIS Client Portal under Documentation / Online Banking
  • Confirm that user is not accessing OLB with network/router/ VPN device – if they are, they need to try without that device in place. These types of devices will cause step up to take place if users cannot avoid using them they will be stepped-up.
  • Make sure that the users do not have any settings/programs in place that will clear cookies automatically upon leaving browser, leaving page, shutting down computer or on a daily run that cleans computer. This will potentially cause the users to be stepped up each time they login.
  • Make sure that that following settings are set on their device:
    • Third-Party Cookies should be allowed
    • JavaScript enabled
    • Flash available

Additionally some browser software/plug-ins stops items from loading and can limit our ability to recognize their system.


Helpful Hints for repeated step-up (step-up is the phone text or phone voice)
If user continues to get stepped up over and over, we have found that sometimes user’s browsers don’t encrypt the Device ID correctly and therefore cannot be recognized as a previously used Device. Here are some hints we have found helpful in resolving client-side issues that prevent device from properly registering and resulting in users being c stepped on every login:

  • Clear cookies; do not check “Preserve Favorite Sites” – Internet Explorer only.
  • Add the institution’s website to trusted sites – All browsers
  • Delete any flash cookies for the institution’s website (This can be accomplished at http://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/settings_manager07.html and scroll through the list to find the institution’s website. Highlight and click ‘Delete Website’.) – All browsers

Updating Safari settings on an IPad/IPhone
View Step-by-Step process in PDF


Phishing/Fraudulent Emails

Gibsland Bank & Trust customers should be aware that fraudulent emails (“Phishing,” pronounced fishing) are being sent to some U.S. residents. These unsolicited “phony” emails are sent to random email addresses hoping to trick recipients into revealing their credit card or banking account numbers, PIN numbers, and/or online banking login data.
GBT policy does not allow requests for confidential information (passwords or PIN numbers) through regular email. Contact your local GBT Branch Office with questions or concerns.


Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006

The senders of these emails do not represent GBT. Please Do NOT reveal your information to them.The UIGEA, signed into law in 2006, prohibits any person engaged in the business of betting or wagering (as defined in the Act) from knowingly accepting payments in connection with the participation of another person in unlawful internet gambling. The Dept of Treasury and the Federal Reserve Board have issued a joint final rule, Regulation GG, to implement this Act.
As defined in Regulation GG, unlawful Internet gambling means to “place, receive or otherwise knowingly transmit a bet or wager by any means which involves the use, at least in part, of the internet where such bet or wager is unlawful under any applicable Federal or State law in the State or Tribal lands in which the bet or wager is initiated, received or otherwise made”.
As a customer of Gibsland Bank & Trust these restricted transactions are prohibited from being processed through your account or banking relationship with us. Restricted transactions are transactions in which a person accepts credit, funds, instruments or other proceeds from another person in connection with unlawful Internet gambling.
If you do engage in an Internet gambling business and open a new account with us, you must provide evidence of your legal capacity to do so.


Counterfeit Currency Alert

Be cautious when accepting $20 and $10 bills. A significant number of counterfeit bills have been detected in the Northwest Louisiana region in the past months.
All of the $20 bills contain the same serial number: JJ05094677B, blue ink in the top left corner of the face of the bill, the number 150 written upside down on the left hand side, close to the middle of the bill, and are 2009 series.
Some, but not all, of the $10 bills contain the same serial number: ML54581685A and are 2013 series.
Additional characteristics of the counterfeit currency are:

  • The paper bills are printed on thinner than normal currency paper
  • The colors of the ink are not correct
  • The watermarks are not visible

Click here for a document provided by the United States Secret Service, describing the security features in the most recently issued bills.


Lottery Scams

You’ve just won a lottery or sweepstakes that you didn’t even know you had entered!
Sounds too good to be true? You’re right! Odds are it’s a scam.
Maybe it happened like this…

  • You receive a call, email or a letter and check in the mail.
  • The letter may contain grammatical errors or include a telephone number that has a Canadian Area Code.
  • You’re told to mail or wire a small amount for taxes and fees to claim your prize.

What should you do?
Hang up the phone! Ignore the email! Shred the letter!
Never wire or send money to anyone, anywhere, who says you’ve won a prize.
The checks associated with lottery and sweepstakes scams are fraudulent. These counterfeit checks can sometimes take several days to be discovered and returned to GBT unpaid. You are responsible for any check(s) you cash or deposit into your account. If you should cash or deposit a check that is returned for any reason, you are fully responsible for loss related to the fraudulent check. In most cases, GBT can immediately debit your account(s) or file litigation to recover the money.
Older Americans are often targeted by scammers. If you’re a caregiver for family or a friend, warn them about lottery and sweepstakes scams.
To learn more about protecting yourself and others, visit:
http://www.fraud.org/scams

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