Anthem Reports Nearly One Million People with Massachusetts Ties at Risk; AG Announced Investigation of Breach Earlier this Month
AG HEALEY URGES MASSACHUSETTS CONSUMERS POTENTIALLY AFFECTED BY ANTHEM DATA BREACH TO TAKE ACTION TO PROTECT THEIR CREDIT, IDENTITY
Anthem Reports Nearly One Million People with Massachusetts Ties at Risk; AG Announced Investigation of Breach Earlier this Month
Citizens Bank and necn now accepting applications
for Champions in Action program
Nonprofit will receive $35,000 and media exposure in 2015
BOSTON – Citizens Bank and necn are now accepting applications for the second 2015 Champion in Action in the Veterans Services category. The Champions in Action® program provides financial, volunteer and public relations support to local nonprofits.
Nonprofit organizations focused on Veterans Services are invited to apply for the Champions award to be announced in July. Applications can be completed online atwww.citizensbank.com/community/champions and must be submitted by Friday, February 27 at 5 p.m.
Champions in Action is part of Citizens Helping Citizens Strengthen Communities, the bank’s program designed to enhance quality of life and economic vitality in local communities. It provides support for small nonprofit organizations to recognize their contributions to communities throughout Massachusetts. To date, the program has given 42 nonprofits more than $1 million in grants and promotional support in Massachusetts.
The selected Champion in Action will receive:
- A $35,000 contribution in unrestricted funds from Citizens Bank;
- Media coverage from necn including public service announcements and television profiles over the course of six months;
- Volunteer support from Citizens’ and necn’s colleagues;
- The opportunity for the organization’s executive director to participate in a “President-to-President” mentorship with Citizens Bank’s Jerry Sargent;
- Extensive public relations support;
- Promotional support highlighting the Champion in Action on all Citizens Bank branch DCN screens and on its ATMs;
- Exposure on both Citizens Bank and necn websites.
To be eligible for consideration, an organization must:
- Be a Massachusetts-based nonprofit organization that serves Massachusetts and addresses the designated social concern;
- Provide verification of tax-exempt status under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code; and
- Have a total operating budget of $5 million or less.
For more information about the Champions in Action program, visit www.citizensbank.com/community.
Citizens Helping Citizens Strengthen Communities is part of the bank’s broader Citizens Helping Citizens program addressing five key areas: hunger, housing, economic development, financial education and volunteerism. Get more information about Citizens Bank’s community initiatives online.
BOSTON – With tax season underway, Attorney General Maura Healey is offering helpful information for consumers on how to protect their information against identity theft and avoid scams.
“We urge consumers to pay extra attention this tax season as identity thieves are finding more ways to compromise personal and financial information,” AG Healey said. “Our office will continue to be a source of education and assistance for consumers on how to prevent identity theft, including steps they can take to recover if they become a victim.”
Tax identity theft happens when someone files a fake tax return using your personal information – like your Social Security Number – to get a tax refund from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It also can happen when someone uses your Social Security number to get a job or claims your child as a dependent on a tax return. Tax identity theft has been the most common form of identity theft reported to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for the past five years. The IRS also reports receiving thousands of complaints about IRS imposters who contact people and claim they owe unpaid taxes and will be arrested if they do not pay up.
Consumers may find out something is wrong after they file their tax return, or if they receive a letter from the IRS saying that more than one tax return was filed in their name, or if IRS records show wages from an employer that they do not know.
Tax identity thieves get your personal information in a number of ways, including going through your trash, stealing mail from your home, or sending phony “phishing” emails that look like they are from the IRS and ask for personal information. Consumers should also be particularly aware of employees at hospitals, nursing homes, banks, and other businesses that have regular access to personal information and opportunity to steal such information, along with phony or dishonest tax preparers that may misuse clients’ information for their own benefit or pass it along to identity thieves.
Keeping vigilant is the best defense against these fraudulent practices. The AG’s Office offers consumers the following suggestions to help them protect against potential identity theft:
- File your tax return early in the tax season;
- Use a secure internet connection if you file electronically. Avoid the use of public computers whenever possible;
- Mail your tax return directly from the post office;
- Shred copies of your tax return, drafts, or calculation sheets you no longer need;
- Regularly shred mail or other correspondence containing personal account numbers, such as mortgage statements or insurance information.
- If you do not have a safe place to receive mail, consider getting a P.O. Box at the post office.
- Know that the IRS and most banking institutions will not contact you by email, text, or social media asking for personal information. If the IRS needs information, it will first contact you by mail;
- Do not give out your Social Security Number (SSN) or Medicare number unless necessary. Never give this information out over the phone following an unsolicited phone call, no matter who the person calling claims to be;
- Research tax preparers thoroughly and get recommendations where possible before handing over your personal information; and
- Check your credit report for free at least once a year, at each of the three major reporting agencies, by visiting annualcreditreport.com to make sure no other accounts have been opened in your name.
If you have reason to believe your personal information may have been compromised, consider contacting the credit reporting agencies to place a fraud alert or security freeze on your credit file. For information regarding the process to place these types of alerts, and the attendant costs and consequences of doing so, contact any one of the following agencies: Equifax, (800) 525-6285, www.equifax.com; Experian, (888) 397-3742, www.experian.com; or TransUnion, (800) 680-7289, www.transunion.com.
If your SSN has been compromised, contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at (800) 908-4490. More information about tax identity theft is available on the AG’s website, or from the FTC at ftc.gov/taxidtheft and the IRS at irs.gov/identitytheft. If you have a question about your taxes, call the IRS at (800) 829-1040 or go to irs.gov. You can report IRS imposter scams to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration online or at (800) 366-4484, and to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.
Energy audits available now
Island residents are encouraged to take advantage of a free, Mass Save energy assessment and receive free, unlimited LEDs, smart powerstrips, 75 percent off insulation work, and a customized list of recommendations to reduce their home’s energy this winter, and save all year long. New incentives for 2015 include: no-cost wifi thermostats, dehumidifiers and heat pump water heaters.
For more information on the requirements or to signup for a free home energy assessment, visit: www. ackenergy.org or call (800) 632-8300. For more information, contact Lauren Sinatra, energy coordinator, at lsinatra@ nantucket-ma.gov.
The First Public Informational Meeting for the Cape Cod Canal Area Transportation Study has been scheduled for Thursday, January 15th 2015, starting at 7:00 PM in Admirals Hall on the Massachusetts Maritime Academy Campus. Please note, the campus is located at 101 Academy Drive in Bourne, and directional signs will also be posted on site.
The purpose of the meeting will be to introduce the conceptual planning study, and to solicit input from the general public. The information presented at this meeting will be similar to what was presented at the first Working Group meeting on October 29th 2014. This will include the study background and purpose, and a presentation of the study’s framework elements.
Citizens Bank invites public to set #AnExtraPlate this holiday season to help feed 100,000 neighbors in need
EMBARGOED UNTIL: December 2, 2014 More information: Lauren DiGeronimo
Citizens Bank invites public to set #AnExtraPlate this holiday season to help feed
100,000 neighbors in need
Bank kicks off #GivingTuesday global giving event with social media program that empowers others
Providence, R.I. – To help some of the more than 49 million Americans who are food insecure, Citizens Bank is kicking off #GivingTuesday – December 2 through the Holiday Season– with #AnExtraPlate, a social media campaign that will provide 100,000 meals to Americans who struggle to put food on their tables.
Simply set a plate, snap a photo of it, and tweet it out with #AnExtraPlate to @CitizensBank throughout the holiday season. Or on Facebook, share a photo to your timeline with #AnExtraPlate, tag Citizens Bank, and set the post as public. For every plate shared with the bank online, Citizens Bank will donate a meal to a local food bank, up to 100,000 meals.
“The holidays are a time of gathering together with family and friends, often enjoying a meal, but sadly, many aren’t able to participate in this time honored tradition,” said Jerry Sargent, Citizens Bank Massachusetts president. “You may not be able to invite all those who are hungry to your holiday table, but you can help by setting an extra plate for them, and feeding them virtually by participating in #AnExtraPlate.”
Food insecurity is a problem in even this country’s wealthiest cities. For example, over 520,000 children and adults go without meals in eastern Massachusetts. There are nearly 83,000 food insecure citizens in central Massachusetts, and over 95,000 in western Massachusetts. Citizens Bank has made a commitment to help those who struggle to put food on their tables in the communities where it does business. Through Citizens Helping Citizens Fight Hunger, Citizens Bank has provided more than 2.2 million meals in 2014 alone.
Giving Tuesday is a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.
For more information about #AnExtraPlate, visit the bank’s YouTube channel.
About Citizens Financial Group, Inc.
Citizens Financial Group Inc. is one of the nation’s oldest and largest financial institutions, with $131.3 billion in assets as of September 30, 2014. Headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, the company offers a broad range of retail and commercial banking products and services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, large corporations and institutions. Consumer Banking helps its retail customers “bank better” with mobile and online banking, a 24/7 customer contact center and the convenience of approximately 3,200 ATMs and approximately 1,200 Citizens Bank and Charter One branches in 11 states in the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions. Citizens also provides mortgage lending, auto lending, student lending and commercial banking services in selective markets nationwide. Citizens Commercial Banking offers corporate, institutional and not-for-profit clients a full range of wholesale banking products and services including lending and deposits, capital markets, treasury services, foreign exchange and interest hedging, leasing and asset finance, specialty finance and trade finance.
Citizens operates via subsidiaries Citizens Bank, N.A., and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. Additional information about Citizens and its full line of products and services can be found at www.citizensbank.com.
Morse Pond gets haul from small change
Students at the Morse Pond School of Falmouth were among more than 62,500 students throughout Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine to pool together their pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters to raise more than $197,900 to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through Olive Garden’s “Pasta for Pennies” drive.The Morse Pond students raised $7,800.85 to become one of the three top fundraising schools in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.
In these three states, students at 128 elementary, middle and high schools filled collection jars and boxes in their classrooms with spare change over a three-week period. The top fundraising class at each participating school received a pasta party from their local Olive Garden restaurant.
Thanks to the efforts of students nationwide, $10.1 million was raised through “Pasta for Pennies” during the 2013-14 school year. Spare change raised through “Pasta for Pennies” helps fund blood cancer research and provides needed services and support to leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma patients and their families.
Thank you to all the Morse Pond School students and staff, Congratulations!!