FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 19, 2020

MEDIA CONTACT:
Dominic Binkley: 614-728-4127

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Fear and uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic could give rise to an outbreak of scams, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost warns.

“COVID-19 is not the only thing we have to protect ourselves against,” Yost said. “Thieves and crooks prey on fear and uncertainty. Ohioans need to inoculate themselves against an outbreak of scams with knowledge and good practices.”

Yost encourages Ohioans to follow these tips to avoid coronavirus-related scams:

  • Watch out for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or other expert sources with special advice or information about the coronavirus. Legitimate information is available for free on the CDC’s website.
  • Ignore online advertisements promoting cures for the coronavirus. According to the Federal Trade Commission, “There currently are no vaccines, pills, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) online or in stores.”
  • Research nonprofit organizations and crowdfunding campaigns before donating. A database of registered charities is available on the Ohio Attorney General’s website. Avoid groups that pressure you into donating and never donate via cash, gift cards, wire transfer or prepaid money card. These are the preferred payment methods of scammers.
  • Be cautious of anyone going door to door offering coronavirus testing or temperature readings and requesting personal information. Call law enforcement immediately if you see a suspicious person. Never let strangers into your home.
  • Beware of emails and other attempts to “phish” for your personal, financial and medical information. When in doubt, do not share. If the source claims to be your bank or a government agency, confirm they are legitimate by calling the organization at a phone number you have verified.
  • Amid discussions of providing working families with government checks, know that nothing has been formalized yet. For more information, visit the Federal Trade Commission website and stay tuned for updates from reliable news sources.
  • When online, avoid clicking on unknown links or pop-ups and never download any suspicious email attachment. Doing so could infect your devices with malicious software designed to steal your personal information or lock your computer until you pay a ransom.

Consumers who suspect an unfair or deceptive sales practice should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at www.OhioProtects.org or 800-282-0515.

Home Buying Basics

A home purchase may be your largest financial transaction to date, so it's important to make the right decisions and to keep an eye on the details. With the assistance of your Real Estate Agent and Loan Officer, it should be an efficient, pleasant, and ultimately rewarding experience.

Count On Your Real Estate Agent To:

  1. Preview available homes to weed out those that are overpriced, or undesirable in some other way.
  2. Present the homes that suit your needs as you've defined them.
  3. Help you determine the difference between a "good buy" and a property which, because of its nature (neighborhood, market appeal, etc.), might have to be discounted if you decide to sell in the future.
  4. Negotiate the best deal for you. With a Pre-Qualification letter in hand, your Real Estate Agent will be able to demonstrate that you are a qualified and capable borrower. This will strongly influence the Seller, and may make the difference between the Seller accepting your offer or someone else's -- even if your offer is lower!

Dear Customer,

At The Peoples Bank, the health and well-being of our customers and employees is our top priority. We understand the concern and uncertainty you may be experiencing surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19). We've ensured that our branches, including ATM screens and keypads, and night depositories, are cleaned daily with EPA-approved disinfectants and that hand sanitizer is available for customers’ and employees’ use.

If you haven’t already, we strongly encourage you to download The Peoples Bank digital tools for self-service banking and 24/7 account access. It only takes a few minutes to enroll. Once enrolled in our online banking, you can then enroll in mobile access. Visit The Peoples Bank Mobile Banking for instructions on downloading our app.

Both digital tools allow you to transfer money, view transactions, pay bills, and check balances. The mobile app also allows you to make deposits. It’s easier and faster (in most cases) to manage your account digitally, especially given that call wait times may be longer than usual.

Should you find yourself in need of assistance, please contact us.

We continue to monitor this quickly evolving situation and are here to assist our customers as needed. Please visit our website at www.peoplesgambier.com for the latest updates.

For additional information about COVID-19, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at cdc.gov.

We wish you, your family, and our employees the best of health during this time.

Keep Your Money SafeIt only takes a few clicks to strengthen your security.

If 2019 taught us anything, it was that it’s just a matter of time before hackers find our personal information online.

After a string of major hacks affecting millions of internet users, there are few people left online who haven’t been affected. With 100 million Capital One customers having their sensitive data exposed on top of last year’s Equifax breach exposing the data of 148 million customers, Marriott exposing 500 million users’ information, and Exactis exposing the data of more than 340 million people, your information is at a higher risk than ever.

Here are five easy steps you can take to make yourself — and your finances — less hackable.