union has been very cautious and conservative in our lending.
We did not pursue the Sub-Prime auto or home loan products when
they came to the market. Because of that, we have not suffered
the huge losses experienced by Banks and some of the larger
credit unions. While the slow-down has affected our bottom
line, we have excess reserves and funds available to continue to
operate in a safe and sound manner.
Our charter is cooperative in
nature. That is one reason we are tax exempt on our
earnings. It is also the reason we operate for the benefit
of the entire membership and not one individual or group of
The market is
changing, our members are changing, and the competition is
changing. So, guess what? We have been changing as well. We
have added services and programs to increase our convenience and
meet the needs of our members. The bad news is that this all
comes about at a time when regulation is ever-increasing. Our
government (State and Federal) has significantly stepped up the
demands on financial organizations to thwart the treats of
terrorism, loss or compromise of individual privacy and identity
theft. As the economy worsens, we are seeing a massive increase
in scam attempts to obtain funds from the credit union by any
(and all) means possible. Those folks don’t care if they steal
from the organization or the individuals with accounts at the
credit union. Robin Hood, they are not!
Where do these
threats come from? It comes from individuals within our own
city, state, country, and especially from foreign nationals.
They are preying on our member’s good nature and the promise of
something for nothing. Friends, if you didn’t enter the
contest/ drawing/ raffle/ lottery… you didn’t win! You never
have to send money to receive money from a person outside the
country. We have seen many attempts to defraud our members from
their hard earned monies. We even have to argue with them to
protect themselves from a big mistake. We don’t do this
because we like conflict…. No one does! We do this because we
care for and have a duty to protect our members. We want to see
everyone have a sound financial future.
Where do these
threats appear? Mail fraud, check fraud, stealing of identity
from any source available (dumpster, receipts, check stubs,
internet), in person, by the phone…. If you think you’ve heard
it all… you haven’t. When one source is stopped, they go to
another. They are constantly seeking the weakest link. Do you
own a shredder? Do you use it on EVERYTHING that has your name
Be wary of
anything that sounds too good to be true. Never give your
information out over the phone, ever! Make the supplier give
you the information and then you can verify that it is correct.
If someone calls and states they are from the phone company and
wants to know your address or account information…that’s not the
phone company calling. If you receive an email and they don’t
know your name (dear sir, dear madam, dear client… etc) they
probably aren’t the real deal. AND, just because they know your
name, they aren’t 100% legitimate either! Luckily, the
criminals like easy pickings and there are lots of people out
there that are not being careful. Just make sure it’s not you!