MCU News You Can Use

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with news you can use. Please check back often. You & MCU . . . Partners in Success!

Scams on the Rise!

In recent months we have seen our members coming into the branches with checks that have been sent to them through the mail, which have turned out to be scams.  The checks that our members are receiving are from either ads they have answered online to sell or buy something for the fraudster or someone answering an ad that our member placed to sell something.  We have also seen an increase in fraud to our elderly. 

These checks that our members are receiving are out of the ordinary, they are not payroll, not tax refunds and not checks from family members.  They are usually checks that look to be either official checks from a bank in another state or corporate checks from an unsuspecting company.  These checks also have something in the memo line, are poor quality, and have misspelling of simple words.  The amounts of the checks are odd amounts also.  The member is instructed to keep their portion and wire out the remainder or purchase gift cards to send to sender of the check.
The Elder Fraud we are seeing is the Grandparent Scam.  Unfortunately, MCU has seen members which have been effected by this scam.  If a transaction seems out of the ordinary for the elder member or the member seems upset when completing the transaction, don’t hesitate to initiate conversation with the member; sometimes that is all it takes. 

During these times of heightened fraud – vigilance is our best defense

Young Children - Teens and Online Safety

I recently realized how much young children and teens use and depend on their computers, tablets, and cell phones, the same as their parents.  But do they understand the dangers they could create for themselves if they don’t know how to secure personal information or understand that everyone they are speaking to isn’t necessarily who they say they are?  This prompted me to do some research on Children and Online Safety. 

I found out a few surprising facts; the average American teen spends up to seven hours a day in contact with others on electronic devices.   It was also noted that almost 1 in 6 nine year olds and 1 in 5 eight year olds have experienced what parents consider to be objectionable or aggressive behavior online.  

There are many ways you can keep your children safe while on line, and much of it starts with reviewing what is considered personal information and should not be shared with anyone online.  Remind them what is considered to be personal information; their full name, address, or telephone numbering cell phones.  Let them know it is alright to let a parent know if something or someone online makes them uncomfortable.  As a wise man once said to me and others “if it doesn’t feel right then it’s not right”.  And most important they should never meet anyone they met online without the permission of a parent. 
In researching other ways a parent could protect their child from the growing threats that the internet poses to our children I found different Web-based products to help protect our kids on computers and cell phones.  There are many apps out there and with some research you can find one that fits both you and your child’s needs.  These Apps can protect your child’s computer from predators, as they can block and monitor sites that you feel are a possible threat to your child.  The costs range from .99 to $9.95. 

With a little bit of knowledge and research, we can keep our children safe from the threats that are present on their computers and mobile devices. 

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