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Explore the latest happenings at Kirtland FCU and learn about important topics from around the financial world. Here’s your insight!
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All Posts > COVID-19

COVID-19 Security Fraud

Scam artists will stop at nothing to exploit the fear, social isolation and uncertainty fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic. “People are more vulnerable emotionally than ever,” says psychologist Stacey Wood, a professor at Scripps College in California. “That makes it easier to fall for the increasing number of scams out there."

Criminals are preying on this new vulnerability with everything from fake work-at-home jobs and fraudulent charities to money-seeking romance schemers lurking on dating sites. Other scammers include government impostors who are targeting your stimulus check. How do they do it? Here are six psychological tactics scammers don't want you to know about.

A friendly voice
Before the coronavirus, 1 in 4 older adults were socially isolated; today that number is far higher. “When you're lonely, a friendly voice on the phone or a friendly message on social media seems like a real bright spot,” says Emily Allen, senior vice president for programs at AARP Foundation. Scammers use information they've gleaned about you online to strengthen the bond. They shower you with compliments and get you to like them in order to make you more willing to believe their lies.

Official-sounding sources
“In uncertain times, we rely more than ever on what other people tell us. Scammers may falsely identify themselves as being from the IRS or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” says Robert Cialdini, regents emeritus professor of psychology and marketing at Arizona State University. “They misquote or make up advice from experts. And they create fake organizations that sound impressive, to fool you.”

Using your intelligence against you
"Some people get drawn in when scammers compliment their intelligence and ability to understand a so-called opportunity,” Cialdini says. “Others think they're smarter than a scammer and can spot a phony. Research shows that, among older adults, those who think they're the most invulnerable to persuasion are most likely to fall for scam artists."

Helping in hard times
Schemes involving fake charities, online romantic partners in need and grandchildren marooned away from home without cash are nothing new. But they're heating up as people yearn for ways to help others and as job losses and travel restrictions make scammers’ stories sound more believable than ever, Wood says.

Relieving your new anxieties
Job loss, stock market tumbles, scary virus risks — scammers are manipulating your fears in these uncertain times with too-good-to-be-true “opportunities” like fake work-at-home offers, bogus investment schemes and phony chances to buy face masks, hand sanitizer, coronavirus tests and fake remedies.

You gotta act now!
Goading you to either make a fast decision or miss out on scarce supplies or a new job plays on today's anxieties, Wood says. “When you're fearful or stressed, you're more likely to make impulsive decisions,” she says. “Scammers know this.”

So how can you stay safe from these tactics?

4 Ways to Stop a Scam Before It Starts
  1. Cut them off. Toss, delete or hang up on unsolicited offers. Don't answer the phone if you don't recognize the caller ID. Don't click on links or provide personal info requested in an email.
  2. End suspicious online friendships. This is not the time to trust strangers, no matter how nice they seem. In fact, scammers are professionals at being “nice.” Put on your toughest filters and cut off contact the moment someone you don't know well asks for info or financial help.
  3. Cultivate your real friendships. Be in frequent touch with family, friends and neighbors who can be sounding boards on unusual offers. Visit connect2affect.org to assess how much social isolation and distancing are affecting your mental and physical health, AARP's Allen says.
  4. Do your homework. If someone claims they're from the IRS or your bank, call to verify. Learn more about popular coronavirus scams now.

COVID-19 Security Fraud

“Grandma, it’s John. I need help.”

“John? Are you ok? You sound funny.”

I’m in the hospital, Grandma. I need you to send me some money so I can pay my bills because they won’t let me go.”

“What? Your mom didn’t mention that to me!”

“Please don’t tell her, I don’t want her to worry. I’m okay, I just really need money to pay the hospital bills.”

Grandchildren hold a special place in the hearts of their grandparents. That affection, combined with the higher percentage of financial resources and trust that are hallmarks of this generation, is making grandparents a juicy target for scammers amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In this fake scenario above, you can see the trademarks of the classic Grandparent Scam. A claim to be a grandchild or other family member OR a claim to be a bail bondsman, attorney, or some other law enforcement agent calling in regards to a family member. A plea for help, or a threat. A request or demand to not involve others in the family. And a scenario that may or may not be tied to the coronavirus epidemic.

Criminals continue to employ the Grandparent Scam for a simple reason: it works. And in the midst of the pandemic, reports of this particular threat are increasing. According to an AARP report, in New Jersey and New York alone, roughly 100 victims have lost about $1 million in recent months.

Here’s a look at the number of such cases reported to the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Network. Cases totalled 91,585 from the beginning of 2015 through March 31 of this year.

Since 2015, some 91,585 people have been victims of impostor scammers who purport to be family members or friends, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says.

"In these days of coronavirus concerns, their lies can be particularly compelling,” FTC attorney Lisa Weintraub Schifferle warns. “They pull at your heartstrings so they can trick you into sending money before you realize it's a scam,” she says.

And requests, at least in busy cities like New York, are not always for a digital delivery of money. In fact, the FBI has arrested scammers who send a taxi cab or even come to the victims home to pick up the money, acting as a go-between for the grandparent and their “grandchild”.

Knowing the names of family members or referring to family vacations or other events is NOT proof of validity. In the age of social media, it’s scary easy for a criminal to gain access to that sort of information.

Amy Nofziger, who directs AARP's Fraud Watch Network helpline (877-908-3360), likewise reports an increase in grandparent scam complaints as people isolate at home. Nofziger says the scams exact a financial and emotional toll on people; some have even lost their life savings.

"We're all very emotional during these COVID-related times, and these criminals want to prey on your emotions,” she says. “And nothing is more emotional than thinking that someone you love is in trouble and needs your help."

Even victims’ grandchildren — while blameless — may feel aftershocks of guilt and remorse, “so it’s really something that affects the whole family,” Nofziger says.

How to stop a grandparent scam
And if you get a scam call, report it to local police, to the FBI's Internet Complaint Center and to the FTC.

Here’s advice from the FBI and other authorities on how to thwart a grandparent’s scam.
  • Use privacy controls on Facebook and other social media platforms to limit what strangers can learn about you and your family.
  • When you suspect that someone who calls, texts or emails you is a scammer, take a breath. Slow it down. Contact the family member who purportedly is in trouble and needs cash. Such calls may come late at night and the background may be noisy, adding to confusion. Never act in haste.
  • If you suspect a scam, tell the caller directly: “I am not participating in this discussion.” Consider writing that down on a piece of paper and keeping it near your telephone.
  • If the caller purports to be a bail bondsman, ask where your relative is being held and contact the facility directly. Or call your local police department, where officers may be able to call the jail and check out the story.
  • Resist the urge to act immediately — no matter how dramatic the story is.
  • Verify the caller’s identity. Ask questions that a stranger couldn’t  possibly answer. Check the story out with someone else in your family or circle of friends, even if you’ve been told to keep it a secret.
  • Don’t send cash, gift cards or money transfers — once the scammer gets them, they’re gone.
“We want to warn as many people as possible so that they might thwart the nefarious efforts of these schemers,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie. “Awareness is a victim’s best defense. Don’t allow criminals to separate you from your hard earned savings. Call, verify, report.”

If you receive this type of call, remain calm and resist the pressure to act quickly. Get as much information as possible, including the phone number, if possible, of the caller. Hang up and call a family member to verify the information or call a trusted friend to ask for help. Report the call to your local police department or the FBI. Never wire money, especially overseas, based on a request made over the phone or in an email. Once you send it, you can’t get it back.

For more information, read the FTC’s guidance on Family Emergency Scams.

And if you get a scam call, report it to local police, to the FBI’s Internet Complaint Center and to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.

COVID-19 Security Fraud

When a crisis hits, it’s important to stay on top of your finances as best you can and monitor your credit.

Due to the hardship caused by COVID-19, all U.S. consumers can get free weekly online credit reports now through April 20, 2021, from TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax by visiting annualcreditreport.com.

As the coronavirus outbreak continues to evolve, your credit might be the last thing on your mind. During times of emergencies though, such as global pandemics or natural disasters, you should know the state of your finances and keep your credit on your radar. Along with your physical health being a top priority, so should the state of your financial health and wellness.

Normally, your credit report is available every 12 months from all three credit bureaus—TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. Given the vast number of consumers’ financial health being impacted by the current economic conditions, online access to your report is now available on a weekly basis. Visit annualcreditreport.com and follow the prompts.

Remember your credit report and credit score are two different things, and your report will not include your credit score.
  • A credit report is a statement of your credit activity and current credit situation. It includes a history of your loan payments and status of credit accounts.
  • A credit score is calculated from your credit history and behavior—information found in your credit report.
There are four main ways you can acquire your score, including checking your credit card or other loan statements, talking to a non-profit certified credit counselor, using a credit score service (be sure you know what you are signing up for and how much it really costs!), or buying a score directly from one of the three credit bureaus—TransUnion, Experian, or Equifax.

There are additional ways you can be proactive with your credit. Follow these steps to help keep your credit on solid footing.
  1. Pay your bills on time, if you can. Even if it gets difficult, try to make at least the minimum payment by their due date. Late payments negatively affect your credit score.
  2. Contact your creditors and service providers. If you get to a point where you can’t pay all your bills, contact your creditors and any service providers such as utilities, phone company, etc.
  3. Check your credit regularly. Now is a critical time to make sure your credit reports are accurate. If you identify potential fraud, you can respond before it damages your credit.
  4. Be extra protective of your identity. Unfortunately, during times of crisis, scams and identity theft are at an all-time high. Protecting your personal information is essential. You can place a free security freeze on your credit files which prevents people (good AND bad) from accessing your personal information and using your name to apply for credit.
  5. Get financial assistance, if needed. Certified credit counselors can offer advice on how to repay your debts in a manageable way.
  6. Dispute inaccurate information. If you find inaccurate information when reviewing your credit report, you can file a dispute with each credit bureau. Each bureau has an online dispute center, which is the quickest way to file a dispute.
How to Order Your Credit Report
Don’t contact the credit reporting agencies individually. The free reports are available only through annualcreditreport.com and 1-877-322-8228.

You’ll need to provide your name, address, social security number, and date of birth. If you’ve moved in the last two years, you may need to provide your previous address. For security purposes and to verify your identity, you may be asked for information only you would know, like your monthly mortgage payment.

Beware of “Imposter” Websites
The only website authorized to fill orders for the free annual credit report you are legally entitled to is annualcreditreport.com. Other sites that claim to offer “free credit report” or “free credit monitoring” aren’t part of the legally mandated free annual credit report program and in some cases have strings attached to the “free” product being advertised.

Report Scams
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) works for you—the consumer—to prevent fraud and unfair business practices in the marketplace. If you think you’ve been the victim of a scam, you can file a complaint with the FTC and/or the Attorney General of your state.
 

COVID-19

Since our branches closed their doors to walk-in traffic in March (way back in March!? It’s now June), we’ve been monitoring the state and federal guidelines and recommendations to determine the best time for us to safely reopen our doors and see our members’ faces once again. That day has arrived!
 

Our branches are now open to the public.


However, safety remains our first priority. When members walk in our doors, the experience of visiting a Kirtland FCU branch will look a little different. Here is what you need to know before you come see us!
  • Masks are required. Every person who comes in our lobby doors must have a mask or cloth face covering that completely covers the mouth and nose, in accordance with state orders. We’ll ask you to temporarily remove your mask for identification before any transaction begins. Our employees will likewise be in masks while in the lobby for your safety. Remember, masks won’t prevent you from getting sick, but they do help prevent transmission by a person who is wearing one. If we’re all wearing our masks, we can better protect each other.
  • Plexiglass is installed in the lobby. To further prevent the spread of COVID-19, Plexiglass separators have been installed at the front desk and at teller windows.
  • We’re operating at reduced capacity. Following state mandates and to encourage social distancing, the capacity of our lobbies is limited. When you arrive, follow posted instructions and wait outside until you are welcomed into the lobby by a staff member.
  • Lobbies are set up for social distancing. Follow any posted signage and floor markings to maintain a safe flow through the lobby.
  • Increased disinfecting protocols are in place. Our staff will clean and disinfect surfaces between members.
  • Restrooms are closed. To reduce the surfaces on which COVID-19 can be spread, our public restrooms are closed.
  • We’re no-contact banking. No handshakes, no hugs. Just smiles!

Hours may vary. When our doors, our branches will be operating on limited hours as follows:
  • Gibson, Montgomery, and West Alameda Branches
    • 9 am – 2 pm • Monday – Saturday
  • Base Exchange Branch
    • 9 am – 5 pm • Monday – Friday
    • Closed on Saturday
Starting June 8, Gibson, Montgomery, and West Alameda branches will return to normal operating hours. For current hours, click here.

We know everyday life with social distancing is hard on our members, because it’s hard on us, too! While operating with these precautions isn’t our ideal experience, it’s the best way to keep our community safe. If you cannot or choose not to wear a face covering, we are ready to help you at our drive-thru lanes, via telephone at 1-800-880-5328, and online through Online and Mobile Banking. Likewise, if any of the above protocols will cause you discomfort, we stand ready to help you over the phone, online, or in the drive-thru. We can’t wait to reopen, and we’re excited to be able to open up slowly, safely, while bringing you the service—if not yet the full experience—you deserve when you come see us.
 
We will continue to monitor the guidelines and recommendations set forth by the New Mexico Department of Health and the Center for Disease Control and act accordingly. Together, we’ll keep each other safe.
 
We can’t wait to see you!

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

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

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