Staten Island Commercial Bank Echoes FTC Advice

On Avoiding Ebola-Related Charity Scams

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- The Federal Trade Commission is educating consumers about protecting against charity scams related to Ebola.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the unprecedented Ebola epidemic in West Africa has taken the lives of more than 4,000 people. Many people are asking how they can help.

If you’re looking for a way to give, Victory State Bank urges you follow the advice of the FTCL: Do some research to ensure that your donation will go to a reputable organization that will use the money as promised.

If you’re asked to make a charitable donation, consider these tips from the FTC:

 

Donate to charities you know and trust.

You want to find a charity with a proven track record. The CDC Foundation, a nonprofit organization established by Congress, has a Global Disaster Response Fund that supports the CDC’s work in West Africa.

 

Be alert for charities that seem to have sprung up overnight in connection with current events.

 “Look alike” websites resembling legitimate charitable organizations and international aid efforts are popping up. Check out the charity with the Better Business Bureau's (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, GuideStar, IRS Select Check, or Foundation Center.

 

Ask if a caller is a paid fundraiser, who they work for, and what percentage of your donation goes to the charity and to the fundraiser.

If you don’t get a clear answer — or if you don’t like the answer you get — consider donating to a different organization.

 

Don’t give out financial information — including your credit card or bank account number — unless you know the charity is reputable.

 

Never click on links or open attachments in emails unless you know who sent it and what it is.

Opening attachments — even in emails that seem to be from friends or family — can install malware on your computer.

Verify the origins of any email or text messages soliciting donations for Ebola aid efforts.

  

Don’t assume that charity messages posted on social media are legitimate or have been vetted.

Research the charitable organization yourself.

 

When texting to donate, first confirm the number with the source.

The charge will show up on your mobile phone bill, but be aware that text donations are not immediate. Depending on the text message service used by the charity, it can take as much as 90 days for the charity to receive the funds.

 

Never send cash.

You can’t be sure the organization will receive your donation, and you won’t have a record for tax purposes.

 

Think about how you want your donation used, and make sure that the charity you choose engages in those activities.

For example, do you want your donation to support research, direct patient aid, aid in a specific country, providing medical supplies to caregivers, or helping orphans? If your charity of choice engages in multiple programs, consider designating your gift for the program you want to support. By designating your gift, you’ll ensure that your donation will be used as you intended.

 

Find out if the charity or fundraiser must be registered in your state by contacting your state attorney general or secretary of state.

You can find a link to that office at the National Association of State Charity Officials.

 

 

About Victory State Bank

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQB: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank.  For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online at www.victorystatebank.com.

Media Contact: 

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509

Mobile: 917‑715‑8761

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Victory State Bank Applauds Court Order Requiring

Scammers To Pay More Than $25M In Consumer Refunds

 

Staten Island commercial bank shines light on successful FTC motion

 

Victory State Banks is hailing the decision of a federal district judge who has ordered a business opportunity company and its president to pay more than $25 million in refundsto consumers. The recipients of the  refunds are consumers who were conned with bogus claims that they could earn substantial income working at home.

In granting the FTC’s motion for summary judgment, the court found that more than 99.8 percent of the 110,000 consumers affected by the scheme earned no money.

The Department of Justice brought the case on the FTC’s behalf in 2012 as part of “Operation Lost Opportunity,” an effort by the Consumer Protection Working Group of the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to stop scams falsely promising jobs and opportunities to be your own boss to unemployed or underemployed consumers.

“The court’s order shows there are serious consequences for business opportunity marketers who invent earnings claims and fabricate stories about eager customers,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “As long as scammers keep making false claims, we’ll be working with our law enforcement partners to stop them.”

The court found that the Zaken Corp. and Tiran Zaken violated the FTC Act and the FTC’s Business Opportunity Rule, which requires business opportunity sellers to provide specific information to help consumers evaluate a business opportunity. The defendants had claimed that, for a fee of $148 or more, their “QuickSell” program would help consumers find businesses with excess inventory to sell, and that they would find a buyer for the inventory and pay consumers half the sales price. They also had falsely claimed consumers would earn at least $4,000 or more in the first 30 days and, on average, $4,280 per deal.

Once consumers bought the program, they were inundated with ads to buy more business “tools” that cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. Consumers were encouraged to spend an extra $2,300 if they were serious about making money. Those who made the additional investment received only a directory of defunct companies’ telephone numbers.

On September 18, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California permanently banned the defendants from advertising or selling work-at-home or other business opportunities and entered a $25.4 million judgment for consumer redress against them. The court issued a final order for permanent injunction on October 21, 2014.

 

 

About Victory State Bank

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQB: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank.  For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online at www.victorystatebank.com.

Media Contact:  

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509

Mobile: 917‑715‑8761

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Business Intelligence Propels Success

Staten Island commercial bank sees merit in ways an enterprise can grow

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Operating above the curve instead of below it is the aim in gathering business intelligence.


Victory State Bank, Staten Island's only community-based business bank, concurs with a study showing how owners inexpensively can map their forward plans.


Identifying best customers, concentrating on the most profitable products or services and finding tools to reduce costs and improve efficiencies are the objectives.


Research at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia has pinpointed five ways small-business owners can advance by accumulating business intelligence (BI) in attaining goals.

 

(1) Assess the information technology (IT) infrastructure because consistency in technology is critically important, the researcher found.

How does the business gather information? To which network are the computers connected? Is everyone using the same system?

“In the supply chain, the information always follows the product,” the researcher, Ginny Miori, Ph.D, says.

“Small businesses are successful when … information follows an efficient path between all concerned parties.” This is particularly important to maintain customer satisfaction, she adds.

 

(2) Data mining helps owners improve their understanding of workers and customers.

“Many small businesses aren’t in the financial position to hire a market research firm, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get your hands on relevant data,” says Miori.

“In addition to sales and inventory data your organization may collect, there is a surprising amount of free data available through the government.” She recommends the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics as credible sources for data collection.

  

(3) Forecasting uses the information from data mining and applies techniques to predict future growth on which to forecast sales and staffing needs.

Forecasting, therefore, is the cornerstone of business according to Miori. “It’s important to get it right the first time or small business owners carry a huge risk,” she explains. “Forecasting helps you to build your business to meet customer demand and better manage future growth.”

 

(4) Strive for defect-free operations in using materials efficiently. It can be as simple as re-arranging a store layout so employees can streamline getting from one location to another over the shortest distance.

Or, it might mean stocking your warehouses in a way where your most popular products are positioned closest to the shipping facility.

In the jargon of business management, this “Six Sigma” approach boils down to making defined improvements, each with targets and each one measurable.

“No task is too small for an efficiency makeover,” according to Miori. “Once your business grows, even the smallest inefficiencies can become costly in both time and money.”

  

(5) Decision-making matters. Small business owners make decisions every day. However, strategic decisions that have a significant business impact are made less often.

Miori advises owners to make these decisions based on trends and behaviors identified through data mining and forecasting. “This is what BI is all about,” says Miori.

“Smart companies employ business intelligence to gain a better understanding of their operations, so they can make strategic decisions that advance their business and sustain future growth.”

 

 

About Victory State Bank

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQB: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online at www.VictoryStateBank.com.

Media Contact: 

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509

Mobile: 917‑715‑8761

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

  

Credit-Card Use Predicts Financial Acumen

Staten Island business bank cites findings in economists' revealing survey

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – People who think they are pretty savvy about how they use credit cards likely are also astute about other financial matters, like investments, retirement planning and decisions on mortgages.

Victory State Bank, Staten Island's only community-based commercial bank, says survey findings pointing to this conclusion regarding self-confidence can be instructive.


Two University of Nebraska-Lincoln economists surveyed some 27,500 credit-card users nationwide to find out how much they know vs. what they think they know when it comes to credit cards.


From the results, it could be inferred that managing credit cards is but a small part of a larger sense of financial understanding.


Predictably, in the survey those who had high knowledge of finance – and were aware of that – managed their credit cards most competently.


But the economists also found that a person’s perception of having financial knowledge mattered as much or more in how they treated their cards.

“Before beginning, we hypothesized two possibilities: people would be over-confident and this would lead them to make bad decisions or that people need confidence to act on the knowledge they possess,” Sam Allgood, one of the researchers, said. “Our study suggests that it is the latter.”


The survey measured five behaviors: Paying credit card bills in full; carrying a credit card balance; paying just the minimum; paying late fees; and exceeding a card’s limit.


Among the results, Americans who truly are financially savvy and know it are 15.5 percent more likely to pay their credit card bills in full compared to people with the same level of financial knowledge, but who perceive themselves as not having a high financial expertise.


Conversely, those described as the low self-perceivers are 15 percent more likely to carry a monthly balance, 12 percent more likely to pay the minimum each month, 11 percent more likely to incur a late fee and 6 percent more likely to exceed their spending limits.


“You must have actual knowledge to make good personal financial decisions,” Allgood said in a statement,” but people are not willing to act on that knowledge unless they also perceive themselves to be knowledgeable.”

 


About Victory State Bank

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQB: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online at www.VictoryStateBank.com.

Media Contact: 

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509

Mobile: 917‑715‑8761

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Probing Why Workers Won't Share Info

Staten Island business bank concurs with fix of rewarding team achievements

 

A couple of university professors have reported findings from a study of why employees don't cooperatively offer information to colleagues.


Victory State Bank, Staten Island's only community-based commercial bank, says the
Canadian research is pertinent for its focusing on a behavior pattern of hiding knowledge.


Rather than examining communication failures, the professors looked into willful concealment or withholding from fellow employees and via surveys found what they called a "continuum of deception."


Among the mildest reasons, workers felt justified in hiding information deemed confidential. For instance, certain kinds of gossip may justify dismissal.

A little more deliberate were delaying tactics with promises to deliver but then not following through or providing an incomplete or misleading response.


Knowing that knowledge coveys a certain strength, some of the withholding was in the form of protecting a turf.

More seriously, what a target could construe as a “rejection episode” might result in retaliation against the concealer, starting a behavioral cycle.

Another consequence, uncovered by a different study last year, could be a stifling of creativity: Jealously guarding ideas inhibits the flow of new ones.

Workers may believe, though, they are favoring their organization's greater good or they are at risk of losing their jobs if their specialized knowledge isn't kept intact.

One of the Canadian professors recommends "incentives to reward people on team outcomes versus solely on individual outcomes.”

If managers reward individual attainment over group efforts, however, it will defeat methods that encourage sharing knowledge, the professor said.

 


About Victory State Bank

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQB: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online at www.VictoryStateBank.com.

Media Contact: 

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509

Mobile: 917‑715‑8761

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.