5 Ways to Protect Against ID Theft

 

Victory State Bank is reminding consumers and small business owners to remain diligent in protecting against identity theft. As stated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), identity theft happens. It's an unfortunate fact of modern life. But there are certain steps you can take to help keep your personal information from falling into the wrong hands.

To assist you is keeping tabs on your identity and personal information, the only community-based business bank on Staten Island is sharing these tips from the FTC:

 

1)      Read your credit card and bank statements carefully and often. Know your payment due dates.

 

2)      If a bill doesn't show up when you expect it, look into it.

  

3)      Read the statements from your health insurance plan. Make sure the claims paid match the care you got.

  

4)      Shred any documents with personal and financial information.

  

5)      Review each of your three credit reports at least once a year. It's easy, and it's free.

 

For more tips and tools on dealing with identity theft, visit ftc.gov/idtheft.

 

 

ABOUT VICTORY STATE BANK

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQX: 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, including the main office in the community of Great Kills and branches in West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank.

A planned sixth branch, to be situated in Meiers Corners, has received both regulatory and building department approvals.

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.

 

 

 

6 Basic Cybersecurity Practices You Should Perform

 

With scammers, hackers and identity thieves seeking to obtain your personal information – and your money – it’s increasingly important to protect the information stored on your computer.

To help you safeguard your personal cyber data, Victory State Bank, the only community-based commercial bank on Staten Island, is highlighting the following six are steps you can take to safeguard your personal information:

 

1)      UPDATE YOUR SOFTWARE

Keep your software – including your operating system, the web browsers you use to connect to the Internet, and your apps – up to date to protect against the latest threats. Most software can update automatically, so make sure to set yours to do so.

Outdated software is easier for criminals to break into. If you think you have a virus or bad software on your computer, check out how to detect and get rid of malware.

2)      PROTECT YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION

Don’t hand it out to just anyone. Your Social Security number, credit card numbers, and bank and utility account numbers can be used to steal your money or open new accounts in your name. So, every time you are asked for your personal information – whether in a web form, an email, a text, or a phone message – think about why someone needs it and whether you can really trust the request.

To steal your information, scammers will do everything they can to appear trustworthy.

3)      PROTECT YOUR PASSWORDS

Here are a few ideas for creating strong passwords and keeping them safe:

- Use at least 10 characters; 12 is ideal for most home users.

- Try to be unpredictable – don’t use names, dates, or common words. Mix numbers, symbols, and capital letters into the middle of your password, not at the beginning or end.

- Don’t use the same password for many accounts. If it’s stolen from you – or from one of the companies where you do business – thieves can use it to take over all your accounts.

- Don’t share passwords on the phone, in texts or by email. Legitimate companies will not ask you for your password.

- If you write down a password, keep it locked up, out of plain sight.

4)      CONSIDER TURNING ON TWO-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION

For accounts that support it, two-factor authentication requires both your password and an additional piece of information to log in to your account. The second piece could be a code sent to your phone, or a random number generated by an app or a token. This protects your account even if your password is compromised.

5)      GIVE PERSONAL INFORMATION OVER ENCRYPTED WEBSITES ONLY

If you’re shopping or banking online, stick to sites that use encryption to protect your information as it travels from your computer to their server. To determine if a website is encrypted, look for https at the beginning of the web address. That means the site is secure.

6)      BACK UP YOUR FILES

No system is completely secure. Copy your files to an external hard drive or cloud storage. If your computer is attacked by malware, you’ll still have access to your files.

Source: The Federal Trade Commission

 

 

 

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQX: 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, including the main office in the community of Great Kills and branches in West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank.

A planned sixth branch, to be situated in Meiers Corners, has received both regulatory and building department approvals.

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.

 

 

NYC Department of Consumer Affairs Releases Report Marking 1st Year of ‘Freelance Isn't Free Act’

 

If you are a freelancer in New York City, your chances of getting paid in a timely fashion for your work have improved during the past year, posits Victory State Bank. The only community-based business bank on Staten Island points to Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Lorelei Salas’ announcement of a recently released report: “Demanding Rights in an On-Demand Economy: Key Findings from Year One of NYC’s Freelance Isn’t Free Act.”

The report by the DCA’s Office of Labor Policy & Standards (OLPS) summarizes key findings from the Office’s work implementing the law in its first year. The Freelance Isn’t Free Act, the first law of its kind in the country, took effect May 15, 2017 – giving freelance workers the legal right to written contracts, timely payment, and freedom from retaliation.

In its first year, DCA received 299 inquiries about the law and 264 complaints from freelancers. The most common allegations were for payment violations (98 percent), including late payment and non-payment for services. To date, DCA has assisted freelancers in recovering $254,866 in lost wages.

The report’s findings show that freelancers who filed complaints report a high level of satisfaction with the Navigation Program, which serves freelancers who inquire about the law or seek to assert their rights under it.

Freelancers cite navigators’ quick responsiveness, high level of knowledge about the law, and their sense of caring and support. DCA will use the report’s findings to strengthen outreach and education of this critical workplace law to workers and hiring parties alike.

“I am proud of the success DCA’s Office of Labor Policy & Standards has had securing lost wages for freelance workers while empowering them to take action and seek help,” said DCA Commissioner Salas. “Our report shows that making it clear to those that hire freelancers that there is oversight of new requirements, including issuing written contracts and making timely payment has been a successful safeguard for workers, leading them to being paid on time and in full. DCA will use the findings from this report to better inform our educational outreach to ensure that all New Yorkers’ rights at work – whatever kind of work it is – are protected.”

 

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM THE REPORT INCLUDE:

  • The majority of freelance workers who use the Navigation Program secured payment from their hiring parties.

Findings show the Navigation Program is highly effective in securing payment for freelancers. Of the 259 complaints for payment violations DCA received since May 2017, 37 percent of freelancers were paid within 30 days, 54 percent within 60 days, and 61 percent within 90 days. Additionally, 90 percent of these freelancers received the full amount owed by their hiring party.

DCA assists freelancers in exercising their rights through the Navigation Program in a number of ways including:

1)      Fielding general inquiries about the law, so both freelancers and hiring parties are well-informed about their rights and obligations;

 

2)      Conducting initial consultations with freelancers who believe their hiring party may have violated the law;

 

3)      Attempting to resolve workers’ complaints against hiring parties by sending a notice of complaint to the hiring party and communicating the hiring party’s response to the freelancer;

 

4)      Preparing freelancers to and guiding them through the process of pursuing their claims in civil court; and

 

5)      Developing and distributing materials and training and education to help freelancers exercise their rights and hiring parties fulfill their obligations.

 

  • The majority of complainants who secured payment did not need to pursue their claim in court.

The report indicates that 21 percent of workers who filed a complaint with DCA received payment following the initial consultation with a navigator, 77 percent received payment after a navigator sent a notice of complaint to the hiring party, and 2 percent were resolved after the freelancer filed a suit in civil court.

The law includes several provisions designed to make it easier for freelancers to initiate and win lawsuits alleging breach of contract for failure to pay for services. This includes a requirement mandating hiring parties to pay double damages and attorneys’ fees when a freelancer prevails in their suit for non-payment, making relatively small cases more viable for a freelancer to pursue. Because of these added protections – hiring parties are more likely to settle outside of the courtroom, saving freelancers’ time while increasing their ability to collect lost wages sooner.

  • Complainants come from a wide range of industries and occupations, tend to be young, English-speaking, and highly educated.

While 72 percent of freelancers who filed a complaint with DCA worked in the arts and entertainment industry, individual occupations varied drastically, with the most common occupations including photographers (11 percent), film and video editors (9 percent), and journalists (8 percent).

While freelancers between the ages of 18-29 made up only 9 percent of the freelancer population in New York City, they represented 46 percent of all complaints received. Complainants also had higher levels of education (86 percent held a bachelor’s or higher compared to 49 percent of all freelancers in New York City), greater incomes ($47,500 median annual income compared to $30,000) and were far more likely to report English as their primary language (97 percent compared to 50 percent).

DCA will continue to develop and pursue strategies to reach more workers who can benefit from the law, including paid advertising and social media campaigns. DCA will use the information gathered during the first year of the law to recommend ways to improve the Freelance Isn’t Free Act.

 

 

ABOUT VICTORY STATE BANK

 

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQX: 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, including the main office in the community of Great Kills and branches in West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank.

A planned sixth branch, to be situated in Meiers Corners, has received both regulatory and building department approvals.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

6 Ways for New College Grads to Strengthen Their Future Finances

 

 

If you are a new college graduate, take steps now to strengthen your financial future, advises Victory State Bank.

 According to the American Bankers Association (ABA), more than 70 percent of college graduates began their career owing more than $37,000 in student loans in 2017.

 To assist recent grads faced with additional living expenses on the horizon, Victory State Bank is sharing the following tips from ABA for those seeking financial success as they embark on their next phase of life:

 

 

1)      LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS

 Supporting yourself can be expensive, and you can quickly find yourself struggling financially if you don’t take time to create a budget. Calculate the amount of money you’re taking home after taxes, then figure out how much money you can afford to spend each month while contributing to your savings. Be sure to factor in recurring expenses such as student loans, monthly rent, utilities, groceries, transportation expenses and car loans.

 

2)      PAY BILLS ON TIME

 Missed payments can hurt your credit history for up to seven years and can affect your ability to get loans, the interest rates you pay and your ability to get a job or rent an apartment. Consider setting up automatic payments for regular expenses like student loans, car payments and phone bills. Take advantage of any reminders or notification features. You can also contact creditors and lenders to request a different monthly due date from the one provided by default (e.g., switching from the 1st of the month to the 15th).

 

3)      AVOID RACKING UP TOO MUCH DEBT

 Understand the responsibilities and benefits of credit. Shop around for a card that best suits your needs, and spend only what you can afford to pay back. Credit is a great tool, but only if you use it responsibly.

 

4)      PLAN FOR RETIREMENT

 It may seem odd since you’re just beginning your career, but now is the best time to start planning for your retirement. Contribute to retirement accounts like a Roth IRA or your employer’s 401(k), especially if there is a company match. Invest enough to qualify for your company’s full match – it’s free money that adds up to a significant chunk of change over the years. Automatic retirement contributions quickly become part of your financial lifestyle without having to think about it.

 

5)      PREPARE FOR EMERGENCIES

 Hardships can happen in a split second. Start an emergency fund and do your best to set aside the equivalent of three to six months’ worth of living expenses. Start saving immediately, no matter how small the amount. Make saving a part of your lifestyle with automatic payroll deductions or automatic transfers from checking to savings. Put your tax refund toward saving instead of an impulse buy.

 

6)      GET FREE HELP FROM YOUR BANK

 Many banks offer personalized financial checkups to help you identify and meet your financial goals. You can also take advantage of their free digital banking tools that let you check balances, pay bills, deposit checks, monitor transaction history and track your budget.

 

 

ABOUT VICTORY STATE BANK

 VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQX: 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, including the main office in the community of Great Kills and branches in West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank.

 A planned sixth branch, to be situated in Meiers Corners, has received both regulatory and building department approvals.

 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.

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Let the Funeral Notification Scam Fool You

 

 

Scam artists have no heart when it comes to tricking their victims. Victory State Bank is pointing to a ruse that may shock and sadden, as well as rob, the victim: The “funeral notifications” scam.

In this email hoax, as described by the New York Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection, the term "funeral notification" is written in the subject line. The intention is to deceptively inform recipients of an upcoming farewell ceremony in remembrance of a friend or loved one.

These emails appear to be sent from legitimate funeral homes and instruct recipients to click on a link for “more detailed information.” 

Beware the link – it sends victims to a third-party website where malware, or “malicious software,” is downloaded. The software causes computer havoc and allows scammers to gain access to the user’s computer information, which can then be used in fraudulent activity.

If you receive such an email, delete it immediately.

 

 

 

 

ABOUT VICTORY STATE BANKVSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQX: 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, including the main office in the community of Great Kills and branches in West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank.

A planned sixth branch, to be situated in Meiers Corners, has received both regulatory and building department approvals.

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.