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Newsletter 4th Quarter 2020

Inside This Issue:

Kevin Ravenscroft Announced as President & CEO

We are pleased to announce the hiring of Kevin Ravenscroft as president and chief executive officer of the bank. He will replace Gary Harrop who will continue with the bank as chairman of the board of directors.

Kevin joins the bank after spending the past 11 years as president and chief executive officer of Timberwood Bank in Tomah which was recently sold to Bank First of Manitowoc, Wisconsin.  He has been in banking since 1994 and is a graduate of the Graduate School of Banking in Colorado.  Ravenscroft commented, “I am honored to join such a strong organization as the next president and CEO.  I could tell immediately the bank had a wonderful culture, outstanding staff, and is customer focused which are the perfect attributes for a community bank.  The bank’s strength, legacy, and brand make it an integral part of the communities we serve and I look forward to continuing that mission and deepening those ties in the future.

Harrop added, “Our board of directors has been planning this management transition for some time.  Our focus has been to hire an individual with community banking experience that will maintain our customer-oriented culture.  Kevin has demonstrated over his career the ability to effectively manage a bank, care for his staff and lead an organization into the future.  I’m confident that he will continue to build on the principles that we’ve been able to establish over the years.

Gary Harrop began full-time employment with the bank in January, 1976 and has served as president since 1980.  In addition to serving as chairman of the board he will continue to serve the bank’s trust department with trust management and estate settlement.

The Peoples Community Bank Presents Neighborhood Housing Services of Southwest Wisconsin with $21,000 Grant

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago recently announced a Targeted Impact Fund consisting of grants to support member banks and the communities they serve that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Through this program we partnered with the Federal Home Loan Bank to provide a grant of $21,000 to Neighborhood Housing Services of Southwest Wisconsin. 

Neighborhood Housing Services is a non-profit organization located in Richland Center that provides housing-related services including homebuyer education, down payment loans, home improvement loans, foreclosure intervention, and senior housing, to area residents of low and moderate-income. Gary Harrop commented, “The valuable work that Neighborhood Housing Services does to enhance our communities and improve the quality of life for those most in need made them an easy recommendation for this grant. We appreciate the efforts of The Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago in having initiated this program and are pleased to collaborate with them to provide financial assistance to a worthy organization.

Bill Reinke, Executive Director of Neighborhood Housing Services of Southwest Wisconsin commented, “We’re grateful to The Peoples Community Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago for the award of the Targeted Impact Fund grant. We’re glad to continue our partnership with The Peoples Community Bank on our growing work in affordable housing in Richland County.  They share our commitment to work toward building and preserving affordable housing to strengthen our community and the people who live here and better deal with the effects of COVID-19.

Neighborhood Housing Services was founded in 1983 with a goal of educating area residents in affordable housing services and in revitalizing local communities. Over the years they’ve expanded and now offer affordable housing programs in 12 counties in Southwest Wisconsin.

Scammers Overwhelmingly Target Seniors

It’s no surprise that COVID-19 scams have been popping up lately. Fraudsters will use any angle they can to target unsuspecting victims. And one of the most common targets, according to the FBI, is senior citizens. In fact, they estimate losses due to elder fraud to be more than $3 billion annually and growing. 

One of the more prevalent fraud schemes that these criminals have used over the last couple of years is what is referred to as a “tech support scam”. In this instance, criminals pose as technology support representatives and offer to fix non-existent computer issues. Some even pretend to be connected with Microsoft, Apple or a familiar security software company such as Norton or McAfee and claim to have detected an imminent threat to the victim’s computer. They will ask for remote access to the computer in order to run phony diagnostic tests, then pretend to have found malware or a virus that could corrupt the machine or its data.

Once they’ve gained access to the computer they will turn up the pressure on the target insisting that they pay for unnecessary repairs, new software, or unneeded products and services. In some cases, they will even go as far as to “refund” the victim for services rendered. Then claim to have “accidently” overpaid and request that the victim wire them the amount that they’ve been overpaid. The victim, feeling guilty, wires the funds back, later to find out that the money was never actually “refunded” in the first place. 

Warning Signs

  • You get an unsolicited phone call or email from someone claiming to work for a brand-name tech company such as Microsoft or Apple. Those companies do not contact customers unless the customer initiates communication.
  • A pop-up or blue screen appears on your computer with a warning that a virus or other malicious program has infected your device. The message urges you to immediately call a toll-free number or click a link to get technical help or security software.
  • You are asked to pay for tech support or other services with a gift card, cash-reload card or wire transfer. The FTC says no legitimate company will ask for payment that way.

Scammers try to create a sense of urgency to produce fear and irrational thinking. If you find yourself in a precarious position or feel like something is off about a call or transaction, our call center can be reached at (800) 795-2151.