COVID-19 Update & Frequently Asked Questions
As you are aware, Governor Walz recently extended the Minnesota Stay Home Order until May 4 in response to COVID-19. We understand the uneasiness and hardship many of you are experiencing during these uncertain times. Please know that we are here for you and willing to help in any way we can. Although we continue to have suspended lobby visits, we are ready and able to support the majority of your financial needs via phone and drive-thrus. Lake Area Bank online banking and mobile banking are also secure and popular options for efficient service. As a quick reference, the attached document outlines the variety of financial tasks you can perform using each of these resources.
As we all maneuver through these challenging times, we want to reassure you of Lake Area Bank’s safety and stability. Throughout these past few weeks, we’ve fielded a number of questions and would like to address some of the more common ones below. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions or concerns.
We wish you and your loved ones health and safety!
Your friends at Lake Area Bank
With temporarily reduced branch access, is my money still insured?
Lake Area Bank is an FDIC-insured bank. Regardless of the bank’s operating conditions, your money is insured by the FDIC. Deposits with an FDIC-insured bank or savings institution will continue to be protected up to at least $250,000. Please see additional information regarding deposit insurance.
Will there be enough cash during a pandemic or other national disaster? Do I need to keep large amounts of cash in my possession to protect myself in case there is not enough cash available in the future?
The Federal Reserve System has and will continue to meet the currency needs of banking customers. Be assured that sufficient resources are available to handle customer needs. Consumers are encouraged to continue to conduct transactions as they normally would. Credit and debit cards and other payment systems will operate as normal.
Keep in mind, the safest place for your money is inside an FDIC-insured bank. Having significant sums of cash to fund more than your normal activities might seem like a good idea, but cash is also subject to loss or could make you a target for theft. Banks will continue to ensure that their customers have access to funds either directly or electronically, and inside an FDIC-insured bank, your funds are protected by the FDIC. Since 1933, no depositor has ever lost a penny of FDIC insured funds.
Is there anyone I can speak with if I have detailed questions about my FDIC deposit insurance coverage?
Yes. The FDIC has a team of subject matter experts available to answer your questions. Please call 1-877-ASK-FDIC (1-877-275-3342) and ask to speak to a Deposit Insurance Subject Matter Expert.
If you prefer, you can also contact the FDIC in writing through their FDIC Deposit Insurance Form via the FDIC Information and Support Center at: https://ask.fdic.gov/fdicinformationandsupportcenter/s/
I’m concerned about fees and early withdrawal penalties caused by COVID-19 related issues.
We are aware of the financial impact the COVID-19 pandemic may have on some of our customers. As a community bank, we value the relationships we have built with our customers, and we care for their financial well-being. During this unprecedented time, we will work with customers who have contacted us regarding fees as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
How can I protect against fraud or scams?
Protect your personal and financial information. Understand that some people may take advantage of COVID-19 by using fraudulent websites, phone calls, emails, and text messages claiming to offer “help” but may be trying to trick people into providing Social Security numbers, bank account numbers, and other valuable details. Do not divulge your bank or credit card numbers or other personal information over the phone unless you initiated the conversation with the other party and you know that it is a reputable organization. In addition, you should be cautious about online solicitations. Be on guard against imposters who contact you claiming to be government employees or volunteers and who ask for personal financial information or money. Reject offers to cash a check for someone in exchange for a fee, even if the bank makes the funds available to you right away, as it may later turn out that the check was fraudulent.
What can I do if someone steals my identity?
If you have reason to believe you may be a victim of ID theft, you may place a “fraud alert” on your credit file by contacting the fraud department at one of these three major credit bureaus. You only need to notify one credit bureau.
Placing a “fraud alert” on your credit file can help prevent a thief from opening new accounts or making changes to your existing accounts. Be aware, however, that placing an alert on your credit file also may prevent you from opening an account unless the bank can contact you and positively confirm your identity and that you are applying for credit.
In addition, people who think their personal information has been misused should contact the local police. They also can contact and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission by phone at 1-877-438-4338 or online at www.identitytheft.gov/.
As always, protect your Social Security number, bank account and credit card numbers, and other personal information, especially in response to unsolicited requests from strangers. Fraudsters may try to trick you into divulging personal information, or they may steal sensitive mail or documents from homes and offices.