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September 6, 2023

Credit-Push Fraud: Recognizing the Signs

Credit-Push Fraud uses social engineering and email phishing attacks to deceive someone into sending funds to a criminal-controlled account. One good resource that broadly outlines CPF and offers steps for identifying and combatting the trend is Nacha’s recently released guidebook, “A New Risk Management Framework for the Era of Credit-Push Fraud”. Nacha’s Michael Herd states that “improved information sharing can counter fraud by improving awareness and understanding of fraud scenarios, enabling communication and recovery between parties regarding specific instances of fraud (”

CPF continues to dominate in the faster payments space with its expectation of quick turnaround and dependence on digital connections. Below are the four most prominent CPF scenarios, and how to protect against them, as outlined by Nacha.

Payroll Impersonation Fraud, characterized also as ghost employee fraud, employee misclassification fraud, or employee falsification fraud, occurs when cybercriminals hack employee records or access company portals using phished credentials to create a false identity. Much effort is made to identify an employee that has access to payroll and related accounting-type activities to redirect paychecks into a criminal-controlled account.

Best Protections: Tighten scrutiny over direct deposit changes and systems access, utilize multi-factor authentication for accessing sensitive employee records and details, and increase employee education for awareness and red flags.

Vendor Impersonation Fraud, also classified as Relationship and Trust Fraud by the Federal Reserve, takes place when fraudsters convince government agencies, service organizations, and third-party vendors to make payments to the fraudster’s account. Smaller businesses and vendors tend to fall prey to this fraud type, whereby internal protections may only be stopgap measures.

Best Protections: Authenticate all payment change requests using known contact information, separate internal oversight between current and new vendors, and maintain stringent policies for vendor address and direct deposit changes.

Business Email Compromise Fraud (BEC) occurs when an email of someone holding authority within a company (normally C-Level personnel) is compromised and a request for funds is sent to a trusted internal party. Also classified as Relationship and Trust Fraud by the Federal Reserve, BEC fraud can be very damaging to a company, given current focus on the digital space, quick money movement, and reliance on email communications to conduct daily operations. Fraudsters conduct BEC fraud using techniques such as spear-phishing, wicked malware, and slight changes to legitimate email and company addresses.

Best Protections: Be cautious of urgent requests, verify (in person when possible) every request for personal payments or fund transfers, set up and never disable two-factor authentication, and scrutinize email address formats, company URLs, and phone numbers.

Account Takeover Fraud (ATF) occurs when a fraudster gains access to all necessary account information and then conducts transfers into their own accounts or accounts funded for unscrupulous purposes. ATF can wreak havoc in many ways, but criminals with legitimate credentials can deplete accounts quickly and move on before raising suspicions.

Best Protections: Engage and never disable multi-factor-authentication on all accounts, stay mindful of data that is shared online and via social media sites, and never click on links in unsolicited emails and text messages.


MAY 25, 2022



As a consumer, it’s important to understand how fraud and scams are defined because there may be differences in the consumer protections offered by your bank or credit union. A basic way to differentiate fraud and scams is unauthorized vs. authorized transactions.


If someone gained access to your bank account and made a payment with Zelle® without your permission, and you weren’t involved in any way with the transaction, this is typically considered fraud since it was unauthorized activity. If someone gained access to your account, and stole money or sent it without your permission, this could be defined as fraud. Immediately report suspected unauthorized activity to your financial institution. Because you did NOT authorize a payment, you are typically able to get your money back after reporting the incident.


If you were knowingly involved in the transaction and you gave the “ok” and authorized a payment to be sent, this is typically defined as a scam. Even if you were tricked or persuaded into authorizing a payment for a good or service someone said they were going to provide, but they didn’t fulfill it, this would be considered a scam. Because you authorized the payment, you may not be able to get your money back. A few types of scams reported involve purchasing ticketsbuying puppies and other financial scams like cash flips. Get more examples of scams.

Contact Your Financial Institution for Possible Recourse

Contact your bank or credit union immediately if you feel you’ve been the victim of fraud or have been scammed. In cases of unauthorized payments, consumers have legal rights and protections under the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (also known as "Reg E”). It’s important to read the user service agreement and the account agreement with your financial institution to understand the terms of any payment service you intend to use.


How to Pay it Safe with Zelle®

Zelle® is a fast, safe and easy way to send money to friends and family. It’s similar to cash. So you want to make sure you use it to pay only people you know and trust, like your roommate, your dad or your babysitter. Not people you don't know, like that stranger on the internet selling suspiciously inexpensive puppies from a place you've never heard of. Look for Zelle® in your banking app, and pay it safe out there.

Digital payments continue to grow across the U.S. And with issues like identity theft and other cybercrimes on the rise, it’s important to know what you can to do help protect yourself – and your money - when sending and receiving money digitally. One of the easiest ways to protect yourself is to only send money to people you trust.

Here are some other things you can do:

1. Update your security settings: Change your security settings to enable multifactor authentication — which is a second step to verify who you are, like a text with a code — for any accounts or services you use that support it. For example, social media sites, online and mobile banking, credit cards, utilities and more.

2. Sign up for text or email alerts offered by your bank: Most banks and credit unions warn of suspicious activity on your account. Sign up for account alerts, and contact your bank immediately if you suspect unauthorized activity.

3. Steer clear of phishing calls and emails: Fraudsters today are using more sophisticated email and phone techniques to gain access to your information. Fraudsters spoof calls and send emails that look like they are from your bank. Beware of clicking links in emails, and never provide any information over the phone if someone stating they’re from your bank calls you. Hang up and call your bank at the phone number listed on the back of your bank-issued debit card or on the bank’s official website if you must provide information over the phone. Learn more about fraud and scams.

4. Don’t share personal details online: Avoid sharing your location, home address, phone number and other personal information across social media. Check your settings and permissions on each social platform, and activate any additional security features available, like two-factor authentication. Also, don’t accept friend/connection requests from people you don’t know.

5. Use strong passwords: Don’t use the same password for every site. Tools like Last Pass and KeePass will securely store your passwords so you don’t have to remember dozens of them. And, it goes without saying, but don’t share your passwords with anyone!

6. Beware public Wi-Fi: Using the free public Wi-Fi at your favorite neighborhood coffee shop may save you some gigabytes on your data plan, but it can come with risks. If you do choose to log onto the coffee shop’s free Wi-Fi guest network, make sure you don’t log onto any secure sites, such as your mobile or online banking sites.


No sensitive account details are shared when you send and receive money with Zelle® – only an email address or U.S. mobile number tied to a bank account in the U.S. Authentication and monitoring features are in place to help make your payments secure, but, pay it safe: Only use Zelle® with people you trust, and always make sure you are using the correct mobile number or email address!

Here’s how to pay it safe:

  1. Only send money to those you trust: Zelle® should only be used with friends, family and others you trust. Why? Because you can’t cancel a payment once it’s been sent, if the recipient is already enrolled with Zelle®. And if you send money to someone you don’t know, or you do not get what you expected, you may not get your money back.
  2. Treat Zelle® Like Cash: While Zelle® and cash are certainly different, both provide the recipient with fast access to the money you send. With Zelle®, money moves directly into the enrolled recipient’s bank account within minutes1. And again, once you authorize a payment to be sent, you can’t cancel it if the recipient is already enrolled.
  3. Beware of payment scams: If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. For example, a stranger selling online concert tickets at a steep discount and insisting you pay with Zelle® may be a scam. Zelle® does not offer a protection program for authorized payments, so pay it safe. Only send money to people you personally know and trust.
  4. Confirm your recipient's contact information: Make sure you have the correct U.S. mobile phone number or email address for the person you want to send money to. When in doubt, contact your friend to double check. If you authorize a payment to be sent to the wrong person, you may not get your money back.
  5. Understand your payment options: If you don’t know a person or aren’t sure you’ll get what you paid for, using your credit card may be a better payment option. Many credit card companies offer built-in buyer protections for cardholders. Check the terms and conditions of your credit card to see what’s offered. Unlike a credit card, Zelle® does not offer a protection program for any authorized payments made with Zelle® – for example, if you do not receive the item or the item is not as described or as you expected.


April 16, 2021

As of Thursday, April 16, SBA is no longer processing PPP or EIDL loans due to reaching their statutorily-allowed lending cap.

On Wednesday evening, April 15, the U.S. Small Business Administration and Treasury Department announced that funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans had been depleted. Sutton Bank is no longer accepting PPP Loan applications.

March 30, 2021

PPP extension signed into law

President Biden signed into law legislation to extend the Paycheck Protection Program, allowing borrowers to apply for loans through May 31, 2021. Previous deadline was March 31.

February 22,2021

ODJFS creates new hotline for victims of unemployment identity theft

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) has established a new toll-free number for individuals to notify the agency if they believe their personal information was compromised and used to file a fraudulent unemployment claim: (833) 658-0394. This number is staffed by 50 dedicated, cross-trained customer service representatives, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. One way victims have been discovering identity theft is by receiving an IRS 1099-G form for unemployment benefits that were never received.

The phone number complements a secure online portal ODJFS established last month to provide a direct way for victims to report identity theft. Individuals who believe their identity was stolen and used to file a fraudulent unemployment claim can visit, click on the “Report Identity Theft” button and follow the guidance for individuals. This includes three steps: 1. Complete the reporting form, 2. File your taxes with IRS guidance, and 3. Protect your identity. 

January 28, 2021

COVID Relief assistance available for households in Seneca County

Great Lakes Community Action Partnership (GLCAP) completed 2020 by helping 987 northwest Ohio households with COVID-19-related financial assistance. In late October, GLCAP received $1.3 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act stimulus funding to provide mortgage, rent, water and utility, and food assistance to Ottawa, Sandusky, Seneca, and Wood County residents who were financially impacted by COVID-19. 

GLCAP has since received a second round of CARES Act funding in the amount of $1 million to continue helping households in the four-county region throughout 2021.

COVID Relief assistance is available for households that are at or below 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines (e.g. $52,400 annual income/household of four) and need assistance. Residents may be eligible for
assistance if they have missed or fallen behind on rent, mortgage or water/sewer payments for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Reasons may include lost wages due to business closures, reduced work hours, household quarantines, and other hardships.

Those who need help may visit or call GLCAP at 1-800-775-9767.

More information on other GLCAP programs is available at

January 4, 2021

Now that the latest stimulus legislation has been signed into law, Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) are starting to go out. For more information, please visit this page.


December 7, 2020

Ohio Bar and Restaurant Assistance Fund

The Bar and Restaurant Assistance Fund is designed to assist Ohio's on-premise liquor permit holders. Governor Mike Dewine has designated $38.7 Million of funding received by the State of Ohio from the federal CARES Act to provide $2,500 assistance payments to on-premise liquor permit holders to help them through the financial difficulties experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

These permit holders have not been able to fully use their liquor permit and it's had an impact on their business. The program, which began accepting applications on November 2, 2020, will be administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency. This funding is not competitive, which means every eligible on-premises permit holder will receive $2,500 per unique business location.

Permit holders must submit their liquor permit number and federal tax information at before Dec. 30, 2020 to take advantage of this opportunity. More information can be found here.

November 13, 2020

Richland County COVID-19 Nonprofit Grant Program Launches

Thanks to support from the Richland County Commissioners, the Richland Area Chamber announced the opening of a Nonprofit Grant Program for nonprofits in Richland County. With $500,000 to award, some of the important criteria include:

  • Must be a 501c3 organization as recognized by the IRS and registered with the Ohio Secretary of State
  • Have 40 or less FTE's (part-time count as 1/2 employee)
  • Have $4M or less in 2019 operating revenues
  • Must have been in operation on February 18, 2020 or prior
  • The principal place of operation, or headquarters for the nonprofit must be located within Richland County
  • Nonprofits must fit into one of two program fund categories
    + Nonprofit Relief Grant Program
    + Arts, Culture, and Attractions Program

Application and full grant guidelines, including exclusions can be found here. Applications are open now through 11:59 PM Sunday, November 20, 2020.


October 30, 2020

Home Relief Grant

Starting November 2, 2020, the State of Ohio, working with local Community Action Agencies, will help eligible Ohioans who are behind on rent, mortgage, and water and/or sewer utility bills catch up on past payments back to April 1, 2020 and provide additional assistance through December 30, 2020.

Ohioans will be able to apply for assistance through their local Community Action Agency starting November 2, 2020. Eligibility requirements and more information, including a list of local Community Action Agencies can be found here.


October 28, 2020

Richland County COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Relief Grant Fund--Round 2 announced

Thanks to a fresh infusion of funds ($675,000) from the Richland County Commissioners, a new round of grants have opened up for businesses in Richland County. There have been changes made from the first round--here are the highlights:

  • Businesses can have 40 FTE's or less
  • Businesses can have up to $4M in 2019 revenues
  • Businesses must have been in operation on Feb. 28, 2020 or prior
  • The real estate restriction, pass-through restriction, and "main income" for sole proprietors' restriction and others have been removed
  • Certain types of non-profits qualify (501c4, 501c6, 501c7, 501c19, 501c23)
  • If your business received funding in Round 1, you are not eligible to apply in Round 2

The maximum grant amounts are $7,500 (for 2-40 FTE's) and $2,500 (for less than 2 FTE's). There are other eligibility requirements, please read the full grant guidelines. The application and full grant guidelines can be found here on their website. Applications will be taken through Thursday, November 5, 2020.

October 23, 2020

Seneca County announced today that the application process for the Seneca CARES Small Business Relief Program, which provides small businesses in Seneca County, including the cities of Fostoria and Tiffin, with financial relief from loss of revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, opens next week. For businesses in Tiffin and Seneca County, the program opens at 12 p.m. Wednesday, October 28, and closes at 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 9. The program was approved by the Seneca County Board of Commissioners on Oct. 22, and is being administered by the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership. $500,000 is being allocated to the program.

Applicants must complete the online application during the application period; paper applications will not be available or accepted.

For Tiffin and Seneca County businesses, applications can be found at

For businesses in Fostoria, applications can be found at


Sept. 25, 2020

The City of Tiffin recently announced the Tiffin CARES Small Business Relief Program, which provides small businesses in Tiffin with financial relief from loss of revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program opens at 12 pm on Wednesday, Sept. 30, closes at 5 pm on Monday, Oct. 12, and is being administered by the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership. $600,000 is being allocated to this program. Businesses must complete the online application druing the application period at Paper applications are not available or accepted. Businesses with between two and 30 employees are eligible for grants up to $6,000, and businesses with less than two employees are eligible for grants up to $3,000.  Click here for more information.


Sept. 2, 2020

The Richland Area Chamber of Commerce today launched the Richland County/Mansfield COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Relief Grant Fund, designed to assist small businesses (for-profit entities with 20 FTE's & less and $1.5 M or less in 2019 revenue). The maximum grant amounts are $7,500 (for 2-20 FTE's and $2,500 (for less than 2 FTE's). There are other eligibility requirements and exclusions, which can be found here

The application and full grant guidelines can be found here on the Chamber website. Applications are open through 11:59 PM Sunday, September 13, 2020.


Sept. 1, 2020

The City of Willard has created The Willard CARES Small Business Grant Program to provide financial assistance to small businesses that have sustained economic hardships as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible entities can receive grants in the amount of $2,500, $5,000, or $10,000. Click here for more information and How to Apply.


August 13, 2020

The City of Ashland announced today the creation of a COVID Relief Grant for City of Ashland, Ohio businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more here.


July 22, 2020

On Wednesday, July 22, 2020 Governor Mike DeWine issued a statewide face mask mandate in the face of rising numbers of coronovirus cases. The order applies to anyone in a public place where social distancing isn't possible. That includes indoor spaces other than residences and outdoor spaces where a large number of people are congregated. People with medical conditions that preclude the use of a face mask are not required to wear one. Children under 10 years old are also not required to wear masks.

As a result of this statewide order, all Sutton Bank employees are required to wear face coverings. In addition, our teller windows have been equipped with sneeze guards, and social distancing will continue to be part of our everyday practices. Also, when entering our lobbies wearing face coverings, we reserve the right to request you remove it at our entrance door, within security camera and teller view in order to properly identify you. You can then place the face covering back on. If you are not comfortable with these practices, please utilize our drive-up windows and alternate banking methods such as mobile, online, and ATMs. We thank our customers for their consideration in advance. Again, together we can get through this if we all do our part.

Tony Gorrell, CEO
Sutton Bank


July 7, 2020

The SBA and Treasury recently released information about individual Paycheck Protection Program Loans. The data released includes business names, addresses, lender names, and other information for loans of $150,000 and up, which accounts for nearly three-quarters of the dollar volume of PPP loans. For loans below $150,000, the agencies will not release business names but will report loan totals, aggregated by ZIP code, industry, business type, and various demographic categories.

The data release follows the extension of the PPP application deadline until Aug. 8 shortly after the SBA stopped accepting PPP applications last week. The agency has roughly $130 billion in remaining PPP funds.

Make no mistake, Sutton Bank is not voluntarily releasing this loan information and is not calling for its publication. The decision to publish PPP borrower and loan information is a result of actions from Congress and the SBA and Treasury, which oversee and administer the PPP and are responsible for the program's implementation, terms and conditions.

We are proud to participate in the PPP and help customers navigate the challenging COVID-19 environment. Please contact us with any question or if you need further assistance.


Tom Showman


June 1, 2020

First of all, we would like to thank you, our valued customers for your patience and understanding while our lobbies were temporarily closed due to COVID-19. As the Ohio Safe-At-Home order was lifted, we made the decision to re-open our branch lobbies on June 1. However, you will notice a few changes in the way we conduct business.

As our lobbies re-open, please observe the following for the safety of our staff and others:

  • DO NOT ENTER our lobbies if you have symptoms of, or exposure to COVID-19!
  • Our teller windows will be utilizing sneeze guard shields for the safety of our customers.
  • Hand sanitizer is available in each of our branches.
  • Social distancing is being practiced for all areas of the bank.
  • While not required, should you choose to wear a face covering in our lobby area, we reserve the right to request you remove it at our entrance door, within security camera and teller view so that we can properly identify you. You can then place the face covering back on.
  • Please take a moment to read the safety information posted on the door before entering.
  • Please observe the floor stickers in the lobby. We have spaced them 6 ft. apart.

Please be assured that we are taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of our employees and our customers. These include special attention to cleaning and sanitizing work and public spaces, and maintaining good hygiene at all times--hand washing and social distancing.

We encourage you to continue using these electronic, self-service options that give you 24/7 access to your account(s):

  • Online Banking
  • Online Billpay
  • Mobile Banking App with Mobile Check Deposit
  • Sutton Bank ATM's

Our ultimate goal is to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone while continuing to serve your financial needs. As our economy restarts, let's do the best for one another. Let's support the small businesses in our communities and give a hand when needed.


J. Anthony Gorrell, CEO



We've created a resource page for both our Commercial customers and our Consumer customers where you can find information and links pertaining to COVID-19.

You will find information about:

  • The CARES Act including economic impact payments
  • The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
  • The SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL)
  • BWC dividend payments
  • Ashland Community Non-Profit Relief Grants (just added April 22)

Find this new page here.

You can also find COVID-19 video resources on our MONEY IQ Financial Literacy & Education Center page for both individuals and businesses here.

For our Credit Card customers who are experiencing a financial hardship due to COVID-19, a skip-payment option may be available. Contact the Personal Banker at the office nearest you, or complete the Contact Us form to arrange for a banker to contact you to discuss. We're here to help!

For our Mortgage customers who have been experiencing a financial hardship due to COVID-19, help may be available. Each situation is unique, so we want to understand yours. Please complete the Contact Us form to arrange for a banker to contact you to discuss. We're here to help.

There are scammers out there taking advantage of the public concern. The FTC and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration have posted consumer warnings about fake websites and phishing emails.

As a reminder, Sutton Bank will never contact you and ask for your full Social Security Number, account or card numbers, one-time passwords, PIN numbers, user names or passwords.

For additional information about COVID-19, get the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control at or from your local health department website.




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