Archive for Source

Capital One Compromise and Cardholder Fraud Education

It was announced in the media that a hacker gained access to more than 100 million Capital One customers’ accounts and credit card applications earlier this year. At this point in time, Capital One is saying that the vulnerability has been fixed and that it is “unlikely that the information was used for fraud or disseminated by this individual.” However, the company is still investigating. It was also noted that “no credit card account numbers or log-in credentials were compromised and that over 99% of Social Security numbers were not compromised.” 

Although only Capital One customers are impacted by this breach, we consider this is the perfect opportunity to remind everyone of how stolen cardholder information is used to commit fraud.

Fraudsters have become increasingly adept at getting cardholders to share the information they need to commit fraud by posing as financial institution call center agents, or by sending text messages that look like they are coming from your institution, warning of suspicious transaction activities. They are also known to call in to call centers posing as cardholders requesting changes to card information and parameters. 

The fraudsters do this by using information stolen through data breaches at health insurance providers, reward program providers, credit bureaus, merchant terminals, and social media sites, as well as through malware programs deployed on personal computers, to mention just a few. Stolen personally identifiable information (PII) is combined with stolen card information, resulting in sufficient information to create profiles that fraudsters can use to position themselves as the actual cardholders. 

The following points can help you avoid compromising your personal information: 

• The only way CSE will contact a Member regarding fraud is through a phone call from (877).253.8964 warning you of suspicious activity on your card. The first attempt is by an automated system asking you to verify a list of transactions. If the Member does not answer it will leave a voicemail with a Case ID number. If you are uncertain about questions being asked or the call itself, please hang up and call us directly at 477.2000. If a call is received by the cardholder, claiming to be our Call Center and asking to verify transactions, no information should have to be provided by the cardholder other than their zip code, and a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the transaction provided.

• If you are set up to receive a text alert from us through Online Banking, it will always be from a 5-digit number and NOT a 10-digit number resembling a phone number. A valid notification will never include a link to be clicked. Never click on a link in a text message that is supposedly from us.

• We will NEVER ask you for your PIN or the 3-digit security code on the back of your card. Don’t give them out to anyone, no matter what they say. Hang up and call us directly. Fraudsters will often ask cardholders to verify fake transactions. When the cardholder says no, they did not perform those transactions, the fraudster then says that their card will be blocked, a new card will be issued, and that they need the card’s PIN to put it on the new card. Many people believe this and provide their PIN. The 3-digit CV2 code on the back of the card will allow a fraudster to conduct card-not-present transactions. 

• Regularly check your account online to see if there are any suspicious transactions that have occurred, but especially If you are unsure about a call or text message you’ve received. If anything looks amiss, call us directly for assistance. 

• If you have received a voice- or a text-message from us and are unsure about responding to it, call us directly for assistance. 

For more information on how to avoid fraud, please contact a CSE Representative at 477.2000

Source: Fiserv Inc. (2019) Capital One Compromise and Cardholder Fraud Education [PDF file].

Which Features Should You Look For in a Vehicle?

Shopping for a car doesn’t have to be complicated. To help you out, we’ve created a list of key features to consider in your new car, and a list of features you can skip. 

Must-have safety features 

  • 360-degree camera: This camera gives drivers a bird’s-eye view of the area around the car.
  • Evasive steering: This feature provides additional steering support when you’re in danger of colliding with another vehicle, and your own steering efforts are insufficient.
  • Forward collision warning: Drivers get a visual and/or audible alert when their vehicle is heading toward a forward collision.
  • Blind spot alert: This feature alerts the driver when there is an object or pedestrian in direct line of their blind spot.
  • Automatic emergency braking: Stay safe with this feature, which automatically applies the brakes when it senses a vehicle in your car’s way. Some systems include pedestrian detection as well.

Convenient features 

  • Automatic keyless entry: This feature automatically unlocks a car’s doors when it senses a nearby fob.
  • Power tailgate: This feature for pickup trucks and SUVs lets you lower and raise your tailgate with the push of a button.
  • Multi-zone climate system: Family road trips are peaceful again with this feature, which allows for different climate controls throughout the car.
  • Speedy USB-charging outlets: No more unbearable waits for your gadgets to power up with this super-speedy USB port.  
  • Heated steering wheel and driver’s seat: This one is for those frosty mornings when your car can’t get warm fast enough.
  • Wireless charging pad: Just place your phone on one of these pads and it will start powering up.

Fun-to-have features 

  • Home assist device connectivity: Some new cars allow you to use remote voice control with home assist technologies, like Alexa, for your car.
  • Rear entertainment systems: This feature gives the rear seat of your car a completely separate entertainment system.
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay: These features sync your smartphone’s interface with your car’s infotainment system for easier phone control.

Features you can skip 

  • Bigger wheels and thinner tires: The ride will be less comfortable and your wheels will be more prone to damage from potholes.
  • Built-in navigation systems: Most built-in navigation systems require constant updates.
  • Lane keeping assist: This feature automatically steers or brakes your car when you cross a lane marking without turning on a blinker. In real life, though, it can be annoying as you’ll often need to cross a lane marker for good reason, like moving over for an emergency vehicle.

Before you start shopping, call, click, or stop by CSE Federal Credit Union to hear all about our auto loans!

Save big this season with our handy list of back-to-school shopping hacks! 

1.) Plan to shop 5 times

To take full advantage of sales and clearance events throughout the summer, plan on making 5 shopping trips this season so you can get the best prices when they are offered. 

2.) Stock up

While prices are low, buy enough school supplies to last through the first half of the year or more. You’ll save a ton and not have the hassle of buying more later. 

3.) Take advantage of loss leaders 

Every week this season, retailers sell one product at a super-low price. This is their loss leader: an item priced so cheaply that retailers actually lose money on sales. Make sure you catch those deals! 

4.) Shop the dollar store 

Before you hit the regular stores, shop for real bargains at dollar stores like Dollar Tree and Family Dollar. 

5.) Buy designer backpacks online 

Check out sites like 6PM and eBags for fantastic deals on designer backpacks. 

6.) Use manufacturer coupons 

Check out circulars, like RedPlum, and coupon sites, like Retailmenot.com, for manufacturer coupons from supply companies. 

7.) Decode price tags 

Here’s how these popular stores mark their lowest prices: 

  • The Gap: Ending in $.97
  • Target: Ending in an 8
  • Old Navy: Ending in $.47
  • TJMaxx: Yellow price tag

8.) Shop through Ebates 

Do all your online shopping through cash-back sites, like Ebates, and get 2-4% of every purchase back. 

9.) Coordinate with other parents 

If you’re in Walmart when they have bargain-priced pencils, offer to buy a few boxes for your friend’s kids. And, when your friend finds the super-hot deal on crayons, he’ll pick up a few boxes for your kids. 

10.) Check out gift-card sites 

Save big by buying discounted gift cards to stores like Michael’s and JCPenney on sites like GiftCardGranny and Raise. 

11.) Use the Amazon App 

Have your phone handy when shopping so you can comparison-shop when buying your supplies. If an item is cheaper on Amazon, why buy it at a store? 

12.) Sign up for promotional mail 

  • H&M: Save 20% on one item when you text your email address to 707-03
  • Kohl’s: Save 15% off your entire order by texting SAVE15 to 564-57
  • Old Navy: Sign up for a weekly text alert by texting 6046 to 653-689 and get a $5 coupon; and also sign up for promo emails on OldNavy.com to get a 30%-off coupon
  • Crazy8: Sign up for emails and receive 18% off your next order plus free shipping
  • The Children’s Place: Input your email address in the pop-up box on TheChildrensPlace.com and get a $10 coupon.

13.) Take advantage of price-matching 

Lots of stores, like Office Depot, Staples and Target, offer to match any competitor’s price. 

14.) Shop early in the week 

Weekly sales go live on Sundays and the best deals get grabbed first. Shop Sundays and Mondays, and never miss out on a great deal again. 

SOURCES:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/thekrazycouponlady.com/tips/money/back-to-school-shopping-hacks.amp.html

https://www.worthpointeinvest.com/the-best-time-saving-hacks-for-back-to-school-shopping/

https://www.sixsistersstuff.com/10-back-to-school-shopping-hacks/

https://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2015/07/22/14-back-to-school-shopping-hacks

Cell Phones for Soldiers

Cell Phones for Soldiers

CONNECTING THOSE WHO PROTECT US

Cell Phones For Soldiers Inc. is a national nonprofit dedicated to serving troops and veterans with free communication services and emergency funding. Founded in 2004 by Robbie and Brittany Bergquist, then 12 and 13 years old, Cell Phones For Soldiers has provided more than 300 million “Minutes That Matter” to deployed troops. Since 2012, “Helping Heroes Home” has provided emergency funds for more than 3,100 returning veterans to alleviate communication challenges as well as physical, emotional and assimilation hardships.

Provide a lifeline to America’s bravest. Your simple, powerful gift provides connections that truly make a difference. Make your tax-deductible* donation today by:

Cell Phones for Soldiers accepts ALL makes, models and conditions of cell phones.

New and Used, Broken or Cracked. Both Smartphones and Cell Phones.

Cell Phones for Soldiers allows active-duty military members the ability to communicate to their families and emergency assistance to veterans.  We are accepting donations the entire month of July at each branch location. July 31st is the deadline for donations.

For more information email the CSE marketing department or call 337-562-3160. 

 Your simple, powerful gift provides connections that truly make a difference.

*Consult a tax advisor

WHAT TO BUY AND WHAT TO SKIP ON MEMORIAL DAY

Since 1971, Memorial Day has been celebrated as an extended weekend away from work–and the unofficial start of summer. It’s time to get that grill going, dust off your patio set, and break out the white jeans you’ve had stashed away all winter. 

More recently, Memorial Day has also turned into a second Black Friday for retailers,  each offering loads of sale events in stores and online,and each promising to save you heaps of money. Lots of these sales will run for a full two weeks, starting a week before Memorial Day, which falls on May 27 this year, and continuing until the end of the month. 

As always, though, not every marked-down product is actually a bargain. In fact, you can sometimes get the same product a lot cheaper by waiting  a few months—or even just a few weeks. And of course, if the for-sale item is not one you need, you’re better off leaving it in the store. But, if you know what to shop for and you’re careful to stick to what you need and can afford, you can find some great deals. 

Let’s take a look at what to buy and what to skip this Memorial Day weekend. 

Buy: Outdoor essentials 

Get ready to welcome summer with outdoor gear like grills, lawn mowers, mulch, ladders, and more, which may be marked down as much as 50% at stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot. Online retailers, like Wayfair and Overstock, host similar events and may offer free two-day shipping in honor of the summer season kickoff. 

Skip: Electronics 

You’re going to see lots of crazy-low deals on gaming consoles, laptops, and tablets around Memorial Day weekend. But, unless you need one now, it’s better to wait it out. You’ll find even better deals on electronics during Black Friday season, when retailers are looking to clear out last year’s models to make room for the newer inventory. If you need your electronics sooner than November, you may consider waiting until July, when many retailers host “Black Friday in July” events that feature steep discounts on electronics. 

Buy: Furniture 

Memorial Day weekend is the perfect time to spruce up both the inside and outside of your home with new furniture. You can snag a great deal on a fully-loaded patio set, pick up a comfortable sofa, and even swap your old mattresses for new ones, all at great prices. You may need to use a coupon code to qualify for the reduced price, so be sure to check out a retailer’s website before hitting the store. 

Skip: TVs 

Don’t make the mistake of picking up a new TV in May just because you found one at an excellent price. Most marked-down TVs you’ll find around Memorial Day are older models with outdated features. You can find much better deals on newer models in November or January.  

Buy: Wedding registry gifts 

Department stores, like Macy’s and JC Penney, offer discounts on household essentials, like coffee makers and blenders, in advance of the wedding season. You’ll also find markdowns on these items at specialty stores, like Bed Bath & Beyond. If you’ve got any weddings to attend this summer, pick out a registry gift now to save big. 

Skip: Cars 

If you’re looking for a new set of wheels, wait until after June. You’ll find the hottest deals on cars between July and October, when dealerships are trying to move old inventory and make room for the newer models. 

Buy: Tires 

Preparing the family car for a summer road trip? You’ll find the year’s best prices on tires around Memorial Day weekend. 

Skip: Swimwear 

Don’t splurge on swimwear and other summer apparel just yet. Wait until June, or even mid-summer if you can swing it, for the steepest discounts. 

Buy: Spring apparel 

Retailers have been displaying their warmer-weather line for months now. That makes the end of May a perfect time to stock up on spring wear. 

Skip: Power tools 

You’ll only have to wait a few weeks for the hottest deals on power tools. Father’s Day sales usually start at the beginning of June, and they offer deep discounts on power tools and other outdoor power equipment. 

Buy: Appliances and home décor 

Retailers and manufacturers alike offer markdowns on large household appliances, like refrigerators, dishwashers, and ovens, at the end of May. Hold onto your receipts, as you may need to mail them to the manufacturer for a cash-back rebate. You can also score a deal on home décor products, like light fixtures, flooring, and kitchen essentials, at Memorial Day sale events. 

Skip: Jewelry 

All that glam won’t glow so brightly if you have to drain your wallet to pay for it. Skip the diamonds this month and wait until late summer, when the jewelry business is at its slowest and retailers put some of their products on sale. If you can wait even longer, push off your purchase until the end of February, when jewelry prices are at their lowest. 

Now that you know what to buy and what to skip this Memorial Day, you can kick off the season of poolside barbecues and aimless road trips by snagging some great deals! 

SOURCES:

https://www.finder.com/memorial-day-sales

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.marketwatch.com/amp/story/guid/99B0B79C-4236-11E7-AE38-779A9096A819

https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/shopping/shopping-tips-news/what-to-buy-skip-may/

National Credit Union Youth Month

This April, CSE Federal Credit Union is celebrating Youth Month, a program that helps teach and encourage kids to develop good financial habits. Every member under the age of 18 who makes a deposit during the month of April will be entered to win a Polaroid Snap Camera! The drawing will take place on Friday, May 3, 2019.

The theme for this year’s Youth Month is “The future is yours… Picture it! Save for it! Share it!” Together, we’re encouraging youngsters to express themselves through photography, sharing their visions for their own financial futures so we can help them get there. Post pics with the hashtag #CSEYouthMonth to share your pics!

 

 

 

 

 

Receive one entry for each day you deposit $25 or more to your CSE youth savings or teen checking account. Receive one entry when you open a new CSE savings account or teen checking account.

Click here for official rules and guidelines. Click here for Youth Month promotional coupons!

For more information about Youth Month call us at 337.477.2000 or email the CSE Marketing department.

Youth Savings—It’s never too early to start saving for their future. Click here for information on UTMA accounts. Click here for teen checking information.

 

Your Credit Score

…The Other Key To Your New Home

Every potential home-buyer dreams of the day they’ll finally get the symbol of independence, security and prosperity: the key to the front door of their new home. Before you get that one, though, there’s another key you need to craft. Your credit score, a numerical representation of your credit history as an indicator of your ability to pay your bills, will determine a lot about your housing situation, from how much house you can afford to the interest rates you’ll receive.

Your credit score is determined by three different credit monitoring agencies: TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. Each has its own method for determining which events are most important to your score, so your number may vary depending upon the agency. Paying debts off, making payments on time and using only a small percentage of your available credit make your score go up. Missing payments, opening many credit accounts or carrying a significant balance of debt from month-to-month will decrease your score.

Less important than the actual score is your score grouping. Lenders tend to lump borrowers into four categories: sub-prime, near-prime, prime and super-prime. Different lenders break these categories down at different score points, but the terminology and treatment are fairly universal. Super-prime lenders get the lowest rates, because they represent the lowest level of risk for the lender. Sub-prime and near-prime borrowers will have a lower cap for the size of the loan they can take and will generally pay a higher interest rate. If you’re working on raising a low credit score, a good target number is 640. This will generally put you in the prime group and ensure you don’t have to pay extra on your mortgage because of credit. If you’re building good credit, 740 is generally the lowest super-prime score, which will give you access to some of the best rates and terms available.

If you’re going house-hunting in the next year, there are three steps you can take right now to improve the terms of your mortgage. Check your credit score, take steps to raise it and manage your loan in other ways. Taking these three steps will put you on the fast track to affordable homeownership!

Check your credit score

As a CSE Member, you can check your credit report for free through CSE Mobile and CSE Online. SavvyMoney Credit Score is a free service offered to our members to help you better understand your current credit score, give access to your full credit report, provide credit monitoring alerts, show you how you can improve it and see ways you can save money on new and existing loans with CSE.

If your score isn’t at the level you think it should be, there may be errors or inaccuracies that are dragging down your good name. Look for accounts you don’t recognize or balances that are not up-to-date. You may even catch an identity thief red-handed! The report comes with instructions for challenging any item. In most cases, you can leave a note for lenders in the file explaining the item under dispute.

Boost your credit score!

There are no simple tricks to bump your credit score in advance of a mortgage. You need to develop a six- to 12-month plan to boost your credit score before getting your mortgage by making sound financial decisions. Demonstrate to lenders that you can use credit responsibly, and your score will increase.

One of the biggest drags on a credit score is percentage of utilized debt. If you’re carrying a balance on credit cards, this tells lenders that you may be using credit to pay for your day-to-day expenses, and that lending you more money would not be a smart move for them. Getting balances to zero should be goal number one!

Also, take care that you don’t make any major purchases using credit right before you attempt to qualify for a mortgage. Even if you’re expecting a major windfall, such as an overtime check or a tax refund, creditors don’t see that on your report. Hold off until you have the cash in hand before you splurge on a new TV or car!

If it’s a lack of credit history that’s hurting your score, get with a CSE lender. We do our best to help our members in any way we can.

What else?

If your credit score is low, and there’s nothing you can do about it, you may need to take other steps to get a better position on a loan. You might try boosting your down payment or shopping for less expensive houses, so you’re borrowing a smaller sum of money. A co-signer, another responsible party willing to take on the risk of the loan, can also improve your terms. If your debt is a serious problem, perhaps moving into a new house isn’t a good short-term priority. Focus instead on paying off debt and saving up for a down payment. This can keep you from getting stuck with a house payment you can’t afford before you’re ready for it.

Get with a CSE lender today to discuss the keys to obtaining your dream home!

Sources:

http://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/prime-credit.asp

http://www.gobankingrates.com/personal-finance/7-ways-to-boost-your-credit-score-this-month/

http://hubpages.com/money/Tips-To-Increase-Your-Credit-Score

Can Living Frugally Make You Happier Than Living Lavishly

Do you believe money is the key to happiness?

Somewhere deep inside, we all know that money cannot buy happiness. Many people overspend and rack up thousands of dollars in credit card debt to live a lifestyle they believe will make them happy, only to discover they are living beyond their means. This, in turn, adds stress and worry … causing unhappiness. Believe it or not, living frugally can actually make you happier than living lavishly.

Living a frugal lifestyle isn’t necessarily about pinching pennies and denying yourself things you want. It’s about making your life easier and worrying less about money.

If you’ve decided it’s time to start living more frugally, ask yourself why you want to do it and establish a goal. Without a reason to change your spending habits and a goal to work toward, it’s easy to fall back into old habits. Maybe you’d like to retire early, or travel the world or buy your dream home. Maybe you’d like to work less and spend more time with your family. Whatever your reason, write it down. Place reminders of your goal where you’ll see them often.

Once you’ve started your new frugal lifestyle, you may be pleasantly surprised at your newfound happiness. Below are some benefits of living the frugal lifestyle that can lead to more happiness and better money management.

  • You’ll learn to appreciate what you have. You’ll become thankful for your resources and learn to make the most of them. Rather than throwing away old items, you learn to re-purpose them and let little go to waste.
  • You’ll tend to choose experiences over objects. Rather than going to the mall and purchasing a new outfit or the newest video games, you’re more apt to go for hike, to the beach or play board games with friends or family. These experiences provide memories and happiness that can last a lifetime. Conversely, that new outfit or video game will provide only temporary happiness.
  • You’ll start to notice your debt diminishing. The burden of debt often ties people to jobs and locations that they hate because they feel they have no other choice. Once your debt disappears, you’ll have the freedom to choose a profession and location that makes you happy.
  • You will have more leisure time. Once you’re able to pay down debt, you won’t need to work as many hours to make ends meet. This will give you more free time to spend on hobbies and other leisurely pursuits.
  • Living frugally may put you on the path to early retirement. Rather than spending your golden years working, you could be gardening, traveling, enjoying your grandchildren or any number of more pleasurable things. Being able to put more funds away for retirement will help you reach a financially comfortable level long before many of your colleagues.
  • You might find joy in helping others. By reducing your own expenses and saving money, you are able to give more to others and support social causes that are important to you.

Now, you may be thinking – the frugal lifestyle doesn’t sound all that bad, but how do I get started? The key is to start small. Make a list of what you’d like to accomplish, how much money you’ll need to achieve it, and formulate a plan. Figure out expenses you can live without. Instead of buying high-priced gourmet coffee at a drive-thru in the morning, brew your coffee at home. Brown bag your lunch rather than eating out. Make a weekly meal plan and cook your meals at home. These items alone can potentially save you hundreds of dollars a month.

If you’re paying down multiple credit cards, look into consolidating them into one loan or to a single, lower-interest credit card. This can give you significant savings on interest charges. Check out CSE Federal Credit Union’s low interest credit card options and online today! Once you’ve consolidated your credit card debt, keep your oldest credit card, but use it infrequently and close all others. Keeping your oldest card open may positively impact your credit score. Leaving the others open, though, may lead to a temptation to use them again, thus defeating the purpose of paying them off.

Learn to stretch your money as far as you can. When purchasing groceries, clip coupons and look for sales. When purchasing clothes or other non-grocery items, check thrift stores, yard sales and clearance racks for the best possible deals.

Look for ways to lower your monthly bills. Are you paying a huge bill for cable TV? Could you live without it? Many people pay a large cable bill and only watch a handful of channels. Check to see if there is a cheaper package available. Is your electric bill higher than it should be? Try hanging your clothes outside to dry rather than using your clothes dryer whenever possible. Also, washing your clothes in cold water instead of hot will save your hot water heater from working as hard – and your clothes will still get cleaned. Another good habit to get into is unplugging electronic devices when you’re not using them.

Give frugal living a try! You have nothing to lose but debt and can gain some unexpected happiness along the way.

SOURCES:

http://www.wisebread.com/how-living-on-a-tight-budget-makes-you-happier
https://www.thebalance.com/frugal-living-4074014
https://toughnickel.com/frugal-living/101-Frugal-Living-Tips-You-Need-to-Know
https://www.thebalance.com/lower-your-electric-bill-1388743

2019 Tax Scams

Each year, the IRS publishes the “Dirty Dozen,” a list of 12 scams that are rampant during that year’s tax season.

This year, the IRS is cautioning taxpayers to be extra vigilant because of a 60% increase in email phishing scams over the past year. This is particularly disheartening, since it comes on the heels of a steady decline in phishing scams over the previous three years.

Typically, an email phishing scam will appear to be from the IRS. Once the victim has opened the email, the scammer will use one of several methods to get at the victim’s personal information, including their financial data, tax details, usernames and passwords. They will then use this information to steal the victim’s identity, empty their accounts or file taxes in the victim’s name and then make off with their refund.

Scammers have several means for fooling victims into handing over their sensitive information. The most popular tax-related phishing scams include the following:

  1.    Tax transcript scams.In these scams, victims are conned into opening emails appearing to be from the IRS with important information about their taxes. Unfortunately, these emails are bogus and contain malware.
  2.    Threatening emails. Also appearing to be from the IRS, these phony emails will have subject lines like “IRS Important Notice” and will demand immediate payment for unpaid back taxes. When the victim clicks on the embedded link, their device will be infected with malware.
  3.    Refund rebound. In this scam, a crook posing as an IRS agent will email a taxpayer and claim the taxpayer was erroneously awarded too large a tax refund. The scammer will demand the immediate return of some of the money via prepaid debit card or wire transfer. Of course, there was no mistake with the victim’s tax refund and any money the victim forwards will be used to line the scammer’s pockets.
  4.    Phony phone call. In this highly prevalent scam, a caller spoofs the IRS’s toll-free number and calls a victim, claiming they owe thousands of dollars in back taxes. Those taxes, they are told, must be paid immediately under threat of arrest, deportation or driver’s-license suspension. Obviously, this too is a fraud and the victim is completely innocent.

If you’re targeted 

When targeted by any scam, it’s crucial to not engage with the scammer. If your Caller ID announces that the IRS is on the phone, don’t pick up! Even answering the call to tell the scammer to get lost can be enough to mark you as an easy target for future scams. If you accidentally picked up the phone, hang up as quickly as possible.

Similarly, suspicious-looking emails about tax information should not be opened. Mark any bogus tax-related emails that land in your inbox as spam to keep the scammers from trying again.

If you’re targeted by a tax scam, report the incident to help the authorities crack down on these crooks. Forward suspicious tax-related emails to phishing@irs.gov. You can also alert the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov.

Protect yourself from tax scams 

Stay one step ahead of scammers this tax season by being proactive. Protect yourself with these steps:

  • File early in the season so scammers have less time to steal your identity, file on your behalf and collect your refund.
  • Use the strongest security settings for your computer and update them whenever possible.
  • Use unique and strong passwords for your accounts and credit or debit cards.
  • Choose two-step authentication when conducting financial transactions online.

Remember, the IRS will never:

  • Call about taxes owed without having first sent you a bill via snail mail.
  • Call to demand immediate payment over the phone.
  • Threaten to have you arrested or deported for failing to pay your taxes.
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes.
  • Ask you to share sensitive information, like a debit card number or checking account number, over the phone.

Be alert and be careful this tax season and those scammers won’t stand a chance! 

 

SOURCES:

https://clark.com/personal-finance-credit/taxes/beware-of-these-common-irs-scams/

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2018/12/04/irs-warns-on-surge-of-new-email-phishing-scams/amp/

https://www.businessinsider.com/irs-phone-scam-what-to-do-if-you-get-scam-call-2018-2

 

 

Member Survey Giveaway January 2019

MEMBER SURVEY GIVEAWAY RULES

SUBMISSION OF A COMPLETED SURVEY IS REQUIRED TO ENTER. NO ADDITIONAL PURCHASE NECESSARY.

1. SPONSOR: The Sponsor of the survey giveaway (“Giveaway”) is CSE Federal Credit Union, 4321 Nelson Road, Lake Charles, LA 70605.

  1. ELIGIBILITY: All CSE Federal Credit Union members, a legal resident of the United States, and a member in good standing are eligible for the drawing. For the purpose of this contest, a member is a primary account owner of a CSE Share Savings account. Any person, who is not an account owner, is not eligible to win. Employees (and their immediate family members and members of the same household) of the Sponsor and its affiliates, agents, advertising or promotion agencies are not eligible to participate in this Giveaway. All winners in this Giveaway must meet these eligibility requirements to receive the prize.
  2. NO PURCHASE IS NECESSARY: Void where prohibited. CSE Federal Credit Union reserves the right to cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend this promotion and contest at any time. Any and all applicable taxes on each prize won are the responsibility of the winning member.
  3. HOW TO ENTER: The Giveaway is open to members who: 1) Complete the brand survey. The survey may be completed online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CSEFCUMemberBrandSurvey. 2) Provide a valid email address. Entries are allowed from January 30, 2019 at 8:00 a.m. CST until February 13, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. CST. You are limited to one (1) entry.
  4. PRIZE: One randomly selected winner will receive: One (1) $100.00 Visa Gift Card. Odds of winning depend on the number of entries received.
  5. SELECTION AND NOTIFICATION OF WINNER: One winner will be selected by a random drawing of all eligible entries. Member need not be present to win. Winning member will be notified by EMAIL and will be required to sign and return an affidavit of eligibility and liability/publicity releases within 15 days of notification. Failure to return documents timely, or if winner is found not to be in compliance with these Official Rules, or otherwise ineligible, disqualification may result with an alternate winner selected.
  6. PRIZE AWARDING: Drawing will be held Thursday, February 14, 2019. Prize will be awarded only upon winner validation and verification by CSE Federal Credit Union. If winner is a minor, parent or guardian must sign a consent form. Prize must be picked up at CSE Federal Credit Union at 4321 Nelson Road, Lake Charles, LA. No substitution, transfer, or assignment of prize permitted, except that CSE Federal Credit Union reserves the right to substitute prize with a prize of equal or greater value. By accepting the prize, winner agrees that sponsor, CSE Federal Credit Union, their subsidiaries, affiliates, and related companies, advertising and promotion agencies, and all of their respective officers, directors, employees, representatives and agents, are not responsible for and will be held harmless by winner for any liability, loss, injury, or damage to person, including death, or property, due in whole or in part, directly or indirectly to possession, acceptance, use or misuse of any prize, or participation in this promotion.
  7. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY: By participating in this promotion, entrants agree to be bound by the official rules and the decisions of CSE Federal Credit Union, which are final. CSE Federal Credit Union reserves the right to cancel or modify drawing if fraud or technical failures compromise the integrity of drawing as determined by CSE Federal Credit Union’s sole discretion. Neither CSE Federal Credit Union nor its officers, directors, employees, or agents, are responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information relating to the promotion or any of the prizes. Except as otherwise required by applicable statute or regulation, as a condition of participating in this promotion and contest, members agree that all issues and questions regarding the construction, validity, interpretation, and enforcement of these Official Rules, and the rights and obligations of members and CSE Federal Credit Union in connection with the promotion and contest , shall be determined by the Board of Directors of CSE Federal Credit Union, and such determination shall be final and binding.
  8. ONLINE ENTRIES:Sponsor shall not be responsible for incorrect or inaccurate transcription of entry information, technical malfunctions, lost/delayed data transmission, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, line failures of any telephone network, computer equipment, software, inability to access any online service or website, inability to submit the online form, or any other error or malfunction, or any injury or damage to entrant’s or any other person’s computer related to or resulting from participation or downloading any materials in this Giveaway, or for late, lost, stolen, illegible or misdirected entries.  If this Giveaway or any website associated therewith (or any portion thereof) becomes corrupted or otherwise does not permit entry in the Giveaway, or if infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, actions by entrants, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes, in Sponsor’s sole opinion, corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper operation of this Giveaway, Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to disqualify any entrant implicated in such action, and/or to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend this Giveaway or any portion thereof.
  9. LIST OF WINNERS: Send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to CSE Federal Credit Union, BRAND SURVEY Contest Winner, 4321 Nelson Road, Lake Charles, LA 70605. Winner name will be available at the Credit Union after February 14, 2019.