Arvest 1 Million Meals Campaign Reaches Halfway Point

Friday, October 02 at 11:25 AM
Category: Arvest News

Because of you, we're halfway to our goal of raising one million meals to feed our neighbors in need! Thanks for helping us fight hunger!

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark., — In early September, Arvest Bank announced the beginning of its fifth annual 1 Million Meals campaign, which challenges bank associates, customers and community members to fight hunger in the more than 120 communities the bank serves by providing at least one million meals to those in need. Today, the bank announced the campaign has raised 589,118 meals to date, more than halfway to its goal.

Arvest branches throughout Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma have been participating in this initiative by collecting nonperishable food items and monetary donations. These efforts will continue through Oct. 31, with the intention of reaching one million meals donated to the local communities Arvest serves just in time for the holidays.

Every dollar raised through 1 Million Meals provides the equivalent of five meals for local, hungry families.

For more information about 1 Million Meals, visit

Tags: 1 Million Meals, Charitable Giving, Community Support, Press Release

Advanced Password Tips and Tricks

Friday, October 02 at 10:40 AM
Category: Personal Finance

Time to create another password? Make it a secure one. A little extra attention when you create a strong password can prevent an attacker from getting access to your account.

Your password should be long, complex, and unique. Here are additional steps you can take to help create strong passwords and secure your accounts:
  • Avoid common words, phrases, or information. Don't use information available to others like your birthday, phone number, or Social Security number. Attackers often use a dictionary of previously exposed passwords and information gathered from the internet to help them guess a password.
  • Change passwords quickly if there is a breach. Attackers who steal data from companies often obtain password information. If you receive a notification from a company about a possible breach, change that password and any account that uses a similar password immediately.
  • Consider a password manager. Most people have trouble keeping track of all their passwords. Consider storing your passwords and security questions in a password manager, an easy-to-access application that allows you store all your valuable password information in one place. Use a strong password to secure the information in your password manager.
What about security questions? If you forget your password, many companies require you to answer security questions to regain access. Here are some tips to make sure an attacker can't use your security questions as a way to get into your account:
  • Select security questions where only you know the answer. Many security questions ask for answers to information available in public records or online, like your zip code, mother's maiden name, or birthplace. That is information a motivated attacker can obtain.
  • Don't use answers to security questions that can be guessed. An attacker can guess the answer to a security question that has a limited number of responses (dates, colors, states, countries). Avoid questions like "What state were you born in?" or "What color was your first car?" which allow an attacker to guess all possible answers.
  • Don't give a generic answer to a security question. Find an answer to a security question that you will remember but is also more complicated than a generic word. For example, if the security question asks "What was your favorite childhood activity?" the answer "watching the Dodgers with my mom" is more secure than "baseball."
Source: Federal Trade Commission 

Tags: Financial Education, Privacy and Security

Data Breach? Don’t Panic, but Do Prepare for Recovery

Thursday, October 01 at 10:50 AM
Category: Personal Finance

It may have happened to you already. A large company that holds personal data about you has reported that their data system was compromised. Despite ongoing innovations in data protection, data breaches are inevitable. The good news is that there are things you can do to protect your personal information and restore your privacy even after a data breach has occurred.

Credit Monitoring Helps, but It’s Not Enough
Reputable companies will offer some identity protection in the wake of a data breach, including credit monitoring by at least one of the three major credit reporting agencies – Experian, TransUnion or Equifax. However, while services like these will give you access to your credit reports, they usually won’t alert you to fraudulent activity. In addition to reviewing your credit reports regularly, you’ll also want to review each of your monthly credit statements with a careful eye. If you see unauthorized activity on any of your accounts, contact the company that holds the account and the credit reporting services immediately. Don’t forget Total Identity Monitoring with IDProtect™ monitors over 1,000 databases for suspicious activity!

Fighting Fraud Takes a Thorough Plan
Overcoming fraud and repairing your credit can be a complicated process. To do that, you’ll need to contact each of your credit providers (credit cards, store cards, banks) to notify them of your identity theft and resolve any issues with your accounts. You’ll also need to determine if your Social Security number has been compromised and protect yourself from criminals who may try to open new accounts in your name. Depending on where the original data breach occurred, you may also need to contact medical service providers and insurance companies to ensure that no one is filing medical claims in your name.
Tags: Consumer Protection, Credit Cards, Financial Education, Privacy and Security

Don't Get Taken by Wire Transfer Scams

Tuesday, September 29 at 09:20 AM
Category: Personal Finance

Using a bank to "wire" funds electronically is an easy and convenient way to send money to someone. And when consumers wire money to people they know, the transaction typically takes place without a problem. But wiring money to strangers – in the U.S., but especially in another country – is risky because often they could be scam artists. 

"Crooks like their victims to use wire transfers because the money moves fast, and they can take the money and run before the victim discovers the truth," explained Michael Benardo, manager of the FDIC's Cyber Fraud and Financial Crimes Section. "Con artists also know that the transaction is difficult to reverse, and the money is difficult to get back. That's why they will use any tactic to convince people to wire money to a complete stranger."
How can you protect yourself against wire fraud?
Never wire money to people you don't know, regardless of how convincing or enticing their story may be. Scammers often win their victims' confidence with some "bait," such as a work-at-home offer, a great deal on a product for sale, or news you have won some kind of lottery. Be especially careful with transactions over the internet, where the other person's true identity can remain anonymous. "A stranger asking you to wire money is a huge red flag that it is a scam. Don't fall for it," said Kathryn Weatherby, an FDIC fraud examination specialist.
But even if you get a request to send a wire transfer and it's supposedly from someone you do know, confirm that's the case some other way, such as through a separate phone call.
If you're being pressed to make a decision or send money fast, it's probably a sign of a scam. For example, crooks might frighten you with a phone call that a loved one is in trouble and needs cash sent to the caller immediately. "Thieves may try to divert you away from using a more traditional means of money transfer, such as a credit card or check," Benardo added. "To do this, they often stress the 'urgency' of the transaction to get the victim to act without thinking."

Walk away from any offer from a stranger who asks you to deposit a check into your bank account and instructs you to wire any of that money to someone else, perhaps in another country. Let's say you receive a check, cashier's check or money order for an item you are selling or to cover so-called processing fees, shipping costs or other expenses. But then you notice that the check is for more money – perhaps far more – than what you were expecting. The other party instructs you to deposit the check and wire a portion back to an associate in another country. Later you find out the check was fake and you are out all of the money you wired. In this type of scam, victims may end up owing thousands of dollars to the financial institution that wired the money. 
Likewise, if you are selling something online, be wary of a request by a "buyer" to wire you the money because that may be a ruse to get your bank account information. Or, this person may plan to send you the money illegally using someone else's bank account number, and ultimately you'd be without your merchandise as well any payment. "Always remember that wiring money is like sending cash, and because you voluntarily sent the money, you have fewer protections in terms of getting it back," Benardo said.
Never give out your bank account or credit card numbers in response to an advertisement or an unsolicited call, text message or email. That information could enable someone to steal money out of your account by a wire transfer, before you have time to realize the interaction was fabricated by a swindler.
For more information, see guidance from the Federal Trade Commission.* 

Information courtesy of FDIC Consumer News.

Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.

Tags: Financial Education, Privacy and Security

Friday Financial Forum Oct. 2 in Bartlesville, Okla.

Tuesday, September 29 at 03:45 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

Join us Friday, Oct. 2 at 10 a.m. for our Friday Financial Forum. We will meet at the Friday Forum Room at Arvest's East Side Branch, located at 4225 S.E. Adams Rd. in Bartlesville, Okla*. 

Our featured speaker this week is Steven Plaisance, President and COO of Arvest Bank – Mortgage Division and Central Mortgage Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Arvest Bank.
Plaisance began his career with Arvest as a part-time teller in Rogers, Ark., in 1989. He joined Arvest Mortgage Company in 1991 and has held a variety of leadership positions since 1996. Plaisance is an active member of the Mortgage Bankers Association, a national group that represents the entire real estate finance industry, and other industry associations. He is a two-time president of the Oklahoma Mortgage Bankers Association.
Plaisance earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Arkansas. He is  also a 1998 graduate of the Mortgage Bankers Association Future Leaders Program. He and his wife, Katy, live in Tulsa and have three sons.

What you can expect at the event:

  • Information: Community leaders share topical, local and state information (Sen. John Ford, Rep. Earl Sears & Rep. Travis Dunlap) 
  • News: "The Scoop" - all about business and community happenings in Bartlesville (Billie Roane, Arvest Bank) 
  • Stock Report & Economic Update: Josh Randolph**, Arvest Asset Management
  • Hilarious Anecdotes: Jim Bohnsack, Arvest Bank

Each week is different with a few surprises! Come join us for cookies and coffee and hear about what’s going on! 

If you have any questions or would like to add someone to the email invitation list, please contact Billie Roane at (918) 337-4358. We look forward to seeing you there!

**Josh Randolph - Oklahoma Insurance License #122041

Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution. 

Tags: Bartlesville, Community Support, Oklahoma

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