As part of a recent settlement, merchants gained the ability to surcharge for credit card purchases on January 27, 2013.  This new change has the potential to impact you.  It is unknown how prevalent merchant credit card surcharging will be, but we wanted to share some information from the VISA website. 


Don’t Get Hooked by a Phishing Attack

If you have Internet access, you may be under attack–a phishing attack, that is. This high-tech scam involves three components:

Spoofing is creating a replica of an existing Web site.

Spamming is unsolicited, or “junk” e-mail.

Phishing is the act of using spoofing and spamming to lure unsuspecting victims, hoping to deceive you into disclosing your Social Security number, credit card and checking account numbers, passwords, or other sensitive information.

The Federal Trade Commission recommends the following tips to help you avoid getting hooked:
1. If you get a pop-up or e-mail message requesting personal or financial information, don’t reply or click on the link in the message. Legitimate companies won’t ask for this information.
2. Be cautious about opening attachments or downloading files from e-mail messages.
3. Never send personal information via e-mail. Look for a closed padlock at the bottom of your browser window, or a URL that begins with “https”–the “s” stands for secure. However, some phishers forge these security icons.
4. Review statements for accuracy as you receive them. If they’re late, call the company to confirm billing address and balance.
5. Use antivirus software and keep it up-to-date. Run a firewall, particularly if you have a broadband connection. Take advantage of free software “patches.”
6. Report suspicious activity to the FTC at http://www.ftc.gov, and forward suspicious messages to spam@uce.gov.


Please be advised, if you recently received the text below, Hopewell Federal Credit Union DID NOT send:

HOPEWELL F.C.U. ALERT:  Your CARD starting with 5510 has been DEACTIVATED.  Please call 614-XXX-XXXX. 

Remember, DO NOT provide any information.  This is a SCAM. Hopewell Federal will NEVER request your account information via text, phone or email. 

Electronic Is Eco-Friendly

As you manage your money, using online technology gives the environment some needed help—and helps you save time and the money you’re managing. It may not seem significant, but when you look at the number of financial transactions you make each month, multiplied by the number of people doing the same thing … it adds up.

Opt to receive e-statements via e-mail each month, instead of mailed paper statements. Use our online banking service to check balances and transfer funds between accounts.  Using your phone with Mobile Banking can make life easier and save the environment.

And when you pay bills, use online bill payment. You can automatically transfer money electronically to pay your bills each month. It saves paper and uses less energy since there’s no need to create and deliver a paper invoice.

Since we only have one planet earth, we all benefit from making eco-friendly choices. If you’re not using electronic services, check out what’s offered. Oh, and use our Web site to check. If you’re unsure how to use the Web site call 740.522.8311. Credit union staff will be happy to walk you through it—you can set up most electronic services with just a few button clicks.



Watch for Signs of Elder Financial Abuse

The problem of financial swindles targeting senior citizens is very real and is getting worse. Research indicates that most often the perpetrators are family members or caregivers, with elderly women more likely to be targeted than men.

If you provide care for an older individual, watch for these signs that financial exploitation or abuse may be going on:

* Large, unexplained withdrawals from accounts, or transfers between accounts that the older person cannot explain
* Suspicious signatures on checks or other documents
* Lifestyle not consistent with income or assets, or significant changes in spending patterns
* Notices to disconnect utilities
* Anxiety about personal finances
* Missed appointments or unpaid bills
* Abrupt changes to a will or power of attorney
* Unusual transfer of assets to others

If you suspect financial exploitation, visit the National Adult Protective Services Association website at apsnetwork.org and click on your state to find your local office and report abuse.