NCUA Posts New Resources to Fight Identity Theft

FTC’s Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week Runs Jan. 26 to 30

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Jan. 26, 2015) – Identity theft is a large and growing problem, and the National Credit Union Administration is offering new resources to help consumers protect themselves and take action if they believe they have been victimized.

“With the broad reach of the internet, we live in a world where personal information about everyone’s identity and finances is potentially vulnerable to thieves and crooks,” NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz said. “As part of NCUA’s overall commitment to consumer education and financial literacy, we want to help credit union members understand what they can do to prevent theft or where to get help when cyber fraudsters strike.”
More than 16 million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2012, the most recent year for which data are available, and the losses topped $24 billion.
Tax time is open season for identity thieves, and the Internal Revenue Service itself can be a target. IRS estimated it paid more than $5 billion in fraudulent tax refunds in 2013 while preventing another $24 billion in losses when it was able to detect fraud.
In conjunction with the Federal Trade Commission’s Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week, NCUA has added a new page to its consumer site, MyCreditUnion.gov, with useful information about preventing or reporting identity theft that may be perpetrated using fake contacts that appear to be IRS requests for taxpayer information. Credit unions are encouraged to share this information with their members during the week, which runs Jan. 26 to 30.
MyCreditUnion.gov has several resources to help credit union members understand and prevent identity theft as well as frauds and scams generally. The agency also has videos on fighting frauds and scams on its YouTube channel.

NCUA is the independent federal agency created by the U.S. Congress to regulate, charter and supervise federal credit unions. With the backing of the full faith and credit of the United States, NCUA operates and manages the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, insuring the deposits of more than 98 million account holders in all federal credit unions and the overwhelming majority of state-chartered credit unions. At MyCreditUnion.gov and Pocket Cents, NCUA also educates the public on consumer protection and financial literacy issues.

–NCUA–

Consolidate Debt at Hopewell Federal Credit Union

If you’re up to your eyeballs in debt and finance charges, and late fees are weighing you down, a consolidation loan from Hopewell Federal can be just what you need.

Hopewell Federal Credit Union’s low rates can make getting out of debt a breeze!

Want even more convenience? Arrange for automatic payments or payroll deductions to seamlessly get your loan paid off.

We can help you get your finances back on track, and get a handle on high-rate debt

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Your Credit Union: The More You Use It, the More You Save

Did you know that in the last calendar year, America’s credit unions provided their members nationwide with $7.3 billion in financial benefits? That’s an average of $140 per member household according to Credit Union National Association’s economics and statistics department.

Credit unions save members money by charging lower interest rates on loans and paying higher interest or dividends on deposit accounts and investments. They also charge fewer and lower fees. So the more you use our credit union, the more you save.

Consider this: Financing a $25,000 new car for 60 months at Hopewell Federal Credit Union would save you an average of $161 per year in interest expense compared to what you would pay at a banking institution. That’s $805 in savings over five years. And we pay higher interest on money market accounts than the average bank in the state does.

The main reason Hopewell Federal Credit Union can offer a better value is that we’re a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative. We exist to meet members’ needs, not to make a profit and maximize the wealth of outside shareholders, as banks do.

Consumers recognize and value credit union financial benefits. Furthermore, a variety of surveys consistently show that members see credit unions as more trustworthy and believe they deliver superior member service. For example:

• The Financial Trust Index from the Chicago Booth/Kellogg School reported that trust in U.S banks stood at 35% at year-end 2013. In contrast, trust in credit unions was highest among all financial firms—58% at year-end 2013.
• The American Customer Satisfaction Index reported consumer satisfaction with credit unions broke all records for 2011 and remained well above the bank average in both 2012 and 2013, and 2014. Credit unions’ score in 2014 was 85 (on a scale of 0 to 100), while banks scored 76.
• Recent credit union membership growth makes it clear that the public values the credit union difference. Credit union memberships are now growing at more than two times the rate of U.S. population growth. Today, credit unions claim 100 million memberships—a total equal to 32% of the U.S. population.