Friday, February 26, 2010

Spring Auto Loan Rate - As Low as 4.75% APR

Click the video above to view our latest commercial. During the months of March and April the credit union will have reduced rates on our new & used automobile loans. The special rates will be good on purchases or refinances from other lenders. If you have a vehicle financed elsewhere, now would be a good time to refinance before rates start rising. It only makes sense to pay less for your debt. For full terms and rates available, please visit our "LOAN RATES" page on our web site at

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tax Preparation Scam

Consumers are being drawn in by individuals claiming to be tax preparers. Consumers provide their personal information (i.e., name, social security number, etc.) to have tax refund completed and the phony tax preparer inflates the information as much as possible with fraudulent information. (i.e., claiming children they don’t have, day care expenses, etc.)to obtain a larger refund. The tax refunds are transmitted as a direct deposit (ACH credit) to either a newly created account or an existing account with an impersonator added as a joint owner These accounts are being established by either the impersonator or their recruiters. Once the tax refund has been deposited into this account, the impersonator or recruiter withdraws their fee and the remainder of the ACH credit goes to the tax recipient.

The key here is to deal with a reputable tax preparation group. There should NEVER be a reason to open an account with a tax preparer as a joint owner. Consumers who engage in this type of transaction are filing fraudulent tax returns and would most likely have Internal Revenue Service problems as a result. A healthy tax refund is only valuable if you get to keep it.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Secret Shopper Scam

Below is an actual example of a Secret Shopper scam. The scam is that you receive a fake check and are then directed to send money via a Moneygram or Western Union, pocketing the difference as your compensation for "evaluating" the money transfer transaction.

"Our online data source has identified you as a candidate interested in an additional income part-time job. Therefore we are pleased to invite you to participate in a paid Triple "S" Program (Secret Smash Shopper) in your area of residence as a Customer Service Evaluator of selected retail stores, restaurants, and various other commercial establishments making predetermined purchases and evaluating the customer service level of the stores and service providers. Secret Shopping or Mystery Consumer is a tool used by market research companies to measure quality of retail services or gather specific information about products and services.

As one of our possible 5,700 shoppers selected for this project, you visit selected businesses in your area and secretly evaluate things like customer service, store location, and appearance as well as product quality. If you accept this offer, the current consumer services evaluation you are undertaking will attract a participation pay of $300.00 per week. After a few evaluations your participation will be reviewed with the possibility of it going up to $450.00 per week. Depending on the company you will be assigned and the tasks involved participation pay can go as high as $600.00 a week after six months. Upon accepting this offer you must keep your identity and assignments as a secret shopper CONFIDENTIAL in order not to introduce any form of bias to the data you collect. You must not take this letter to your assignments.

This assignment is put together to be completed at two different locations. The evaluation will take place at any MONEYGRAM or WESTERN UNION agent bear you or as determined by your coordinator. The objective of this assignment will be to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the payment system. You will pose as a customer sending the stipulated amount listed below to a supposed relative of yours residing at a location your Training Coordinator will provide to you. This offer expires 7 DAYS from the day you call in the receipt of this letter. This program is run on a weekly basis.

Below is a breakdown of the enclosed check bearing the required funds to cover your first week's assignments as follows:

1. Participation Pay for first week = $300.00

2. Stipulated amount for Money Gram/Western Union = $2,600.00

3. Service Fee by Money Gram/Western Union = $200.00

TOTAL AMOUNT = $3,100.00

Please Call your Assigned Training Coordinator at 1=800-###-#### for any further clarification or if you do not understand the offer. Your coordinator will provide you a computer generated receiver name you will need to complete for your first assignment. Withdraw the required amounts and proceed to evaluations. Upon completion of evaluations, notify your coordinator and fax your market report forms and all receipts."

Pretty slick, huh? There are many variations of this same scam so avoid these type of employment offers. Anytime you asked to send money to a stranger from funds given to you by a stranger, you should not engage in that transaction. There are potential criminal implications for members who negotiate counterfeit checks as well.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Twitter Account for NAECU

North Alabama Educators Credit Union now has a Twitter account. For those who "tweet" or follow "tweets", this will be a good resource for current news, tips, alerts, scams, weather closings, and events taking place. Here is the link for our Twitter site; .

We had a poll survey on our web site last fall that indicated that roughly 30% of those taking the survey would be interested in the credit union having a Twitter page.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Office Closings Due to Weather

The credit union has altered office hours in recent weeks due to inclement weather conditions in the Tennessee Valley. I thought that it might help members to understand the process on how and why we change our business hours in relation to weather conditions.
To begin with, safety of our employees is the primary determining factor in adjusting our operating hours due to weather. Employees are required to be here so they cannot leave on their own whenever weather conditions deteriorate. It is the responsibility of credit union management to estimate future travel conditions and to place employees on the road at a time when they will be safe. Emergency management resources, local radar, and weather media all play a part in trying to determine current and future weather conditions.
If we do have to close early or open later, the objective is to make this determination with several hours of notification being available to the membership. All three major television networks in this area (ABC, CBS, and NBC) are contacted as soon as possible to report any change in our operating hours. Our credit union home page is updated with the weather closing information being prominently displayed at the top of the page. Home banking users also receive a broadcast message upon signing in about any closings. Our Facebook page is updated to report weather closing information. The credit union is in the process of establishing a Twitter account and this would be another excellent means of communicating weather closing events.
Contrary to popular belief we do not follow the weather closing schedules of school systems in the area. Schools have built in weather days in their calendars. The credit union does not.
If inclement weather is possible in the area, either call the credit union or visit the credit union's home page for potential weather closing information. The television web sites can also be visited for their list of business closings/delays. (Visiting their web sites is much faster than waiting for closings/delays to scroll across the television screen.)
Weather closings and delays do occur at times. This is another reason why VISA Debit Cards and direct deposit are such great services as they provide account access whether our offices are open or not.