Credit Identity Theft

Did you know that in 2020 there were 1.4 million reports of identity theft? According to Mint.com, credit card fraud accounted for 393,207 of the nearly 1.4 million reports of identity theft.

Below is a story of how a Red Crown member was a victim of credit identity theft.

Our member received an email about opening a new line of credit from a credit card company. He became concerned about the email because he did not open a line of credit. His first step was to check his credit on an app. It showed the line of credit was open at Wells Fargo. He then called Wells Fargo’s Dispute Center and found out that he was a victim of credit identity theft.

An investigation showed that the criminal opened a line of credit at a furniture store. He created a fake license with the member’s information and knew his personal information. Luckily, the member was smart enough to know something was wrong and then followed the appropriate steps before it did any real damage to his finances.

Credit identity theft can happen when someone steals your personal information; driver’s license, social security number (SSN), birth date, and card information. You may fall victim to this type of theft without evening knowing. Some warning signs are: your credit score has changed, there are accounts on your credit report you did not open, and if collectors start calling you.

If you have fallen victim to credit identity theft, below are some things you should do:

Credit Report 

You should be monitoring your credit report to look for signs of fraud before there is a lot of damage. USA.gov suggests checking your credit report once per year. A free site you can use is annualcreditreport.com and a free app is Credit Karma.

Contact Credit Card Issuers Fraud Department 

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said the first step is to contact the company where the fraud took place. Once you know the company, call their fraud department or dispute center. They will be able to guide you on what to do next.

Credit Fraud Alert 

Your next step is placing a fraud alert on your credit report. The FTC says that a fraud alert will make it harder for someone to open a new credit account in your name. For example, a business must verify your identity before they open new credit in your name.

You can place a fraud alert on your credit reports once per year – free of charge. The credit bureaus are:

  • Experian: 888-397-3742
  • TransUnion: 800-680-7289
  • Equifax: 1-800-525-6285

Credit Freeze

You can place a credit freeze on your credit report. When you place a freeze, no one (including you) will be able to open a new credit account. This freeze will last until you remove it.

Account Alerts

A great precaution is to step up alerts on your accounts. The type of alerts you can receive depends on the financial institution. Some examples are minimum withdrawal alerts, log-in monitoring, etc.

Passwords

Make sure you change your passwords regularly. When creating a password, make it unique and not used for other accounts. The more complex the password is, the harder it is for identity thieves to guess it.

Conclusion

If you have fallen victim to identity theft, report it immediately to the Federal Trade Commission at https://www.identitytheft.gov/#/ or by phone at 1-877-438-4338. You should follow their recommended steps to make a recovery plan.

*Red Crown Credit Union is not a financial planner or advisor, and this blog gives general ideas on how to prevent identity theft. Individual results may vary.

Taxpayer Identity Theft

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time has flown by – it’s already tax season! During tax season, scammers are on the prowl. In 2020, The IRS Criminal Investigation identified $2.3 billion in tax fraud. That is something you do not want to be victim of! Scammers have been known to pretend to be the IRS and may contact you by phone, email, text message, and mail. Below are some common types of scams.

Refund Recalculation Scam

In this situation, you will receive a text or email from an imposter saying that the IRS recalculated your tax refund and that they owe you more money. The email may have the IRS logo and a link for you to click on to submit a fake form for the refund. The link will ask you to provide your SSN, birthday, address, driver’s license number, and other personal information.

Tip: If the IRS did make a refund mistake, they will contact you through the mail first. They will never ask for financial or personal information through email. If you get an email, do not click on any links and delete the email.

Gift Card Scams

The gift card scam is becoming more common. The criminal will call saying that you owe the IRS money and if you do not pay a penalty fee, they will charge you with criminal activity. They will instruct you to purchase the gift cards from various stores and then the scammer will ask for the card’s number and pin.

Tip: The IRS will never call you about taxes you owe or penalties. No government agency will ever demand that you pay by a gift card.

NCUA/FDIC Needs Your Bank Information

NCUA is a federal institution that insures your money if your credit union fails (FDIC is the insurance corporation for banks). The scammer will contact you through emails, phone calls, letters, text messages, and social media asking for your bank information. Scammers will claim that they are the NCUA, to get your personal information to commit fraud.

Tip: The NCUA says that they do not send unsolicited correspondence asking for money, sensitive personal information, bank account information, card numbers, SSN and will never threaten you.

Tax Transcript Email Scam

Scammers will email you claiming to be the “IRS Online”. The email will contain an attachment that has your taxpayer’s tax transcript. A tax transcript is a summary of your tax return.

Tip: A tax transcript is a real thing from the IRS, but they will never email it to you. You will need to request it from the IRS and they will send it by mail.

These are just a few types of scams, but beware there are a lot more out there. Learn more about tax scams at https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-scams-consumer-alerts.

Signs of Identity Theft

The IRS says that you may not know you’re a victim of identity theft until you’re notified by the IRS of a possible issue with your return.

Be alert to possible tax-related identity theft if:

  • You get a letter from the IRS inquiring about a suspicious tax return that you did not file.
  • You can’t e-file your tax return because of a duplicate Social Security Number.
  • You receive a tax transcript in the mail that you did not request.
  • You receive an IRS notice that an online account has been created in your name.
  • You receive an IRS notice that your existing online account has been accessed or disabled when you took no action.
  • You receive an IRS notice that you owe additional tax or refund offset or that you have had collection actions taken against you for a year you did not file a tax return.
  • IRS records indicate you received wages or other income from an employer you didn’t work for.
  • You’ve been assigned an Employer Identification Number, but you did not request an EIN.

Ways to Protect Yourself

  • Keep your SSN in a secure place.
  • Make sure your tax preparation services are a legit company.
  • File your taxes early.
  • If you file online, make sure you use a secure connection.
  • Don’t click on unknown links.
  • Don’t trust IRS calls, email, and text messages.
  • Don’t send personal information through social media.

Conclusion

If you have experienced tax fraud, visit the IRS taxpayer guide to tax fraud to learn what your next steps should be. If you have fallen victim to identity theft, report it immediately to the Federal Trade Commission at https://www.identitytheft.gov/#/ or by phone at 1-877-438-4338. You should follow their recommended steps to make a recovery plan.

*Red Crown Credit Union is not a financial planner or advisor, and this blog gives general ideas on how to prevent fraud. Individual results may vary.

 

How to Get Your Paycheck Early

 

Who wouldn’t like to get their paycheck before their co-workers? With the Red Crown Early Payday Program, you can receive your money before your actual payday!

There are tons of benefits in participating in the Early Payday Program. A few of them are; you receive your money early, you can reduce stress, and you can pay your bills in advance. The only requirements are to be a Red Crown member and sign up for direct deposit.

What is direct deposit?

Direct deposit is an electronic payment directly from the account of the payer to your account. The funds reach your financial institution through an electronic network. This network is called an automatic clearinghouse (ACH). ACH is a safe and secure network to receive your payment.

What information do I need to set up the direct deposit option?

You will need your account number, the Red Crown routing number (303986148), the type of account (savings or checking), and our address (5001 E. 91st St. Tulsa, OK 74137).

How do I get my paycheck early?

You will need to sign up for direct deposit with the payer (if they offer direct deposit). When we receive the pending credit notification, we immediately post the upcoming deposit to your account. For example, if we receive the file on Wednesday, October 9, and your payday is Friday, October 11, we will credit your account on the 9th! Essentially, this means we are advancing your paycheck for FREE!

Can you guarantee that I receive my paycheck early?

No, we do not guarantee that you will receive the payment early, it depends on when we receive notification from the payer. Also, if the notification is submitted on a holiday or the weekend, it does not apply. This program works during our regular business hours which are Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM.

Why wait? Sign up for our Early Payday Program now!

If you have any questions, give us a call at 918.477.3200.

Mastercard Benefits

Red Crown is excited to announce that we have moved our debit cards to Mastercard.  This change gives our members some great benefits; some of which are:

  • Mastercard ID Theft Protection
  • Financial Account Takeover
  • URL and Domain Monitoring
  • Monthly Risk Alert/Newsletter
  • Identity Monitoring
  • Resolution Services
  • Lost Wallet Assistance
  • Single Bureau Credit Monitoring
  • Mastercard Global Service
  • Extended Warranty
  • Mastercard Airport Concierge
  • Priceless Cities

We will highlight a few of these benefits below:

Identity Theft

Mastercard ID Theft Protection puts your mind at ease when it comes to identity theft. There are at least three ID Theft Protection programs that will help monitor and detect if there is any potential threat occurring.

Financial Account Takeover – This program monitors your account for high-risk transactions.

Identity Monitoring – This program searches the internet to see if your personal information is being compromised. They look at emails, debit cards, credit cards, bank accounts, web logins, medical insurance cards, driver’s licenses, passport number, social security number, and more.

You do have to sign up for Identity Monitoring. Simply go to https://mastercardus.idprotectiononline.com/enrollment/embedded.html. Click the “Activate Now” button and you will be guided.

Resolution Services – An identity theft team is available to you 24/7. You can authorized them to act on your behalf to contact police, credit agencies, and other authorities regarding identity theft issues.

If you want to learn more about identity theft programs, click Master Card Benefits.

Airport Concierge

Mastercard gives you a chance to have a less stressful and seamless trip. On their website, https://mastercard.globalairportconcierge.com/, they will help you search for the best prices for your flight.

Their Airport Concierge arranges a Meet & Greet agent to escort you to your departure, arrival, and connecting flights. This benefit does cost you, but Mastecard gives you a 15% discount on their service.

You can at last say goodbye to long security lines! Using your Mastercard Airport Concierge, you are expedited through security at certain airports.

Mastercard Connecting Flight Services is a transit service. From the moment you land, they will assist you with all your transit services. The Connecting Flight Services are available to you at any time, on any day, at over 700 destinations worldwide.

You have to sign up for airport concierge. Simply go to https://mastercard.globalairportconcierge.com/.

Priceless Cities

Mastercard Priceless Cities gives you a one-of-a-kind experience when you are at home or away. With this program, you receive discounted prices on events or items because you are a Mastercard holder.

There are six different categories for you to choose from; dining, sports, arts, shopping, entertainment and travel around town. These exclusive deals are available in the USA, Europe, Canada, Mexico, South America, and Asia. Some examples of discounts include:

  • Tower above the Windy City with a VIP 360 Chicago Experience
  • Miami Starlight Cruise
  • Cooking Classes
  • Talk to a New York Yankee

All you have to do is sign up for the program at pricless.com. The deal you choose is not free, but you receive an exclusive discount on the experience because you have a Mastercard.

 

*Red Crown Credit Union is not a financial planner or financial advisor. This is general information and is not a guarantee of saving money.

5 Ways to Save Money

Can we all agree that 2020 has kept us on our toes? Some days feel like time is going so slow and other times it is flying by! Before we know it, the holidays will be here.

Red Crown wants to help you find ways to save during these crazy times. Below are a few examples of ways to help you save money:

Spend a Little Less on Yourself 

According to CNBC, online shopping has gone up 31.8% since the pandemic. Along with online shopping, companies have started to re-open and we are getting back to normal, which means even more shopping.

One great way to save money is to cut back on things you want and do not need. Cutting back on small items can add up dramatically. We all know the Starbucks analog; if you spend $4.43 per drink at Starbucks and you indulge every workday, you will have spent $22.15 in one week on coffee. Cut your trips in half and you will save $11.07 each week. That is $44.30 in just a month!

Look at how much you are spending on random online shopping, going out to eat, Door Dash, and more. You may be shocked. Say no to the some of those “wants” and watch your savings grow.

Stick to Your Shopping List

How many times have you veered off your grocery list or just went from memory? People who do not stick to their grocery list or shop from memory tend to spend more money. Grabbing random items can add up quickly. People who make a list and stick to it end up spending less.

Bring Cash

Go back to when you were a kid and had no debit card or credit card. Do not use any plastic while shopping. Using cash will force you to spend only what you have in your wallet.

Finance Apps

Finance apps can help you make a budget that works for your lifestyle. Within these apps, you can create categories for your paycheck distributions. The program will advise you on what percentage of your check should go into each category. These apps help you to take control on how you budget your money each month.

Using one of these apps can be very useful in knowing how to save, when to save, and how much to save.

Look for Deals

Deals happen all year around. You can find deals when purchasing food, gifts, clothes, and more. Look for sales, coupons, and plan ahead.

Conclusion

These five tips may seem easy, but breaking habits can be a hard thing to do. You do not have to try all of them at once. Using one from this list is a great way to start. When you get comfortable with one, add another. Just start.

 

*Red Crown Credit Union is not a financial planner or advisor, and this blog gives general ideas on how to save money. Individual results may vary.

MidAmerica Industrial Park Location

 

This image is of a modern-looking Red Crown Credit Union building. The building will be white with an accent of red, black, and gray. This building will be located in the MidAmerica Industrial Park.

Red Crown Credit Union is proud to be opening a new location in the MidAmerica Industrial Park in Pryor, Oklahoma. Our new branch will be in “The District”, a new development with over 32,000 square feet of retail space.

After ten years of providing financial services as the only credit union in Mayes County, this commitment to the MidAmerica Industrial Park was an easy decision for Red Crown. “We are happy to be presented this opportunity to serve the current and future members of Mayes County,” said Mike Moyer, President/CEO of Red Crown.

“We decided to build a location in the industrial park because there is an opportunity to serve almost 5,000 people that work within the park; as well as serve people in the Locust Grove and Chouteau communities,” said Deanne Waguespack, COO of Red Crown.

This branch will be a full-service location with a lobby and drive thru which will give the community access to savings, checking, and lending products.

Locust Grove Donation 2018

Red Crown Credit Union (Red Crown) is happy to announce our partnership with Locust Grove Public Schools (LGPS) for their participation with the Locust Grove Pirates Debit Card. Red Crown made a $500 donation to LGPS for this partnership. “We are excited to partner with Locust Grove Public Schools and excited to work with them for years to come,” said Jeremy Daggs, Vice President, Marketing – Red Crown. Members of the Locust Grove community can stop by any Red Crown location to order their Locust Grove debit card. With every debit card swipe, Red Crown makes a donation to LGPS.

Picture includes, left to right: Jennifer Back: Red Crown Assistant Vice President – Mayes County Branch Manager, Dan Stokes: LGPS Assistant Superintendent and Dusty Torrey: LGPS Superintendent

Red Crown Breaks Ground at MidAmerica Industrial Park

Red Crown Credit Union (Red Crown) is happy to announce our partnership with MidAmerica Industrial Park. Red Crown was chosen as the first retail location to break ground in MidAmerica’s new multi-use development called “The District,” combining retailers, housing and public recreation areas.

Set to open in 2020 The District will include 32,000 square feet of retail space, a 100-unit, multi-story living complex, 100 residential homes and 10 acres of parks and outdoor spaces connected by walking and biking trails, officials said. “Red Crown will occupy a space in The District and will be able to provide financial products and services to individuals who live and work in the industrial park,” said Mike Moyer, President/CEO – Red Crown. “Mayes County has been a great community for Red Crown. We are happy to be presented this opportunity and happy to serve the community members of Mayes County,” said Moyer.

Picture includes, Mike Moyer: Red Crown President/CEO speaking at the MidAmerica Industrial Park ground breaking.

New Claremore Location

Red Crown Credit Union (Red Crown) is happy to announce our new location for Claremore, Oklahoma, set to open in Winter 2018. Red Crown purchased the building that was originally Health Center Pharmacy, located at 113 W. Blue Starr Dr. “Our management team was in town for a planning session and we saw that the building was for sale,” said Mike Moyer, President/CEO – Red Crown. “We discussed it and felt that would be a great spot for a Claremore location,” said Moyer.

“This will be a full service location with a lobby, loan offices and a drive thru,” said Deanne Waguespack, Chief Operations Officer – Red Crown. “We wanted a vintage, but modern look, so we hired W Design out of Tulsa and we are very impressed with the work they have done,” said Waguespack.

The picture above is a rendering of the location by W Design.