Protecting Yourself Against Card Cracking Scams

Date December 12, 2017

In a recent scam targeting millennials, fraudsters are once again cashing in on people’s naivety and goodwill. Only this time, they’re using social media to make it happen.

What makes the scam especially cruel is that fraudsters specifically look for cash-strapped victims who are desperate enough to believe almost anything in the hope of earning a quick buck. This vulnerability, coupled with the broad reach of and easy plundering through social media, has made card cracking especially successful.

Card cracking scams start with an innocent-looking social media post. It will always showcase some form of quick cash. It might be an easy-to-win contest with a huge cash prize, a dream job that will instantly be yours – as soon as you follow the instructions – or a gift card that you’ll be granted just for sharing information.

If you click on the embedded link, you’ll be asked for your checking account information, your PIN or your online banking credentials.

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Video: It’s Almost Tax Time! Should You Itemize or Not?

Date December 7, 2017

Whichever way you decide to go, be sure to check with a tax professional first.

Doing your own taxes? Click here for a TurboTax discount, courtesy of Matadors Community Credit Union!

Earn More for your Money at MCCU!

Date December 5, 2017

You work hard for your money. That’s why we want to give you the best return we can! Open a 24-Month Certificate for your regular or IRA money and earn as high as 1.90% APY1! With only $1,000 needed to open, you can’t go wrong with this federally insured Certificate!

Visit us online for more information!

24 month certificate 1.90% apy

APY=Annual Percentage Yield. Rate as of 11/30/17 and is subject to change. Platinum Membership required for advertised rate/APY, otherwise the stated rate is 1.75% APY. Membership required to open Certificate account. Penalty for early withdrawal. Dividends are compounded and paid monthly. Fees may reduce earnings. Certain State and Federal penalties may apply to IRA accounts, please consult your tax advisor. See disclosures for special features and requirements. Each member account is federally insured up to at least $250,000 by the NCUA, a US Government Agency.

A Holiday Wish List For Financially Savvy Students

Date November 29, 2017

holiday giftAs we all know, “‘Tis better to give than to receive.” Still, receiving gifts can be pretty darn cool. Around this time of year, parents and grandparents may be asking you what you want for the holidays. By outlining something you need, you help them give you a gift you’ll use. It’s not selfish. In fact, it’s really generous to make yourself easy to shop for.

But what should go on that list? If you’re looking for gifts to boost your financial capabilities, try these suggestions.

1.) Cookware

Outside of tuition and books, one of the biggest drains on a college student’s budget is food. Without access to kitchen equipment, eating out is really your only option. Fortunately, a variety of appliances can be good supplements to your microwave and fridge.A two-burner stovetop can plug into the wall and do most anything a range top can. You can stir-fry, saute and boil, and that creates many options. Such devices are available for less than $30 in most stores. A crock pot can serve for soups and stews, and can even replace an oven. An electric kettle can boil water in a hurry for instant soups or noodles. Look for models that have automatic shutoffs for added safety!

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Just Say No! Teach Your Child To Curb Impulse Purchases

Date November 27, 2017

It’s no secret that impulse buys can wreak havoc on even the most carefully constructed budget. And retailers know this all too well – that’s why the checkout counters in groceries, pharmacies and large shopping centers are packed with dozens of things you may not really need. And that’s why you might come home from those stores having spent more than you’d planned.

Learning to curb those impulses is an ongoing struggle. Here’s a strategy you can employ to teach your kids that turning down those small impulses can mean saving big and allowing your money to grow.Choose a store you and your child visit regularly. It can be Target, Walmart, the local grocery or even a dollar store, so long as it has its fair share of tempting impulse purchases that your child usually begs for.

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Everything You Want to Know About Bitcoin (… But Were Afraid to Google)

Date November 22, 2017

What are Bitcoins and how can I get some?  Here’s an introductory guide to bitcoins to help answer these questions and more!

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a form of money that is entirely digital.  In other words, if the U.S. has dollars, and Europe has Euros, the internet has bitcoins.

But the fact that bitcoin is digital isn’t the most interesting thing about this type of currency.  In fact, economists estimate that 92% of all money is digital, no matter what currency we’re talking about.  So what makes bitcoin so interesting is that it’s decentralized.

No single nation, bank or institution controls bitcoin.  While it was first invented by developer Satoshi Nakamoto, the bitcoin currency is administered and propagated by bitcoin users.

How Does Bitcoin Work?

Bitcoin works a lot like a regular currency.  You can buy and sell digitally, of course, but you can also use bitcoin to make “real life” purchases if the vendor accepts bitcoins.  The first such “real life” purchase using bitcoin was in 2010, when a man bought two pizzas for a whopping 10,000 BTC (Bitcoins).

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Beware Of Banking Scams

Date November 20, 2017

Please note that MCCU will never solicit you or ask you for your personal information. Please notify us immediately if you think you are a victim of phishing or any other kind of scam that mentions that credit union name.

There’s been a recent uptick in banking scams where criminals pose as representatives of the victim’s financial institution, thereby obtaining sensitive information. The scammers use the credit union’s social media account or likeness to appear authentic. They then empty the victim’s accounts and disappear.

Often, when the scammers receive a response from the victim on social media, they redirect the victim to what appears to be the credit union’s website. The victim will input a user ID and password, which the scammers use to empty their accounts or open credit cards in the victim’s name.

Sometimes, the scammers impersonate helpful member service representatives seemingly seeking to answer your questions. Other times, the scammers claim your account has been compromised and you need to immediately update your information. Still other times, scammers will pose as representatives of a sweepstakes or another contest you’ve “won.” Of course, these claims are false.

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All You Need To Know About Open Enrollment

Date November 15, 2017

Open enrollment is here again, and for many Americans this time period – and the entire health insurance market – spells confusion.

Read on for the complete rundown on open enrollment, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and today’s health insurance options.

1.) The ACA – still in effect?

The ACA is still up and running. While an alternative health care plan has been proposed, there has been no change in the current system thus far.

What does this mean for the average American?

The ACA has made it mandatory for every American to have sufficient health care coverage or risk being fined. It also oversees the government-run marketplace in which insurance plans can only be purchased during open enrollment. In most states, open enrollment for 2017 will run from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15.

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Why Do I Need To Get Preapproved For A Loan?

Date November 13, 2017

mccu logoQ: Is there any reason to get preapproved for a loan?

A: For a large purchase, such as a home or car, having that preapproval in hand before you start shopping is crucial. A preapproval is a written letter from a lender specifying how large of a loan you will be eligible for. The letter will also detail your estimated interest rate on the loan.

Here are some other key advantages of getting a preapproval:

1.) You’ll know what you can afford

Having this information in hand will simplify your search. It will also help you avoid disappointment later. Be sure to calculate other monthly costs, such as property taxes, home insurance and increased auto insurance rates when determining the amount of money you’ll need to shell out each month.

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Shop Safely On Black Friday!

Date November 8, 2017

Q: I love Black Friday but I worry about the risks. With the possibility of being trampled or of my credit card being compromised, there’s so much that can go wrong! How can I protect myself without missing out on the biggest shopping day of the year?

A: Black Friday does pose some serious risks to shoppers, but with the proper safety measures, you can happily join the bargain-hungry crowds on Nov. 24.

Here’s how:

1.) Plan ahead

Planning ahead means you’ll spend less, be out of line faster and decrease your risks. Sites like BlackFriday.com can help you plan your day and find the best deals.

2.) Credit card only

Credit cards are the best way to shop when there are high risks to your safety. You can always dispute a charge; you can never reclaim stolen cash. Also, keep your card as close to you as possible. If using a debit card, cover the payment terminal with your other hand when inputting your PIN.

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