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Pacific Premier Bancorp, Inc. Acquires Grandpoint

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We are pleased to announce on July 1, 2018, Grandpoint Bank officially became part of Pacific Premier Bank. President and CEO, Steve Garner, commented, “We are pleased to welcome the clients, employees and stockholders of Grandpoint. We believe our strategic combination creates one of the strongest commercial banks in California, with significant opportunities to provide a wider array of products and services to our clients while continuing to expand our market share.” Learn more at www.grandpointbank.com/936.

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TECH SUPPORT FRAUD

Below is an important update from the Federal Bureau of Investigations’ cybercrime webpage detailing the problem of technical support fraud, suggestions for protection and how to report it:

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Based on new reporting, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is providing updated guidance regarding technical support fraud. Tech Support Fraud involves a criminal claiming to provide customer, security, or technical support in an effort to defraud unwitting individuals. This type of fraud continues to be a problematic and widespread scam.

In 2017, the IC3 received approximately 11,000 complaints related to tech support fraud. The claimed losses amounted to nearly $15 million, which represented an 86% increase in losses from 2016. While a majority of tech support fraud involves victims in the United States, IC3 has received complaints from victims in 85 different countries.

Criminals may pose as a security, customer, or technical support representative offering to resolve such issues as a compromised e-mail or bank account, a virus on a computer, or to assist with a software license renewal. Some recent complaints involve criminals posing as technical support representatives for GPS, printer, or cable companies, or support for virtual currency exchangers.

As this type of fraud has become more commonplace, criminals have started to pose as government agents, even offering to recover supposed losses related to tech support fraud schemes or to request financial assistance with “apprehending” criminals.

HOW THE FRAUD OCCURS

Initial contact with the victim typically occurs through the following methods:

Telephone: A victim receives an unsolicited telephone call from an individual claiming the victim’s device or computer is infected with a virus or is sending error messages to the caller. Callers are generally reported to have strong, foreign accents.

Search Engine Advertising: Individuals in need of tech support may use online search engines to find technical support companies. Criminals pay to have their fraudulent tech support company’s link show higher in search results hoping victims will choose one of the top links in search results.

Pop-up message: The victim receives an on-screen pop-up message claiming a virus has been found on their computer. In order to receive assistance, the message requests the victim call a phone number associated with the fraudulent tech support company.

Locked screen on a device: The victim’s device displays a frozen, locked screen with a phone number and instructions to contact a fraudulent tech support company. Some victims have reported being redirected to alternate Web sites before the locked screen occurs.

Pop-ups and Locked Screens

  • Often accompanied by a recorded, verbal message to contact a phone number for assistance.
  • Frequently programmed into links for advertisements or popular topics on social media.
  • Web addresses of popular Web sites (such as social media or financial Web sites) can be typo-squatted to result in a pop-up or locked screen if the victim incorrectly types the intended Web site address.

Phishing e-mail warning: The victim receives a phishing e-mail warning of a possible intrusion to their computer or an e-mail warning of a fraudulent account charge to their bank accounts or credit cards. The e-mail provides a phone number for the recipient to contact the fraudulent tech support.

Once the fraudulent tech support company representative makes verbal contact with the victim, the criminal tries to convince the victim to provide remote access to the victim’s device. If the device is a tablet or smart phone, the criminal often instructs the victim to connect the device to a computer. Once remotely connected, the criminal claims to find expired licenses, viruses, malware, or scareware. The criminal will inform the victim the issue can be removed for a fee. Criminals usually request payment through personal/electronic check, bank/wire transfer, debit/credit card, prepaid card, or virtual currency.

Another widespread issue is “the fake refund.” In this scheme, the criminal contacts the victim offering a refund for tech support services previously rendered. The criminal requests access to the victim’s device and instructs the victim to login to their online bank account to process a refund. As a result, the criminal gains control of the victim’s device and bank account. With this access, the criminal makes it appear as if too much money was refunded to the victim’s account and requests the victim return the difference back to the criminal’s company via a wire transfer or prepaid cards. In reality, there was no refund at all. Instead, the criminal transferred funds among the victim’s own accounts (checking, savings, retirement, etc.) to make it appear as though funds were deposited. The victim “returns” their own money to the criminal. The “refund and return” process can occur multiple times, resulting in the victim potentially losing thousands of dollars.

VARIATIONS AND TRENDS

Tech support fraud was originally an attempt by criminals to gain access to devices to extort payment for fraudulent services. However, criminals are creating new techniques and versions of the scheme to advance and perpetuate the fraud.

Re-targeting previous victims and contacts

  • Criminals pose as government officials or law enforcement. The criminal offers assistance in recovering losses from a previous tech support fraud incident. The criminal either requests funds from the victim to assist with the investigation or to cover fees associated with returning the lost funds.
  • Criminals pose as collection services claiming the victim did not pay for prior tech support services. The victim is often threatened with legal action if the victim does not pay a settlement fee.

Virtual currency

Virtual currency is increasingly targeted by tech support criminals, with individual victim losses often in the thousands of dollars.

  • Criminals pose as virtual currency support. Victims contact fraudulent virtual currency support numbers usually located via open source searches. The fraudulent support asks for access to the victim’s virtual currency wallet and transfers the victim’s virtual currency to another wallet for temporary holding during maintenance. The virtual currency is never returned to the victim, and the criminal ceases all communication.
  • Criminals who have access to a victim’s electronic device use the victim’s personal information and credit card to purchase and transfer virtual currency to an account controlled by the criminal.

Increasing use of victim’s personal information and accounts to conduct additional fraud

  • Criminals use the victim’s personal information to request bank transfers or open new accounts to accept and process unauthorized payments.
  • Criminals send phishing e-mails to the victim’s personal contacts from the victim’s computer.
  • Criminals download personal files containing financial accounts, passwords, and personal data (health records, social security numbers, tax information, etc.).

Additionally, IC3 complaints report:

  • Criminals who took control of victims’ devices and/or accounts and did not release control unless a ransom was paid.
  • Viruses, key logging software, and malware were installed on victims’ devices.
  • Criminals have become more belligerent, hostile, and abusive if challenged by victims.

SUGGESTIONS FOR PROTECTION

  • Remember that legitimate customer, security, or tech support companies will not initiate unsolicited contact with individuals.
  • Install ad-blocking software that eliminates or reduces pop-ups and malvertising (online advertising to spread malware).
  • Be cautious of customer support numbers obtained via open source searching. Phone numbers listed in a “sponsored” results section are likely boosted as a result of Search Engine Advertising.
  • Recognize fraudulent attempts and cease all communication with the criminal.
  • Resist the pressure to act quickly. Criminals will urge the victim to act fast to protect their device. The criminals create a sense of urgency to produce fear and lure the victim into immediate action.
  • Do not give unknown, unverified persons remote access to devices or accounts.
  • Ensure all computer anti-virus, security, and malware protection is up to date. Some victims report their anti-virus software provided warnings prior to attempt.

IF YOU ARE A VICTIM

  • Individuals who receive a pop-up or locked screen, should shut down the device immediately. Ignore any pop-ups instructing to not power off or restart the computer. Victims who reported shutting down the device and waiting a short time to restart usually find the pop-up or screen lock has disappeared.
  • Do not re-contact fraudulent tech scam companies. Expect additional fraudulent calls as these companies often share their customer database information.
  • Should a criminal gain access to a device or an account, individuals should take precautions to protect their identity. Immediately contact financial institutions to place protection on accounts as well as change passwords and actively monitor accounts and personal information for suspicious activity.

FILE A COMPLAINT

Individuals who believe they may be a victim of an online scam (regardless of dollar amount) should file a complaint with the IC3 at www.ic3.gov.screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am The more often fraud and scams are reported, the better equipped law enforcement can be to address the issues.

To report tech support fraud, please be as descriptive as possible in the complaint including:

  1. Identifying information of the criminal and company. Include Web sites, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses used by the criminal and company or any numbers you may have called.
  2. Account names and numbers and financial institutions receiving any funds (e.g., bank accounts, wire transfers, prepaid card payments, virtual currency wallets) even if the funds were not actually lost.
  3. Description of interaction with the criminal.
  4. The e-mail, Web site, or link that caused a pop-up or locked screen.

Complainants are also encouraged to keep all original documentation, e-mails, faxes, and logs of all communications.

Because scams and fraudulent Web sites appear very quickly, individuals are encouraged to report possible Internet scams and fraudulent Web sites by filing a complaint with the IC3 at www.ic3.gov.screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am To view previously released PSAs and Scam Alerts, visit the IC3 Press Room at www.ic3.gov/media/default.aspx.screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am

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screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-amLinking to Non-Grandpoint Bank Websites
This icon appears next to every link that directs to a third party website not affiliated with Grandpoint Bank. Please be advised that if you click this link you will be taken to a website hosted by another party, where you will no longer be subject to, or under the protection of, the privacy and security policies of Grandpoint Bank. We recommend that you review and evaluate the privacy and security policies of the site that you are entering. Grandpoint Bank assumes no liability for the content, information, security, policies or transactions provided by these other sites.

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Brad Kirk joins Grandpoint Bank’s Specialty Deposits group

Brad Kirk GrandpointWe’re happy to welcome Brad Kirk to our Specialty Deposits group as Vice President/Relationship Manager. Brad will work from our Orange office and will be responsible for cultivating and maintaining specialty deposit client relationships. He will focus primarily on clients within the title insurance, independent escrow and property management industries.

Brad has extensive work experience with specialty deposit clients, which are those clients who act in a fiduciary capacity, holding funds for a period but not owning those funds. As a result, they have complex cash management requirements.

“Specialty deposit clients rely upon some of our more sophisticated treasury products like automated clearing house (ACH) bank transfer network, mobile banking, fraud prevention and wire transfers,” said Brad. “I’ve been working with title insurance firms since 2001, so I’m very familiar with the business and banking needs of these and similar firms.”

Brad previously worked in a similar capacity for City National Bank in Irvine, California and for MUFG Union Bank, also in Irvine, before that. He also worked as a Major Account Executive for Ellie Mae, a provider of enterprise level, on-demand, automated solutions for the residential mortgage industry.

“I’m looking forward to working with Brad to continue developing Grandpoint’s specialty deposits business,” said Scott Armstrong, Senior Vice President and Specialty Deposits Manager for Grandpoint Bank. “Brad is very involved with the industries he serves, and has a deep network of contacts in the title, escrow and property management industries.”

Brad is a member of Orange County Escrow Association, Los Angeles Escrow Association, Escrow Associates of San Gabriel Valley, California Land Title Association, American Land Title Association and California Escrow Association. He is also a member of Escrow Institute of California and serves on its event planning committee.

With over 700 independent escrow companies in California, primarily in Southern California, Brad has his work cut out for him. After 17 years working with this industry, however, he has the tools to succeed.

“One of the reasons I look forward to my work is that the people in the industries I work with are wonderful,” said Brad. “It can be tough to convince a company to move its deposits, but it all comes down to relationships. The people I interact with through industry events and meetings know I understand their business.”

Outside of work, you might spot Brad on the baseball field. He coaches Little League and serves on the Little League board as a Commissioner of a AA division. His motivation to coach comes partly from his kids. One of his sons plays Little League, while the other prefers flag football.

Brad also supports kids in our community through Keegan’s Kids, a charitable organization focused on pediatric melanoma. He’s helped the organization fundraise, market its message and generate ideas for how to fight melanoma.

Brad is the kind of consummate professional and community advocate we look for when we grow our team. If your business needs specialty deposit services, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Brad.

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Grandpoint Bank’s Can-Do Approach to Construction Lending

El Segundo, California is on its way to having a beautiful new AC Marriott, and we’re very excited to be a part of it. Grandpoint Bank funded the construction loan for this beautiful, $33 million, 180-room project, which will have added bragging rights of providing El Segundo with its first rooftop entertainment space.

Earlier this month, we participated in the groundbreaking of the new hotel, now under construction at 2130 East Maple Avenue on a site adjacent to the L.A. Lakers’ training facility.

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L to R: Amar Shokeen, Owner; Arjun Shokeen, Operations Manager; Rocky Laverty, President of Grandpoint Bank; John Nixon, Executive Vice President of Grandpoint Bank; Mo Helmy, Senior Vice President of Grandpoint Bank.

Welcome El Segundo, the force behind creating this AC Marriott hotel, is owned by Amar and Rita Shokeen. Their son, Arjun, serves as Operations Manager for their hospitality business. This dynamic family owns seven other hotel properties across the country and has the hospitality know-how to make this complex project happen.

One of the first hurdles the Shokeens faced with their development was the scarcity of parking in the area surrounding the hotel. To address the parking challenge, the City of El Segundo required that Welcome El Segundo first build a parking garage for the hotel that would also be available to the occupants of two nearby office buildings, a toy company and a business park.

Since Welcome El Segundo used cash for the parking structure development, we were able to obtain assignment rights and collateralize the parking lot for the hotel construction loan, and in doing so, helping Welcome El Segundo’s equity position and securing the loan.

Ahmad Shafique from Advantage CDC in Long Beach first connected us with the Shokeens. Through our outreach to many different economic development agencies, Ahmad knew about our lending capacity and community focus and hoped we could help. We hadn’t worked with the Shokeens before, but we were impressed by their financial and operational strength, so we moved forward with the construction loan process.

With help from our Senior Vice President Mo Helmy, Executive Vice President and Manager of our construction lending department Karen McGuire, Regional President John Nixon and President Rocky Laverty, we got the construction loan funded. The Shokeens quickly put R. D. Olson Construction to work building the hotel. Completion is expected for early summer of 2019.

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Our sign posted at the construction site is generating a lot of interest from other business people who are building the places where we work, live, vacation and play. We are proud to provide services to entrepreneurs like the Shokeens and many more.

Please contact us if you have a business or project that needs a bank with a can-do attitude.

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2018 Economic Forecast from Beacon Economics

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 2.24.22 PMRecently, our Los Angeles and South Bay offices hosted an annual economic forecast featuring guest speaker Dr. Christopher Thornberg of Beacon Economics.  He shared his 2018 economic forecast with more than 100 of our clients and guests, taking a look back at past trends and addressing the outlook for the global, national and California economic markets.

To review Beacon Economics’ assessment of the economic impacts of the first year of President Trump’s administration, the strong points and challenges of our current economy, useful employment and housing information and much more, you can browse Dr. Thornberg’s presentation  here: https://beaconecon.com/archive/presentations/2018.01.23_GPB2018Thornberg.pdfscreen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am

Dr. Thornberg is widely considered to be one of the nation’s leading economists. An expert in economic forecasting, regional economics, labor markets, economic policy and real estate analysis, he was one of the earliest and most adamant predictors of the subprime mortgage market crash that began in 2007. Prior to launching Beacon Economics, Dr. Thornberg was a senior economist with UCLA’s Anderson Forecast and currently serves as Director of UC Riverside Center for Forecasting and Development.

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screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-amLinking to Non-Grandpoint Bank Websites
This icon appears next to every link that directs to a third party website not affiliated with Grandpoint Bank. Please be advised that if you click this link you will be taken to a website hosted by another party, where you will no longer be subject to, or under the protection of, the privacy and security policies of Grandpoint Bank. We recommend that you review and evaluate the privacy and security policies of the site that you are entering. Grandpoint Bank assumes no liability for the content, information, security, policies or transactions provided by these other sites.

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Corbin Dangerfield Joins Government Guaranteed Lending Department at Grandpoint Bank


corbinWe’re happy to announce that Corbin Dangerfield has joined Grandpoint Bank’s Government Guaranteed Lending Department as a business development officer. Corbin will be responsible for marketing and originating government guaranteed loan products for Grandpoint Bank.

Grandpoint offers a variety of government guaranteed loan products that provide alternatives if a traditional credit product is not well suited for a small or medium-sized business. These include loans through the SBA, USDA and Export-Import Bank of the U.S. These government-backed loans require less cash investment up front and offer longer loan terms than conventional loans.

“Government guaranteed loans can help bridge the gap for businesses that otherwise would not have access to capital,” said Leticia Scearce, Senior Vice President/Government Guaranteed Lending Manager. “Corbin has specific expertise in this type of lending, and we’re happy to have him join our team of professionals.”

Corbin served in the same capacity previously for Meadows Bank in Las Vegas. His experience also includes serving as a vice president and business development officer at Lehman Brothers and as a commercial real estate broker at NAI Commercial Real Estate.

“Many SBA loans are made in support of real estate investments,” said Corbin. “My experience as a real estate broker combined with my expertise in banking and finance is especially helpful to my clients, regardless of the type of government guaranteed loan that suits them best. In my new position, I’m excited to offer clients the full resources and capabilities of Grandpoint’s government guaranteed lending team.”

Another reason Corbin wanted to join Grandpoint’s SBA/Government Guaranteed Lending Department was to be part of a team that can fund qualifying loan applications at the pace business moves.

“I also appreciate that our team understands larger, more complex deals, and that we are able to offer the whole array of Government Guaranteed Lending programs, not just the 7a and 504 loans.”

When he’s not working, Corbin enjoys outdoor recreational activities, especially when it’s with his kids.

We’re glad to have him on board, and we hope Corbin may be of service to your business if you’re considering a government guaranteed loan.

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A Brighter Holiday for Local Children

We’ve partnered up with two of our favorite nonprofit organizations again this year to raise some holiday cheer. Our Fairfax and Encino branches have had bins in their lobbies for our staff and clients to donate unwrapped toys and books for Child Care Resource Center (CCRC). We’ve already had to schedule three pickups to empty our bins!

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CCRC has a goal of passing out 10,000 books and toys to children 0 to 13 years old living below the federal poverty level in the area CCRC services. According to the nonprofit organization, “only one book is available to every 300 children in low-income neighborhoods.”

In Orange County, our office is once again partnering with Concept 7, a foster and adoption agency in Los Angeles providing a continuum of family-centered treatment and support-related programs, serving the needs of abused and neglected youth. Each year, the Grandpoint team fulfills holiday wishes of many Concept 7 foster children, who range in age from infants to teens.

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The Concept 7 staff provides us with a detailed account of several gift ideas for each child in need, accompanied by their favorite stores and colors, as well as their clothing and shoe sizes so that donors can select the perfect gift to light up their holiday.

Both CCRC and Concept 7 make an important difference in the lives of children in need, and they welcome additional help from the public. Tax-deductible donations are the lifeblood or nonprofits like these. At CCRC, for example, donations dollars can stretch to purchase a book for five dollars or four toys for $20. With over 330,000 children in CCRC’s service area currently living below the federal poverty level, the need is great.

The gifts children receive through these organizations may be the only presents some receive this holiday season. Please consider helping us create a special holiday season for the kids of CCRC and Concept 7.

For more information about CCRC or to make a donation, call 1-866-67-4KIDS or email communications(at)ccrcca.org.

For more information about Concept 7, call (323) 838-9566 or visit concept7.org.screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am

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screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-amLinking to Non-Grandpoint Bank Websites
This icon appears next to every link that directs to a third party website not affiliated with Grandpoint Bank. Please be advised that if you click this link you will be taken to a website hosted by another party, where you will no longer be subject to, or under the protection of, the privacy and security policies of Grandpoint Bank. We recommend that you review and evaluate the privacy and security policies of the site that you are entering. Grandpoint Bank assumes no liability for the content, information, security, policies or transactions provided by these other sites.

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Patricia Parc: Financing an exciting new rental community

Simi Valley is on track to get 65 much-needed, new rental units, and we’re part of the team making it happen.

Chris Itule, principal of Itule Real Estate Group partnered with Norman Doerges and Randall Gustafson of Aurora Development Company and long-time Grandpoint Bank clients Adrian Stern and Larry Clumeck of Clumeck Stern Schenkelberg & Getzoff, to form 1196 Patricia Avenue Association.

Having earned approval to develop the property, the development team held a groundbreaking ceremony on November 1, where representatives from our bank were on hand to lend support and help celebrate this exciting milestone.

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(l to r) Larry Clumeck, Randy Gustafson, Simi Valley Mayor Bob Huber, Chris Itule and Adrian Stern

With help from our Construction Lending division, bankers in our Encino office were able to provide the construction loan for the project, known as Patricia Parc. The 24-month, interest only loan with a six-month extension option gives the developers time to complete the project before converting to a permanent phase at completion.

“It’s really exciting to work with developers from vision to finished product, literally seeing your work take form,” said Arlet Hur, Senior Vice President at Grandpoint Bank. “This development team really seems to know its target customer and understand the critical need for rental housing in Simi Valley.”

With Simi Valley’s median home prices ranging upwards of $600,000, many people, especially Millennials, face significant financial hurdles to home ownership. High quality rental properties are in great demand.

The three-story Patricia Parc community will offer one- and two-bedroom units and many amenities popular with Millennials. Those include electric vehicle charging stations, free Wi-Fi, bike lockers, a pool and gym, an outdoor kitchen, access to the Arroyo Simi Greenway and a dedicated rideshare drop-off and pickup area, among others. Patricia Parc is located less than one mile from Simi Valley Town Center and less than five miles from the Simi Valley Metrolink Center.

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Five of the units will be designated as affordable for very-low-income tenants, and at least seven units will be handicapped accessible. Project completion is estimated for late fall or winter of 2018. 1196 Patricia Avenue Association has selected McCarthy Companies to construct Patricia Parc.

We’re eager to watch this exciting project take form and to help facilitate new housing options for members of our community.

For more information about construction lending through Grandpoint Bank, please visit the products and services page of our website at grandpointbank.com/product-and-services-commercial-banking-credit-and-financing.

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Thanksgiving

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With crisp air and colors on the trees, we know another year is soon behind us. But first, we gather to celebrate, count our blessings and reflect. Thanksgiving is unlike any other holiday we celebrate. It’s a day to gather with those we love and the friends we hold dear; a day to share a meal and to share each other’s company.

Whether your Thanksgiving celebration is near or far, large or small, we at Grandpoint Bank wish you a wonderful day, filled with cheer and the warmth of the holiday season.

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