Don’t Ignore That $1 Charge on Your Card

It can be easy to dismiss that $1 charge you don’t remember making on your debit or credit card. But you should be paying attention: Scam artists often make $1 “test” charges to see if you’ll notice and take action. If you don’t, crooks know it’s safe to continue using your card, sometimes spending hundreds of dollars in a short time period. If you think you may be a victim of fraud, contact your card issuer and Hopewell Federal Credit Union, and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at ftccomplaintassistant.gov.

Fraud Prevention Awareness from HFCU

FRAUD DEFINITIONS
Phishing is a way of attempting to acquire information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Vishing also called (Voice Phishing) is the voice counterpart to the phishing scheme. Instead of being directed by an email to a website, the user is asked to make a telephone call.
SMiShing is a spin-off version of Vishing. In this instance the victim receives a text message via their cell phone with the implications that there is a threat to their account and request a callback to a number provided in the message. The social engineering tactics used are the same as the phishing and vishing attacks; the only difference is the delivery method.

PREVENTION
• Remember….Hopewell Federal Credit Union will never call, email or text requesting your account number, social security number or last four digits of either.
• Ignore e-mails or pop-up messages that request personal or financial information
• Don’t use links in messages, even if the message appears to come from your credit union. Enter your credit union’s Web address in the browser yourself. Phishers can make links look like they go one place, but it actually send you to their legitimate-looking fake site.
• Read carefully. Typically, phishing messages are not personalized, whereas official credit union communications are. A typical warning sign is that the communication presents an urgent nature to the request.
• Call Hopewell Federal Credit Union at 740.522.8311 to confirm the message. Always use the phone number printed on official statements or credit cards. Do not use the number that appears in the message.
• Keep your home and work computers safe with current technology solutions, including gateway routers and virus/malware/spyware detection software, which will help prevent virus infections and warn when you are attempting to access a known phishing site.
• Don’t e-mail personal or financial information.
• Review credit card and account statements, as well as online transaction, as soon as they are available to check for unauthorized charges.
• Only open attachments or download files that you have requested or subscribed to.
• Forward phishing e-mails as an attachment to spam@uce.gov and the impersonated organization impersonated.
• If you’ve been scammed, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s Identity Theft Web site at http://www.ftc.gov/idtheft for assistance. Also, file a complaint on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crime Complaint Center Web site, http://www.ic3.gov/.

Should You Give Your Kid an Allowance?

Do you pay your kids an allowance? Should you? And if so, should they have to do chores to earn it?

As more people recognize the importance of financial literacy for children, experts are debating how most children are first introduced to the concept of money—the weekly allowance.

Ron Lieber, personal finance writer for The New York Times, says he and his wife pay their 7-year-old daughter $3 a week, no chores necessary.

Lieber’s daughter puts $1 in a “save” jar and $1 in a “give” jar for a cause of her choosing. The final $1 she can spend as she wants. Lieber’s reasoning is that an allowance is a teaching tool, and making it contingent on chores muddies the issue. What if the children decide they don’t want money? Do they still have to do the chores?

Lewis Mandell, a financial economist and professor emeritus at the State University of New York, Buffalo, however, says unconditional allowances are a “terrible idea,” citing a 2000 study that showed kids who received a regular allowance left high school knowing less about personal finances than kids who received no allowance—though the differences were slight.

One problem may be that, like many Americans, kids aren’t the most diligent about saving. While 61% of parents pay an allowance, only 1% report that their children save any of it, according to a 2012 survey by the American Institute of CPAs.

The survey found that as children age, they receive a higher allowance, but across all ages the average take is $780 a year. That’s enough to buy an iPad or a good start for a college savings plan—if they were saving.

About 90% of the parents who paid their children an allowance required them to do chores to earn it, but only 81% had spoken to their kids about money management. More parents had spoken to their kids about good manners, their grades, and healthy eating habits than how to handle their money.

So how should you handle an allowance with your own children?

* Use it as a teaching tool. Regardless of how your children earn an allowance, use it as a tool to reinforce good money habits from an early age. Talk about finances early and often, and set a good example.

* Consider matching their savings. To encourage savings, tell your children for every $1 they set aside for long-term goals, you’ll match it in their Hopewell Federal Credit Union savings account. Then let them watch the money accumulate.

* Gradually introduce them to financial products. When they’re old enough, deposit their allowance into a Hopewell Federal Credit Union savings account, later a share draft/checking account, and help them manage them wisely.

Kids who learn to manage money at an early age are better prepared to handle their finances when they leave home. And, ultimately, teaching children good financial stewardship is a sound investment for parents, who often are the ones stuck helping their adult children when they run into real-world money problems.

Get Financially Fit

There’s never been a better time to get your finances in tip-top shape. Check out these Hopewell Federal Credit Union services that can help you revamp your finances and get back on track:

* Checking and debit card services. These basic tools are convenient and easily accessible.

* Online access. Whether you’re monitoring account balances or paying bills and loans, Hopewell Federal’s Web and mobile access makes services available at your fingertips.

* Low-rate credit card. Hopewell Federal offers a credit card that will suit your needs.

* Loan to help you get an education, buy a car, or buy a house. Hopewell Federal Credit Union’s loan officers will work with you to provide the loan services you need, and will provide you with the lowest qualifying rates and best terms around.

Stop by, visit our website at www.hopewellfcu.org or call today at 740.522.8311 to ask about our services. There’s something to benefit everyone at Hopewell Federal Credit Union.