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Hills Bank and Trust Company Successful Business Newsletter.  Member FDIC.
Volume 5, Issue 5: September - October 2010     

In This Issue


Lifestages for wherever you are in life.  Visit our Lifestages tab on hillsbank.com for ways to help fortify your business's bottom dollar.


10 Second Tip

10 Scams to Screen from Your Email

  1. The "Nigerian" email scam
  2. Phishing
  3. Work from home scams
  4. Fake software updates
  5. Foreign lotteries
  6. Sexual enhancement products
  7. Check overpayment scams
  8. Pay-in-advance credit offers
  9. Debt relief
  10. IRS refunds

Visit OnGuard Online for more information on how to protect your business from email scams.


Hills Happenings

The bank will be closed on the following holiday:

  • Veteran's Day - Thursday, November 11

Even though we will be closed, you can still do your banking at over 70 Hills Bank ATMs in the Corridor, Hills Bank Online, or through Push Button Banker.

View the complete Hills Bank holiday schedule


Send us your feedback!

Greater Cedar Rapids Parade of Homes

The Greater Cedar Rapids Area Home Builders Association is hosting its annual Parade of Homes continues until September 26. Homes are open on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 pm and on Tuesday and Thursday from 5 to 8 pm.


Cedar Rapids Chamber Business Expo

Join the Cedar Rapids Chamber for their annual Business Expo, September 23, from 2-6 pm at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

The Business Expo allows businesses to showcase their latest products and services. Designed for small and large businesses alike, the Business Expo allows you to attract new customers, intrigue your existing client base, and increase sales overall.

Learn more!


The Greater Iowa City Area New Construction Open House

The New Construction Open House will be held on October 2nd - 3rd and October 9th - 10th from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. Watch the Home Builders Association website for more details!

Catch Me If You Can
Upcoming Business Fraud Seminar

The third and final installment of our 2010 business fraud seminars will take place in October. This seminar will feature a local law enforcement official who will discuss physical security, credit card security, ATM skimmers, social engineering, and fraudulent product sales.

Sergeant Kent Steenblock from the Linn County Sheriff's Department will present at the Cedar Rapids seminar, and Sergeant James Roberts from the Johnson County Sheriff's Department will present at the Coralville seminar. Additional information will be shared by Hills Bank staff about business credit cards, online banking, and merchant processing.

Cedar Rapids Seminar
Tuesday, October 12th
11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Hills Bank and Trust Company
3905 Blairs Ferry Rd NE, Cedar Rapids
Please RSVP by October 8th to Elaine Blythe
at 319-866-7022 or email elaine_blythe@hillsbank.com.
Lunch will be provided.

Coralville Seminar
Wednesday, October 13th
11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Hills Bank and Trust Company
1009 2nd Street, Coralville
Please RSVP by October 8th to Carrie Ebel
at 319-358-2272 or email carrie_ebel@hillsbank.com.
Lunch will be provided.

Seating is limited, so please RSVP as soon as possible.



Treasury Goes Green, Saves Green

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Financial Management Service (FMS) is phasing out the federal tax paper payments by December 31, 2010.

This is a direct result of increased confidence in the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). This system is provided free by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and enables business and individual taxpayers to make all their federal tax payments electronically 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through the Internet or by phone.

You can decide to use either or both of these methods to pay your personal or business federal taxes. No special training is needed; whichever method you use, you will be prompted for the information required to make a payment. Because all information is entered online or by phone, you can check the accuracy of the information you report. Plus, you’ll receive an EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) Acknowledgment Number as a receipt for your payment.

No one has access to your account except you. The combination of your Taxpayer Identification Number (Employer Identification Number or Social Security Number) and a Personal Identification Number (PIN) gives you the security you need. And with EFTPS payments made online, you have the added security of an Internet password.

EFTPS has many advantages over paying by check:

  • It’s secure: the highest level of security online, plus three unique pieces of authentication are required online so your information is protected.
  • It’s fast: you can make a tax payment in minutes.
  • It’s accurate: there is a verification process, so you are able to check and review your information before it is sent.
  • It’s convenient: EFTPS is available to you by Internet or phone – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • It’s easy to use: it’s a step-by-step process that tells you what information you need to make any federal tax payment.
  • It helps reduce penalties: you can schedule payments in advance and check the accuracy of your information.

For information on how to enroll in the EFTPS visit www.eftps.gov/eftps. Until the deadline of December 31, 2010, paper payments can still be made at any Hills Bank location.



Ask the Expert

Q. I’m too busy to sign checks for my business. Is there a solution?

A. Often when business owners are too busy or are out of the office frequently they will use what is called a facsimile signature. A facsimile signature can either be a stamp or an electronic replica of a person’s signature. These can be seen on government checks or on checks of larger companies. In order to use a facsimile signature, the account holder’s bank must obtain a copy of it in order for it to be a valid signature for their account.

There are some risks associated with facsimile signature. It is important that it is kept in a locked place and even better if it can be kept in separate storage from their checks. This will help prevent the theft and forgery of your checks since the bank is unaware of who stamped the check. The same is true for an electronic facsimile signature as it should only be accessible to those who need it.

If you have questions on facsimile signatures or are interested in getting one for your business, please feel free to contact a Commercial Sales Representative at any Hills Bank location, or call us at 1-800-445-5725 (1-800-HILLSBK).

Have a question? Submit it to enewsletter@hillsbank.com to have it featured in an upcoming issue.

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