Branch lobbies are closed effective Friday, March 20. See the latest information about the COVID-19 outbreak. READ NOW.

×
Routing Number: 307070050
Search
Search Our Site
Type a word or phrase in the search field below. If you are unable to find the information you are looking for, please contact us.
Kirtland Federal Credit Union logo

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.

All Posts > COVID-19

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

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

COVID-19

Nothing is more important to us than our members. In the wake of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak and the unprecedented response of closures and cancellations that has followed, I'd like to update you about the preparations and precautions we're taking to keep our members, our employees, and our community safe.

Please also know that we are taking proactive steps to ensure you have access to uninterrupted credit union services while doing our best to mitigate the threat of COVID-19. We strongly encourage you to utilize the many digital services and technology available to you in lieu of visiting a branch.
 

Digital Options
With our technological offerings, you have more ways than ever to get your banking done. If you prefer not to visit a branch in person, you have options including:

  • FREE 24/7 access to your accounts through Online Banking from any desktop
  • FREE Mobile Banking app from your phone or tablet
  • By phone 24/7 through the TellerPhone system by calling 1-800-880-8277
  • Using one of the more than 30,000 FREE ATMS nationwide.
  • Utilizing Remote Deposit through your Mobile Banking app to deposit checks with the snap of a photo
  • Conducting branch service through the drive-through to maintain social distancing recommendations
  • Setting up a direct deposit with your employer to have paychecks flow seamlessly into your account
  

For help setting up or using any of these services, or for any other questions, call our Member Contact Center at 1-800-880-5328. Our Member Contact Center is open and available:

  • Monday-Friday: 7:00a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

  • Saturday: 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

 
We Are Here For You

Right now, all Kirtland FCU branches are open. If you need to visit a branch in person, know that we are taking all precautions possible to prevent the spread of illness by following the CDC guidelines for cleaning procedures. We are cleaning all areas thoroughly and often to prevent the spread of germs and viruses, as well as routinely utilizing CDC recommendations for hand washing and hand sanitizing.

All the community events we have scheduled, including the Home & Brew Happy Hour and our seminars, are canceled for March.
Kirtland FCU is committed to the health and safety of our members. That includes uninterrupted access to your accounts as well as taking every step necessary to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on our operations while safeguarding our employees, members, and ultimately, our community.
Thank you for your partnership, membership, and commitment.



Tom Shoemaker
President and CEO
Kirtland Federal Credit Union

1