Trends & Tips

Warning Signs of Identity Theft

If your wallet, Social Security number, or other personal information is lost or stolen, there are steps you can take to help protect yourself from identity theft. Watch out for these warning signs that someone has stolen your information:

  • You see withdrawals from your bank account that you can’t explain.
  • You don’t get your bills or other mail.
  • Merchants refuse your checks.
  • Debt collectors call you about debts that aren’t yours.
  • You find unfamiliar accounts or charges on your credit report.
  • Medical providers bill you for services you didn’t use.
  • Your health plan rejects your legitimate medical claim because the records show you’ve reached your benefits limit.
  • A health plan won’t cover you because your medical records show a condition you don’t have.
  • The IRS notifies you that more than one tax return was filed in your name, or that you have income from an employer you don’t work for.
  • You get notice that your information was compromised by a data breach at a company where you do business or have an account.

Visit https://www.firstcountybank.com/efraud-protection for resources in case you detect one of these warning signs.

 

First County Bank Profile

First County Bank Profile: Meet Elizabeth Grajeda

Elizabeth Grajeda is the Assistant Branch Manager at First County Bank’s Shippan branch in Stamford.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born in Guatemala and moved to the United States in 1994, thanks to my mother who wanted a better life for me and my sisters. I am the first child of five and a proud mother of two girls and one boy. I have always lived in Stamford and have never seen my life outside here. I love spending my free time with my family watching movies and soccer, eating ice cream, going to the park or just relaxing at home with them. One of my biggest obsessions is shopping for shoes- different types, sizes, colors- and I love to match them up with my clothes (but what woman doesn’t, though!).

I started my career at First County Bank in 2004 as a teller at the Atlantic Street branch and worked my way up to Supervisor and then Assistant Manager in 2013. I love to work with people, listen to them, and help them out with their needs. I also love to volunteer in different community and bank events. One of my favorite ones has always been the Stamford Thanksgiving Balloon Parade, even though it’s cold, but I love it because it’s fun.

What is your favorite part of your role with First County Bank?
My favorite part of working at First County Bank is my interaction with people: to be able to help them out with their needs and give them advice. I also enjoy the long term relationships and friends I’ve made through the years. I have been able to see families opening their newborn’s first savings account, and then, after years passing by, seeing that child growing up and coming in to open their first checking account or credit card.

What is the most frequent question you receive from customers?
“How do you do it?”
In my branch we have always worn different hats, from teller to manager. I always have a smile on my face and a positive attitude towards everything I do.

What is your favorite First County Bank moment?
My favorite First County Bank moments are when I am able to be a part of my customers’ and employees’ lives, achievements and needs, and when I am able to serve the community.

 

Promotional Initiatives

#DigitalConnection: Debit Card Protection Offers Greater Peace of Mind

Have you ever lost, misplaced, or had your debit card stolen?

With First County Bank’s Debit Card Protection, customers can deactivate/reactivate their debit card with the click of a button! This feature is accessible via mobile phone, tablet, or desktop allowing customers to directly manage their debit card quickly and conveniently.

Deactivation can be initiated using the “Guard my Card” feature on the mobile app or though the website under “Card Services.” Deactivating a debit card will temporarily freeze any card activity from occurring. If the customer finds their debit card, they may reactivate it using the same feature.

First County Bank’s Debit Card Protection feature offers customers a sense of security in the event of a missing debit card by preventing unauthorized use.

 

Insurance Products, Trends & Tips

National Insurance Awareness Day

 

Today, Thursday, June 28th is National Insurance Awareness Day. June 28th is observed each year as a day to review your insurance coverage.

More often than not, we find ourselves getting caught up in our fast-paced lives leaving little thought to insurance. However, having proper coverage can offer peace of mind for loved ones in the event of damage, illness or death.

At First County Bank we understand these needs and the importance of having proper insurance coverage. To learn more about the selection of affordable life insurance and annuity products First County Bank has available click here or talk to your local banker.

Lifestyle Trends & Tips

7 Hot Tips for Summer Travel

Planning to take off for that much-needed summer vacation? Before you leave home, there are some important steps you should take to ensure a safe and relaxing journey:

  1. Stop mail, newspaper, and other deliveries. Nothing advertises you’re away from home better than an overstuffed mailbox or a driveway covered with newspapers. Be sure to contact the post office and other delivery companies to arrange for a vacation stoppage.
  2. Make arrangements for pets. If you’re leaving behind your pets, make arrangements with a pet sitter or kennel. Since summer is the busiest time for vacations, you’ll want to make your pet’s plans well in advance of your trip.
  3. Set lights on timers. To guard against potential burglars, be sure to set lights on timers, so others will think the home is occupied.
  4. Turn off the main water supply. The last thing you want to do is come home to a swimming pool inside your home. This simple step will minimize the risk of that happening.
  5. Unplug electronics. Before you leave home, be sure to unplug any electronics from wall outlets, such as televisions, stereos and appliances. If you have these devices on surge protectors, switch the power off.
  6. Give a family member or neighbor a key. It’s always a good idea to give someone you trust a key to your home in the event that something should happen to the home while you’re away. Avoid leaving a key under the welcome mat or other obvious places.
  7. Call First County Bank before you leave. To ensure you receive uninterrupted debit card access, call our CustomerFirst Contact Center at 203.462.4400 to let us know your travel plans.

Once you follow these simple steps, there’s only one more thing to do – relax!

Promotional Initiatives

Real-time Control of Your Business Line of Credit

In an effort to continually provide the best overall banking experience, we want to make sure our business customers are aware of certain digital capabilities when using their business line of credit. First County Bank business customers with a line of credit have the ability to control their funds in real-time by using online banking to initiate advances between their line of credit and First County Bank business checking account.

Additional flexibility even allows business owners to customize the levels of access for any of their users all from the comfort of their home or office via online or mobile banking.

For more information, contact the Cash Management Services Department at 203.462.4379 (Mon – Fri., 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.).

Trends & Tips

Engage at Every Age -Tips for Internet Safety

Those aged 65 and older are more digitally connected than ever. Approximately 42% of older adults report owning smartphones, a figure that has more than doubled in the last five years. 67% of adults ages 65 and older go online.

As those of us aged 65 and older increasingly embrace technology, it is important to be aware of and protect ourselves against internet fraud. Fraudsters often target digitally connected older Americans with email and website scams, seeking personal information and financial data. At any age, following these tips can help you avoid internet fraud:

  • Use strong and unique passwords. Never share your passwords with anyone. Your passwords should also be complex (i.e., at least eight characters and include numbers, upper and lowercase letters and symbols).
  • Access the internet from a secure location. When connecting to the internet, especially when banking online, only use computers and networks you know and trust.
  • Secure your computer. Security software is essential, especially when accessing your financial data online. Be sure you have a firewall turned on and are running antivirus software. First County Bank utilizes a URL (web address) that begins with “https” as this signifies a secure connection.

For more security tips or to continue reading this article, click here.

Trends & Tips

Introducing #DigitalConnection

First County Bank is excited to announce the launch of a new blog series, #DigitalConnection. #DigitalConnection will serve as a source for the latest information on the Bank’s digital products and services.

#DigitalConnection will be regularly published and will provide information on how First County Bank’s online and mobile products can help make banking easier and more convenient.

We hope these posts will serve as a useful resource to enhance your overall banking experience.

Stay tuned for future editions of #DigitalConnection.

First County Bank Profile, In Our Community

Richard Evanko 2018 CLC Alumni Hall of Fame Inductee

Richard Evanko, Vice President

Richard Evanko, Vice President, Business Banking Manager

Congratulations Richard “Rich” Evanko on being a Children’s Learning Center (CLC) 2018 Alumni Hall of Fame Inductee.

Rich joined First County Bank in 2015 and serves as a Vice President and Business Banking Manager. In this position, he is responsible for managing the business development team, origination of commercial relationships, and client retention.

In the local community, Rich is active with the Stamford Chamber of Commerce where he is Chairman of the Young Professionals Council and on the Board of Directors. He is also involved as a member of CLC’s Finance Committee and the United Way.Rich is a lifelong resident of Stamford, CT.

Join us in congratulating Rich on this great achievement.

First County Bank Profile

#FridaysinFairfield: Meet Amal Hamioui

Meet Amal Hamioui, Teller, Fairfield Branch in this final edition of #FridayinFairfield.

Tell us about yourself.
My name is Amal Hamioui I recently moved to the United States two years ago from Morocco after finishing my Bachelors in Economics.  It’s been hard leaving everything behind but so far the new experience has been worth it.

Moving to this country has taught me to be independent; it has also motivated me to become a better version of myself. My goal is to not only be a successful individual but also to be successful in my career.

What separates First County Bank from other Banks?
I think because we are a community bank and we’ve been in existence for a very long time, we consider and treat our customers like family and our number one priority is to help them, and that what separate us from other banks

What excites you the most about the new Fairfield Branch?
The opportunity to learn and grow with very supportive colleagues in this new position.

What’s something someone may not know about First County Bank?
First County Bank offers online banking which I believe to be an important service that accommodates our fast-paced life. This service offers customers the ability to deposit checks and use the money management tool to manage their accounts.

What is your favorite First County Bank moment?
My favorite moment is when I interviewed for the job; I was welcomed as a member of the First County Bank family, it just felt like it was the right place to be from the start.