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Welcome To The Insighter!

Explore the latest happenings at Kirtland FCU and learn about important topics from around the financial world. Here’s your insight!
To learn about retirements, investments and financial planning, check out Invested now.


COVID-19

Long a target of identity thieves and fraudsters, senior generations are becoming victims of COVID-19 related scams at an alarming rate.
Seniors are vulnerable to scams and identity theft for a number of reasons: 
  • They tend to be polite and trusting, especially over the telephone. 
  • These generations generally have good credit.
  • They also have more financial resources than younger generations.
  • And seniors are one of the fastest growing segments of social media users. 
The social changes and resulting uncertainty and fear we’ve all experienced in the past few months in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have a magnified effect on seniors. Thanks to social distancing, they may be isolated, lonely, and anxious about their health or that of their families, making them more likely to respond to an ad or email that promises virus protection, a miracle cure, or just plain human contact. If you’re a baby boomer or older, be aware of these scams.
 
The Numbers
We discussed the many varieties of COVID-19 related fraud and identity theft. These types of scams continue to be big business for thieves. As of May 25, 2020, the FTC has reported $40.13 million in losses from scams related to the coronavirus epidemic. 


And while there aren’t as many victims in the baby-boomer generation (and older age groups) as in younger generations, seniors lose significantly more money when they do become victims.



Fraud Protection
The good news is COVID-19–related fraud can be avoided with some good online hygiene. First and foremost, be alert. Don’t respond to or click on content containing any of the following known COVID-19–related scams:
  • Offers of coronavirus vaccines. There is no vaccine yet for the coronavirus, and when there is one, it will be offered through healthcare providers, not online.
  • Offers of vitamins or medicines that will prevent or cure COVID-19. Again, there is no proven protection or cure, and when there is, your doctor will have it.
  • Offers for COVID-19 testing that show up unsolicited online. If you want testing, talk to your healthcare provider.
  • Online claims that you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and need to sign up for testing. If this were true, you would be contacted directly by your doctor or local health department.
  • Messages claiming to be from the World Health Organization (WHO) explaining how to protect yourself from the coronavirus. The WHO does not communicate directly with individuals.
  • Unsolicited messages from the WHO, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or other sources with coronavirus updates, maps, or other news. If you want current coronavirus information, visit the WHO, CDC, or your state health department’s website directly.
  • Messages offering special COVID-related Medicare benefits. The FTC says this fraud often offers a special “Coronavirus package.” If you have any questions about your Medicare coverage, you can get answers at www.medicare.gov/medicare-coronavirus.
  • Messages asking you to fill out a form to claim government stimulus money. The IRS is handling stimulus payments to taxpayers. It will never e-mail asking you to fill out a form online.
 
A key component to many of these scams are overt or implied threats if you don’t cooperate or offers that sound too good to be true. And trust your instincts! If you receive a message through e-mail or social media that seems to be from a friend or family, but seems out of character for them, don’t respond and don’t click any link.
 
And while it may not fall into the traditional definition of a scam, there are plenty of opportunists out there offering masks, cleaning supplies, and other necessities who may be out to make a larger-than-normal profit (price gouging). This is not only unethical, it’s illegal. When it comes to purchasing masks and other supplies, stick to trusted friends and associates.

Stay connected, but stay safe. Online and over the phone, it’s easy to pretend to be someone else. It’s okay to ask why and verify. And it’s also okay to hang up or delete!
 
If you believe you have been a victim of a scam, contact your financial institutions and notify the FTC

Security Fraud

2020 is the year of the big 10-year U.S. census, a count of every person in the United States. The 10-year census, as well as the smaller and lesser known annual American Community Surveys, are an essential tool for states and local municipalities, as well as the federal government, to properly budget and allocate resources. 

The surveys ask some pretty unusual questions—such as what time you leave for work—and as such tend to spark more than a few phone calls from citizens concerned about fraud. Because of these unusual questions and the blanket method with which information is collected during the 10-year census, it can be difficult to tell the difference between a legitimate census communication and a fraudster’s attempt at capitalizing on the survey to steal your information.

Census-based fraud can happen year-round and may come in the form of fraudulent mailings, phone calls, e-mails, texts and even in-person visits. 
  
RED FLAGS:
  • You receive an e-mail communication. Like many government agencies, you’ll almost always receive official communication via regular mail.
  • You’re asked for bank information, Social Security numbers, passwords or password hints (such as mother’s maiden name). A real census worker will never as for this information
  • You’re threatened by a census worker or communication. Taking part in the census is required by law, and you can be fined, but not imprisoned, for refusing to do so.
If you experience any one of these, you may be looking at a scam.
  
HOW TO KEEP YOURSELF SAFE
 
DO DON'T
Verify that a census taker who comes to your home is legitimate. They should have a Census Bureau photo ID badge (with a Department of Commerce watermark and an expiration date) and a copy of the letter the bureau sent you. You can also search for an agent’s name in the Census Bureau’s online staff directory. Don’t give your Social Security number, mother’s maiden name, or bank or credit card numbers to someone claiming to be from the Census Bureau. Genuine Census representatives will not ask for this information.
Do confirm that a questionnaire you’ve received is on the Census Bureau’s official list of household or business surveys. Don’t reply, click links or open attachments in a suspicious census e-mail. Forward the message to ois.fraud.reporting@census.gov.
Do contact the bureau’s National Processing Center or the regional office for your state to verify that an American Community Survey or other census communication is genuine. Don’t trust caller ID — scammers can use “spoofing” tools to make it appear they’re calling from a real Census Bureau number. Call the National Processing Center at 800-523-3205, 800-642-0469 or 800-877-8339 (TDD/TTY) to verify that a phone survey is legitimate.
Do check that a census mailing has a return address of Jeffersonville, Ind., the site of the National Processing Center. If it’s from somewhere else, it’s not from the Census Bureau.  
Do check the URL of any supposed Census website. Make sure it has a census.gov domain and is encrypted — look for https:// or a lock symbol in the browser window.  

You can report suspected scams to the regional Census Bureau office serving your state and to the Federal Trade Commission (online or at 877-382-4357).



 

Personal Finance

It’s challenging enough to make a paycheck last when it comes on a regular basis – but what happens when you have to take mandatory time-off or a reduction in hours, or are paid for some months out of the year but not others? With planning and a careful look at your finances, you can survive the times when the checks are on hold but the expenses march on.

What to do today
Not having enough money to pay for life’s necessities can be pretty scary, but there are a few things you can do to get you through this time with minimal hardship.

Your first task is to take a look at your monthly expenses and prioritize them. Decide what you need to pay for and what you can, at least for now, let go. Housing, food, transportation, and insurance should take top priority. Dining out, clothes, and entertainment may need to be sacrificed for the time being. Remember, this isn’t forever, when the cash is flowing again, they can be resumed.

For those items you need, you may be able to pay less than you’re currently paying by downgrading. A smartphone with an unlimited data plan, for example, costs a lot more than a pre-paid basic phone plan. And if you can reduce daily driving by working from home, carpooling, or shopping once every couple weeks rather than every day, you can reduce your gas bill. Shop around for a better rate on your insurance to reduce monthly bills, and consider how your home lifestyle affects your utility bills. Can you shut off lights more regularly, lower the thermostat, and avoid running laundry or the dishwasher unless it’s full? Every little bit helps.

When shopping, consider every purchase. Ask yourself if you really need it, and if you do, can it wait a while, or can you get it for less somewhere else. Getting in the habit of asking yourself these questions will help you become a savvy shopper in both good and bad times. This will also help you avoid relying on credit cards during this difficult period. It might be hard, but you will be so much happier when that next paycheck comes in and it is not promised to high- interest debt.

If you have credit card payments, and you simply don’t have the money, contact your creditors immediately. You may be eligible for special programs that will keep your accounts in good standing. Waiting until you are behind will not only increase your balance because of hiked up interest rates and fees, but will damage your credit as well.
  • If you really need to scare up some funds, consider every option:
  • Sell assets, from a garage sale to unloading securities (just beware capital gains taxes for next year).
  • Obtain temporary employment elsewhere.
  • If you have children who work, ask them to contribute to the household budget.
  • Make and sell things if you have a creative streak.
  • Ask a friend or family member for a loan. Chances are they won’t charge any or much interest, but be careful – these sorts of arrangements have damaged many a relationship.
  • Borrow from your retirement account or cash value life insurance plan. Be aware, though, that you are borrowing from an asset accumulated for a specific purpose. These come with their own set of problems if you can’t pay them back.

There are other sources of funds available, but beware: they may not be in your best interest in the long run.
  • Credit card cash advances – There is often an origination fee to take out cash from a credit card, and interest not only begins to accumulate immediately, but is often higher than for purchases.
  • Home equity loans or lines of credit – The equity in your home might be money that is readily available for you to borrow, however, if you can’t repay the loan, you put your home in danger of foreclosure.
  • Car note loans – These loans work by a borrower exchanging the title and set of keys for a loan based on the vehicle’s value. Interest rates range from 30 to 120 percent, and if a single payment is missed, the car can be repossessed.
  • High interest unsecured loans – Usually lent in increments of $5,000 or $10,000, interest rates for this new breed of high-risk, unsecured loans can be as much as 47 percent.
  • Payday loans – Borrowing against future income can seem like a great short-term solution, but with average annual interest rates ranging from 390% to 871%, payday loans are no bargain.
  
Planning for Next Time
So what do you do to prevent a scramble for cash next time around? Sometimes, as many Americans are experiencing right now, a reduction in income is unplanned due to lay-offs or other events that prevent work. If you do have a heads up you’ll be facing reductions, mark the date on your calendar, so it doesn’t come as a surprise.
  
Either way, the money you get today will have to be stretched to cover those times when there will be nothing (or less than normal) coming in. Resist the urge to spend it all each month. Develop a detailed budget to know what your monthly expenses are, and then prorate your income:
  
Example: Your monthly expenses total $2,000. You don’t get paid for two months out of the year, so will have to have $4,000 ($2,000 x 2 = $4,000) set aside for those non-income earning months. For each of the ten months that you do receive a paycheck, you’ll have to set aside $400 ($4,000/10 = $400) to cover the time you won’t get paid.
  
Once you know how much you will need to sock away, have the sum deducted monthly from your checking account and automatically deposited into a savings account.

Since you know you will be needing at least some of the money in a relatively short time frame, make sure you have the portion you need in an account that is easily accessible and penalty free (such as a savings account or money market account.)

Careful planning is the key to surviving a time when a paycheck is less than normal or intermittent. By doing so, you’ll avoid that dreadful feeling when the lean times are on your doorstep – and your account is bare.

For unplanned reduction in income, having a robust savings and a low amount of debt will serve you well. Add a portion of your income to a savings account each paycheck, and pay it as if it were another bill coming due. Also, resist opening new credit cards, maxing out existing credit, and taking new loans if it can be avoided. If you do make a large purchase, such as a car or mortgage, you may have the opportunity to purchase insurance that would cover you in the event of a job loss.

Plan while you can. Cut where you need to. And you have a better chance of coming out of your financial triage with a healthy outlook.

COVID-19 Home Loans

Q: I’ve been planning to buy my first home this spring, and I’ve spent years preparing for this purchase. Now that the coronavirus has had a negative impact on the economy, I’m wondering if I should go through with my plans. Is it a good idea to buy a house during a pandemic?

A: The coronavirus outbreak that has swept through the world while wreaking havoc on the national and global economy has given rise to dozens of financial questions. The uncertainty that characterizes this time is confusing the average American and financial experts alike. No one can say when this pandemic will come to an end, or what kind of lasting impact it will have on the economy. Experts can only look at past economic crises and downturns to try to predict what the short-term and long-term financial future will look like in the United States.

Let’s take a look at the mid-pandemic housing market and explore the wisdom of purchasing a home during a time of economic instability.

What does the current housing market look like? 
In a twist of irony, the home sales of February 2020 were the strongest they’ve been in the country since 2007, topping 5 million sales. Factors like falling interest rates and a booming economy contributed to the thriving housing market, but two months later, experts already are seeing a decline in the buying trend.

Lawrence Yun, the chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, says the market has turned sharply, adding, “The coronavirus has undoubtedly slowed buyer traffic and it is difficult to predict what short-term effects the pandemic will have on future sales.”

This downturn has likely been triggered by the economic devastation caused by the outbreak, including widespread job insecurity, thousands of shuttered businesses and millions of employees on leave from work for an indefinite period of time due to statewide and self-imposed quarantines.

The decrease in home sales is also likely due to practical reasons. When people are worried about their health and they’re trying to create a semblance of normal life while essentially being confined to their homes, it’s difficult for them to think about purchasing a new one. Meeting with potential sellers and real estate agents and looking at properties is also complicated when trying to maintain social distancing.

No one knows when the spread of the coronavirus will ease, but when it does, and normal life resumes, the market may see an increase in sales.
  
Does it make financial sense to buy a house now?
A dwindling housing market does not automatically mean this isn’t a good time to buy a house. In fact, times of financial uncertainty generally lead to falling mortgage rates. Mortgage rates have already reached a record low of 3.13 percent in the beginning of March, prompting some buyers to rush into new home purchases. The rate, however, has since jumped back up to 3.65 percent, though it is still relatively low and may fall again.

It takes more than just a favorable mortgage rate to make a home purchase a sensible decision.

Some market experts believe the coronavirus pandemic will cause an eventual spike in home sales as buyers, fearing a recession, will want the stability and control that homeownership brings. A fixed-rate mortgage will not be subject to the peaks and valleys of a volatile national interest rate. It can also help the owner feel secure if job loss and unemployment become the norm.

Before you jump into a home purchase at this time, you may want to take a step back and look at your entire financial picture. Consider the following factors:
  • How stable is your income? If you have any reason to believe you might be facing a layoff, you may want to hold off on your purchase. Your mortgage will need to be paid each month, regardless of your employment status.
  • How long do you plan on living in this home? If you anticipate living in your new home until you’ve paid off your mortgage, it can be a great time to buy a house at a low interest rate; however, if you plan on selling within the next few years, you may come out at a loss due to a falling housing market and an unstable economy.
  • Will you have savings left after going through with the purchase? As the economy heads toward a probable recession, this is not the best time to be without a savings cushion.
The coronavirus outbreak has destroyed all kinds of plans, from vacations to weddings, parties and more. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to put your plans of buying a house on hold. If you can comfortably afford the purchase and your income isn’t threatened by the economic instability, the favorable interest rates can make this a good time to buy a new home.

Kirtland FCU is Albuquerque LOCAL home loan leader. If you think now may be the right time for you to buy a home, get started today at KirtlandFCU.org/HomeLoan

 
Membership eligibility required. Kirtland FCU welcomes veteran, active-duty, and retired members of all branches of the U.S. military, including NM National Guard and Reserve, who have ever been served by KAFB; contractors, employees, and retirees of businesses who work on or with KAFB under contract with the U.S. Government; members and employees of partner organizations throughout Albuquerque; and family members of eligible or existing members. An equal housing lender. Financing available for properties in New Mexico only. Loan subject to credit approval. See a representative for complete details. FHA and VA mortgages are not available for condominiums, manufactured homes or investment properties. As with all lending services, full disclosures, terms, and conditions will be supplied with your mortgage or home equity disclosures.

COVID-19 Fraud

Fraudsters have always preyed upon their victims’ emotions. Fear. Love. Worry. Desire to help. 

Emotions have never been higher than in recent weeks, and criminals and thieves are taking advantage of them, and you. According to the AARP, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had received 23,581 consumer complaints related to the outbreak, including more than 12,000 fraud complaints (as of April 21). Victims have reported losses of $17.97 million, with a median loss of $553.



Here are some of the recent tactics cyber thieves are using and how you can spot them and avoid falling prey. 

The O-phish-al Officials
When we receive mail, e-mail or calls from agencies like the IRS, Social Security Administration or the U.S. government, we are naturally more inclined to pay attention and respond. Within days of the passage of the CARES Act, texts, e-mails and phone calls that appear to be from real businesses and government agencies began flooding in, offering to speed up the payments. Many of these calls, e-mails and text are purportedly from the IRS or other U.S. government agencies. Thieves often request banking or personal information in order to collect CARES Act funds quicker.

Some scams involve thieves posing as banks, credit unions and other financial institutions offering loans and other economic help. This includes debt forgiveness and student loan assistance. Other popular ruses involve unemployment benefits and job offers, again from what appears to be a legitimate government agency.

The Cure
This one capitalizes on one emotion in particular: fear. A disease that’s sweeping the world and bringing countries and their economies to their knees can induce outright terror. The offer of a cure, of a test, or some other treatment or detection can override one’s common sense when it comes to detecting fraud, especially if it appears to come from a well-known agency such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO).

No drug or treatment has been approved for COVID-19. But that doesn’t stop companies from touting one. The FTC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have sent more than 40 warnings to companies selling unapproved products they claim can cure or prevent COVID-19 and shut down a website that was promoting a nonexistent vaccine, according to the AARP. 

In addition, some scammers claim to be selling or offering in-demand supplies such as surgical masks, test kits and household cleaners, often in robocalls, texts or social media ads. The FTC has issued warnings to companies suspected of abetting coronavirus robocalls, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) set up a dedicated website with information on COVID-19 phone scams. You can access that site here.

Fake Checks
Those much anticipated stimulus checks began dropping into some 80 million accounts in early April, but many citizens who haven’t provided direct deposit information to the IRS are eagerly watching their mailboxes for a paper check. To make sure the check you receive is THE official stimulus payment you’ve been waiting for, the Secret Service and the U.S. Treasury have provided six "Quick Tips/Genuine Security Features" that a person receiving, accepting, or cashing the economic impact payment check should look for:
  • There is a new Treasury seal to the right of the Statue of Liberty. The new seal should read "Bureau of the Fiscal Service" and it replaces the old seal that read "Financial Management Service (FMS)".
  • When moisture is applied to the black ink on the seal next to the Statue of Liberty, the ink will "run" and turn red.
  • All Treasury checks are printed on watermarked paper. The watermark reads "U.S. TREASURY" and can be seen from both front and back when held up to a light source.
  • An invisible to the naked eye "protective ultraviolet overprinting" (UV) pattern is on the paper check. It consists of lines of "FMS" bracketed on the left by the FMS seal and on the right by the U.S. Seal (eaglet. As of 2013, a new ultraviolet pattern was introduced into the check that says 'FISCALSERVICE.' Either one of these UV patterns may be seen.
  • The back of the check is micro printed with the words "USAUSAUSA".
  • Printed on the lower right side of the Statue of Liberty will be the following information "Economic Impact Payment President Donald J. Trump".
Anyone who believes they may have a counterfeit economic impact payment check is urged to contact local law enforcement, a Secret Service field office, or the Treasury.

How To Avoid Scams
  • Look out for the term “stimulus” in official government communication. It’s a buzzword used by the media and general public, but is unlikely to be included in official government correspondence. Speaking of official correspondence…
  • The U.S. government loves the snail mail when it comes to official communications. You can certainly reach them by phone or e-mail but for an initial conversation, you’ll have to be the one to reach out. A government agency will never text, e-mail or call you without you asking them to do so.
  • Beware of any request for information or money. This is particularly true when the request is not in response to any kind of communication from yourself. 
  • Don’t be afraid to confirm any request or communication from a financial institution. A bank you have a relationship with my e-mail, call or text you if you’ve given permission for them to do so. But you’ll never be asked for passwords, whole Social Security numbers, banking information, or for money. 
  • Don’t trust your caller ID to legitimize calls. It’s easy to spoof a real phone number to gain your trust before you even pick up the phone. 
  • Do not click any links in a text message. If a friend sends you a text with a suspicious link that seems out of character, call them to make sure they weren't hacked.
  • Always check on a charity (for example, by calling or looking at its actual website) before donating. (Learn more about charity scams.)
For more information about scam calls and texts, visit the FCC Consumer Help Center and the FCC Scam Glossary. You can also file a complaint about such scams at fcc.gov/complaints.

Learn more about what Kirtland FCU is doing in response to the COVID-19 threat.

 

COVID-19
When social distancing measures were first put into place last month, we immediately began making changes to keep our employees and members safe without causing any interruption in services. So when Governor Lujan-Grisham ordered further restrictions, we were well on our way to ensuring we maintained our commitment to serving our members in a safe environment for all.
 
All across the credit union, we took measures to ensure social distancing—employees are either working from home, on rotating schedules to reduce in-person contact, or have moved to more remote areas to safely complete their tasks.
  
We’re committed to keeping our staff and our members safe. We’re also dedicated to making sure our members have the same access to their accounts and their money as they have always had, and with the service they deserve. Our staffing levels have decreased, but our level of service has not. We’re still here for our members, whether through our many online and mobile banking channels or in-person via phone or drive-thru.
  
Safety is our priority. Service is our commitment. We may be spread out, but we’ve never been closer together. Our members can count on Kirtland FCU.

Learn more about what Kirtland FCU is doing in response to the COVID-19 threat.

COVID-19

Protecting New Mexicans during the COVID-19 health crisis is the top concern at Kirtland Federal Credit Union. All Kirtland Federal Credit Union branches are closed to in-person, walk-in member services until further notice. The credit union is offering in-person service by appointment only. The credit union will continue providing banking services at its drive-thru windows, ATMs, and online. The local call center also remains open six days per week.

"Our priority is to keep Kirtland Federal Credit Union's members and employees safe and well-informed," stated Tom Shoemaker, Kirtland FCU's CEO and President. "We are taking every recommended precaution to ensure a safe environment for all."
The credit union has provided financial services to the Kirtland Air Force Base and Albuquerque communities for 62 years and will soon open its fifth full-service branch on Albuquerque's west side at Coors Pavilion." While things may look different for the foreseeable future, our commitment runs deep. We're still here, still lending, approving mortgages, taking calls six days a week, and answering questions online,"  added Shoemaker.

Access to Online and Mobile banking is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"Although the coronavirus is severely impacting our lives and the economy, you can rest assured that Kirtland FCU is monitoring these events closely," said Shoemaker. "We're standing tall and committed to safeguarding our members; financial well-being with access to friendly, knowledgeable staff who have only your best interests at heart."

The branch locations offering limited drive-thru services include Gibson, Montgomery Crossing,and West Alameda. The Kirtland Air Force Base BX Branch is open Monday – Saturday, and the Home Loan Center is taking meetings by appointment only Monday – Friday.

Stay safe. We'll be here.



Tom Shoemaker
President and CEO
Kirtland Federal Credit Union

News

This is no ordinary band of superheroes.
 
The newly formed Scam Squad, a cooperative of agencies and community partners formed by the Albuquerque Consumer Financial Protection Initiative (CFPI), has a mission to educate the public about the threat of scams and help those who have been targeted by scammers.
 
CFPI Director Karen Meyers, who joined the City to head consumer protection efforts after stints with President Barack Obama’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the office of New Mexico Attorney General Gary King, said, “Scams can happen to anyone, but knowledge is the best way to avoid losing money or becoming a victim. The Scam Squad will work to improve information on how to avoid scams through cross-agency collaboration, targeted outreach and more effective response to consumers seeking help.”
 
The Scam Squad recently released tips and tricks to avoid becoming a victim of scams:
 
  • BEWARE IMPOSTERS Scammers often pretend to be someone you trust, like a government official, a family member, or a company you do business with.
  • DON’T SEND MONEY OR GIVE OUT PERSONAL INFORMATION in response to an unexpected request – whether it comes as a text, a phone call or an email.
  • DO AN ONLINE SEARCH. Google a product name or company with words like “review,” “complaint” or “scam”. You can even search for phone numbers to see if other people have reported them as scams.
  • DON’T BELIEVE CALLER-ID. Technology makes it easy for scammers to fake caller ID information, so the name and number you see aren’t always real. If someone calls asking for money or personal information, hang up. If you think the caller might be telling the truth, call back to a number you know is genuine.
  • DON’T PAY UPFRONT FOR A PROMISE. Someone might ask you to pay in advance or send a fee for things like credit and loan offers, prizes or a job. If you do, they will probably take the money and disappear. Hang up. Don’t engage. Con artists want you to make decisions in a hurry. They might even threaten you and play on your fear. Slow down, check out the story, do an online search, talk to someone who might know. Before you give up your money or personal information, talk to someone you trust.
  • CONSIDER HOW YOU PAY FOR SOMETHING. Credit cards are safest. Wiring money through Western Union or MoneyGram is risky because it’s nearly impossible to get your money back. That’s also true for reloadable cards (like MoneyPak or Reloadit) and gift cards (like iTunes or Google Play). Venmo or Zelle is safe ONLY IF YOU KNOW THE PERSON. To be safe, do not use a Debit card with an unknown person or company.
  • HANG UP ON ROBOCALLS. If you answer the phone and hear a recorded sales pitch, hang up. These calls are illegal, and often the products are bogus. Don’t press 1 to speak to a person or to be taken off the list.
  • DON’T TRUST FREE TRIAL OFFERS. Some companies use free trials to sign you up for products and bill you every month until you cancel. Before you agree to a free trial, research the company and read the cancellation policy.
 
No matter the medium for the scam—phone, text or e-mail—these signs should send up ALL your red flags:
  • Person claims to be from the government and asks for money. 
  • Person asks you to pay upfront to get a prize or gift. 
  • Person asks you to wire money, put money on a prepaid card or gift card and send it to them. 
  • Person asks for access to your money, through ATM, bank accounts. 
  • Person asks you for personal information, like your social security number or bank account number. 
  • Person pressures you to “ACT NOW’ or threatens jail or arrest.
 
Knowing the signs is one thing. But just how are you supposed to respond? What’s the right thing to do? Let’s look at a couple situations:
 

The Scam: Your phone rings. The Caller ID says IRS, but you’ve never had dealings with the IRS before.

How To Avoid:
  • Ignore the phone call. The IRS will never call you unprompted (they’re mail people).
  • If you do answer the call, feel free to HANG UP AT ANY TIME if any of the above red flags appear.
 

The Scam: You check your e-mail and see a new message that appears to be from the Social Security Administration. They’re informing you of an issue with your SSN and tell you to click a link or call a phone number to solve the issue.

How To Avoid:
  • Click on nothing and delete the e-mail! Just like the IRS, the Social Security Administration will never send you an unprompted e-mail. The mention of an urgent issue is a big red flag.
 
SCAM SQUAD SAYS: Bottom line, if you don’t know the sender or caller, ignore it. If you believe you have been targeted by a scammer, contact the FTC to report the scam.

Need to report a scam? Learn how!


 

COVID-19

Kirtland FCU cares about the health and well-being of our members, employees, and communities. For this reason, effective Friday, March 20, we have made the decision to close the lobbies of all our branches except for the Kirtland AFB Base Exchange branch. Here's what you need to know:

  • Gibson, Montgomery Crossings, and West Alameda Branches
    • Lobby will be closed to walk-in traffic; members may be seen by appointment only.
    • Drive-thru service at all branches will remain open with normal operating hours.
  • Base Exchange Branch (KAFB)
    • No changes to normal hours, or operations.
  • Kirtland FCU Home Loan Center
    • Closed to walk-in traffic; members may be seen by appointment only. Apply online 24/7 for mortgages and home equity loans.
  • Kirtland Financial Services
    • Closed to walk-in traffic; members may be seen by appointment only.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING DRIVE-THRU SERVICE
Starting Friday, March 20, drive-thru service will be limited to everyday financial transactions on existing accounts. We will not be able to open or close accounts and loans via drive-thru. To apply for a loan or open an account, please call 1-800-880-5328 or visit our website.
 
DIGITAL BANKING OPTIONS
We strongly encourage you to take advantage of the many 24/7 digital and online banking tools and services available to you, including:
  • Online Banking
  • Mobile Banking
  • TellerPhone
  • Online Bill Pay
  • Digital Wallet
  • Website
FINANCIAL HARDSHIP ASSISTANCE
We also understand that there may be instances where members find themselves facing financial hardships. Kirtland FCU is here to help—please reach out to us if you're facing difficulties. We have several options available to assist you.

Stay safe. We'll be here.



Tom Shoemaker
President and CEO
Kirtland Federal Credit Union

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