Credit Union Shows You How to Protect Your Finances Through COVID-19
Communities across the country are feeling the impact of temporary closures of businesses, schools and public facilities. During uncertain times, many feel anxious about how they will cope with unanticipated changes or hardships.
OnPoint Community Credit Union of Portland, Oregon is equipping the communities it serves with practical advice for protecting finances amid COVID-19.
Below are OnPoint’s top tips for protecting finances amid COVID-19:
Your first actions
Prioritize expenses and review your budget. If you’re concerned about a loss of income or unplanned expenses and don’t have emergency savings, you may need to prioritize which expenses you cover first and update your budget accordingly.
Deal with creditors proactively. If you face challenges in paying your monthly obligations, you have a better chance of working out an agreeable payment plan with creditors when you contact them early.
Know your options. Look into options that may be available for any loans you have. OnPoint is currently offering qualified members the opportunity to delay payments on their mortgage, Home Equity Lines of Credit, Small Business Loans, and more.
Secure access to digital banking. If you aren’t able to physically visit your financial institution’s branch or call wait times are longer than expected, be prepared by downloading the most recent version with their app and test your login.
Protect yourself from scams
Scammers can be more active during uncertain times. To protect yourself and your family:
Be aware. Stay up to date on current scams and how to take action if you think you’ve been a victim. There are already national reports of email phishing scams targeting remote workers, offering economic stimulus checks and selling health insurance. OnPoint’s data security team has seen more debit and credit card fraud than average, and believes fraudsters are using the distraction of COVID-19 to get information.
Be vigilant. Scrutinize emails, texts, calls and social media posts that offer financial relief or promote the sale of cure-all products or limited-time special offers.
Scam tactics can include masquerading as a delivery company such as UPS, claiming to offer advice from the World Health Organization (WHO) and fake lending emails related to the interest rate drop.
These messages often contain links to malicious sites that closely mirror the legitimate sites. Ensure that you hover over the link to validate the site before clicking.
Be cautious. Never disclose your online banking credentials or PINs. Scammers often claim to be from your financial institution calling about a fraudulent card charge. They will then ask you to confirm information like card number, PIN, online banking credentials, etc.
Also, beware of those striking up long distance relationships online. Sweetheart scammers often fake an emergency that necessitates money. Victims then willingly act on the fraudster’s instructions to “help” through mobile deposit, external transfers and wires.
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