March is Fraud Prevention Month! We’ve put together a list of tips that you can use to protect yourself and your friend and family. Take a quick read through it could help you to spot potential fraud before it happens.

1. Don’t take the bait
This is one of the number one ways that fraudsters and hackers can gain access to your information. Don’t open up links, pictures, or attachments from any unknown contacts or simply if you are suspicious. Red flags could include content that your contact wouldn’t likely share, pictures claiming to be you, or an attachment sent from a person you have little to no contact with. If you are suspicious about any of the above or something feels off about the content, do not reply to the email. Make sure to verify with the sender through another communication tool such as calling the company or sender over the phone to make sure that they did in fact send the item themselves and that it wasn’t maliciously forwarded from a disreputable source. Other forms of bait could be being “randomly” selected to be a winner of a prize of a contest you did not enter, or too-good-to-be-true offers online, long lost contacts, or online “virus” scanners. These are very general but aim to give you an example of what a potential scam may showcase in an attempt to convince you to click on their content.

2. Change up your passwords, and use strong passwords
Your username password is usually the only thing stopping a potential scammer from gaining access to information sites like your personal email, social media, or more. Avoid using easy to guess passwords, such as “Password”, your birthday, etc. The number one password according to a recent study, was 123456. Several of the top 10 were related number combinations. By using a password like this, it makes it very easy for a hacker to simply guess your password without even having to know you or take further action. When creating passwords, use strong password criteria such as passwords that contain multiple instances of numbers, upper and lower case letters, and special characters when available. To take this a step further, activate two-factor login authentication that can be as simple as answering a secret question set by you, or having a 4-6 digit pin number texted to a smartphone of yours that you’ll need to enter into the login to access your account. This is the preferred method as it gives you significantly higher security and a scammer wouldn’t be able to access your account without your password, secret question, and personal device.

3. Use sites that contain only HTTPS URLs
This is one point that is extremely important to take note of. If you are on any site that you are looking to make a purchase from, or enter personal information into, at the very least make sure that the secure icon is displayed, and that the very first letter preceding the “www” are https:// and should show up in your web browsers address bar like so:

 

Depending on your web browser, it may display differently so make sure to take note of the actual letters in the URL address.

4. Stay up to date on current scams going around
Staying up to date is by far one of the best ways to make sure you’re protected against fraud and identity theft. If you are aware of the scam going around you will be significantly less likely to fall victim to the scammer’s intent. Some of the common scams going around could potentially be dating services, computer services, charity organizations, and even people posing as government agents such as Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA). There are several more common types, make sure to check the Little Black Book of Scams and stay up to date with some the common and current scams going around.

5. Keep personal information confidential
Unless you are very confident about the site you are using, be wary of entering information on sites that are looking for your personal information. Be especially wary of sites asking for any financial information, address and birthday, or middle names. Most sites do not need this information and have very little use to collect this, especially all in one place. A huge red flag is if a site (aside from a verified government website) will be if they are asking you to input your social security number or any other personal identification number, your Personal Health Number, Drivers License Number, or Birth Certificate ID Number. There are very few organizations on the internet that will actually need this information so be wary and do your due diligence before inputting any of this information into an online site.

6. Don’t respond to phone calls about your computer asking for remote connections
Unless you have otherwise contracted an IT company to fix your home computer, which is probably unlikely, anyone who phones to try to gain remote access to your personal computer is very likely up to no good. These scammers will tell you that they are updating your version of Windows, fixing an error they detected on your machine, offer to clean up and speed your machine up, and many other stories, but in the end they are looking to do none of these things. Often, these types scams will lock down your computer and demand that you pay them to unlock it for you, in which it won’t stop there. Once you give them your payment details they now have your personal information to do what they wish with. The best thing that you can do to anyone that you don’t know asking for remote connections to your computer is to hang up on them without saying a word.

7. Be wary of unusual payment requests
Lastly, be wary of any merchant or any website accepting payment forms that are out of the ordinary. Websites that only accepts payments in the form of bitcoin or other e-coin, pre-loaded debit cards, gift cards, or iTunes cards are most likely doing this so that they are unable to be tracked and generally there is a reason for this. Any reputable online retailer will likely be able to process credit cards on site instantly, or through a well-known payment processor such as PayPal or Square.

 

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Our Arrow Lakes Branch in partnership with Lower Arrow Lakes Conservation Association will once again be hosting their annual Fishing Derby!

The event takes place this Saturday and Sunday March 24th & 25th.

Weigh ins both days at 4pm at the Edgewood boat launch.

Registration is open now until March 23 at our Arrow Lakes Branch.

Cost to enter is $20 per person.

Prizes include:
1/3 prize pot for Largest Dolly
1/3 prize pot for Larges Trout
And many more prizes to be given away!

If you have questions please contact:
Terry Ewings: 250-269-7244
Amanda Warren: 250-269-7334

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#PressForProgress – in Financial Literacy Education for Women

The facts:

  • According to a study by Statistics Canada, Canadian women have lower levels of financial literacy and less confidence in their ability to manage their finances than Canadian men.
  • Canadian woman currently earn 31 percent less than men.
  • 9 out of 10 women will eventually have to manage their finances by themselves.

So, the question is, how can we assist the women in our lives to move forward and #PressForProgress?

I have heard women around me say “I am not good with numbers, or my partner is better at looking after our money”.  Although this may be true, one person can certainly be better or more interested at budgeting, saving or investing, however you still need to have an understanding of your financial situation.

It’s important that women also understand where we are with our money. In today’s world women continue to strive for equality. To achieve financial independence, it is extremely important that each of us self – educate and share this information with the women around us.

Here are 10 questions to get you moving toward financial independence:

  1. Do I know my financial credit status?
  2. Have I established credit?
  3. Are there debts in my name?
  4. Are there bills in my name?
  5. Are there assets in my name?
  6. How much is spent each month on needs vs. wants? Do I understand where my money is going?
  7. Do I have the right type of account?
  8. What type of investment is best for me?
  9. Do I know where I have loans, mortgages and investments? Do I know which financial institution they are at?
  10. Do I have a record of account numbers and passwords for access if necessary?

Next steps start somewhere, we don’t need to know or understand everything at once. We can start by asking questions, education and empowering ourselves, this is our first step in making informed decisions.

#PressForProgress for Financial Literacy Education for Women!

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As you may be aware, CUETS Financial provides certain financial services in connection with the GLOBAL PAYMENT product. However, as of December 31, 2017 the relationship between VantageOne Credit Union and CUETS Financial came to an end. We have arranged to have the cards remain active until May 31, 2018 and on this date your GLOBAL PAYMENT Mastercard card account (your “GPC Account”) will be closed and you will no longer be able to make transactions on your card.

How Can I Prepare For The Upcoming GPC Account Closure?

  • Rewards Program Points
    If you earn CHOICE REWARDS® points on your GPC Account, please be aware that you will stop earning points on May 31, 2018. Be sure to log-in to Choicerewards.ca to redeem any accumulated rewards points on your GPC Account by Sept 27, 2018. On Sept 28, 2018 any unused points will expire and no longer be available for redemption.
  • Cancel Pre-Authorized Payments
    If you have regularly recurring bill payments set up on your GPC Account – such as payments for magazine subscriptions, gym memberships, internet or utility bills – please contact the merchant(s) directly before May 31, 2018 to arrange for an alternate payment method.

As a Credit Union Member, you are important to us. If you have any questions about the above change or how we can support you going forward, please call us at 1-888-339-8328. We also invite you to visit one of our branches to discuss other options that may be available to help meet your financial needs.

If your MemberCard does not have the flash icon (circled in red in the picture), or the card graphic does not look like the card pictured, you will be receiving a new card in the mail before May 31, 2018. This new card will have the same PIN as your current card.

If you are planning to go away, or do not want to wait to receive it in the mail, then please feel free to come into any of our branches and we will replace it free of charge.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at 1.888.339.8328 or by email at info@vantageone.net

Business After Business
Date: Wednesday, January 17
Host: Vantage One Credit Union, Armstrong
Location: #1 3300 Smith Dr
Time: 5:30 pm – 7 pm
Cost: free

No charge for AS Chamber of Commerce members! Staff welcome. Refreshments and door prizes – don’t forget your business cards!

Our Okanagan Landing Account Manager, Kristine Lidstone, has been out and about doing presentations on Financial Literacy in schools and our community. Her presentation yesterday was to a grade 4 class at Harwood Elementary! The main part of the presentation is how to save, spend and share along with some simple budgeting.

 

 

 

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The Buyer Protection feature covers most retail items of personal property purchased worldwide (including gifts) up to $60,000 per covered account, per lifetime against direct physical loss resulting from theft, damage or destruction when using your MEMBER CARD.

Click here to find out even more about Buyer Protection

 

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We are Investing $10,000 in the Peachland Community in celebration of our new Peachland branch. Each new account that has been opened in Peachland gets to vote for one of three, local, non-profit organizations.

Peachland Pier Project
Peachland Wellness Centre Volunteer Programming
Peachland Senior’s Support Society

The last day to open an account and submit your vote is November 15!