Each year countless victims fall prey to financial scams. As a financial institution, we see first-hand the devastation, embarrassment and frustration these scams can cause. Here are a few tips to help you avoid becoming a victim.
- Never share your online banking or mobile banking credentials. This may seem like common sense, but scammers can be sneaky and convincing. We’ve seen many cases of fraud because credentials were shared. Once the scammers have your login information they now have access to your accounts, which they use to perform fraudulent transactions. If you’re asked to provide your user name and password, it’s a scam.
- If you’re asked to pay in gift cards it’s a scam. One of the most common scams we see is the scammer will ask you to purchase gift cards and mail them or provide them the card numbers as a form of payment for a good or service. Gift cards are commonly used because they can’t be linked to the scammer. The scammer gets the gift cards, you’re out the money you spent to purchase them, and you’ll never receive the good or service you were promised.
- Be wary of people who ask you to deposit a check into your account and send a portion back. Scammers will often promise you a portion of money in return for depositing a check or multiple checks to your account. They will ask you to send a portion of the money back to them and you can keep a portion – free money, right? Wrong. The check they provide you is fraudulent, but before the financial institution can verify that it’s fake, the scammer has the money you sent them. You are now out the money you sent them, plus the remaining money they told you to keep will be taken from your bank or credit union when the check is returned as fake.
- Never wire money to someone you don’t know. In the online world we live in, it’s easier than ever for scammers to make connections. You may receive an email asking for help to build an orphanage or a desperate phone call pleading for money to help a relative who’s in trouble. These are both common “good will” scams that many people fall for. The scammers will ask you to wire money and once you’ve wired the money it’s gone.
While there are many examples of how fraudsters are able to steal billions of dollars from consumers each year, these four tips can help you protect yourself from the most common scams. In addition, we are here for you as a resource. If something doesn’t feel right or seems too good to be true, call us. We often see the red flags that you may not – saving you from becoming a victim. Armed with these tips and our partnership, you are the best defense to keep your accounts safe.
Have documents to dispose of?
Bring them to the Free Shred Event at our Hugo branch and have them professionally shredded.
Date: Saturday, June 12
Time: 9 a.m. – Noon
Location: Heartland Hugo Branch parking lot – 14727 Victor Hugo Blvd. N
We look forward to seeing you!
This is a PAPER document destruction event we cannot accept the following:
Batteries, Electronics, Large Metal Objects (staples, paper clips, butterfly clips ok), Sharp Objects, Ink Cartridges and Toners, Glass, Pressurized Containers, Medical Waste, X-Rays, Food Waste, Cardboard/Cardboard Tubes, Hard Drives, Product Samples, Non-Paper Material, Electronic Media (USB sticks, backup magnetic tapes, computer backups, CD-ROMs/CD-Rs/DVDs, videotapes etc.
Invest just a few hours each month and you can help determine the direction and policies of your credit union. Members at least 18 years of age and in good standing are eligible to serve on Heartland’s Board and we’re looking for interested volunteers.
Submission Deadline: Friday, November 20, 2020
We’re excited to announce our newest branch is being built in Hugo, MN.
This full-service branch will serve our current members in Hugo and surrounding communities, as well as welcome new members who are eligible to join Heartland because they live, work, worship or attend school in Ramsey or Washington county – two of eight counties we proudly serve.
Located off of Frenchman Road, near Festival Foods, this new Heartland addition expands our footprint into the northeast metro and is expected to open January 2021.
The Heartland Credit Union Annual Meeting took place at 5 p.m. on May 20, 2020 at the Heartland Credit Union Headquarters at 5500 South Robert Trail, Inver Grove Heights, MN.
The nominees below were elected to serve the following terms on the Heartland Board of Directors.
- Jeremy Hjelm (incumbent) – 3 year term
- Gene Traxler (incumbent) – 3 year term
- Kent Zimmer (incumbent) – 3 year term
The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019, better known as the SECURE Act, was approved on December 19, 2019. This bill includes significant provisions aimed at increasing access to tax-advantaged accounts and preventing older Americans from outliving their assets.
The SECURE Act tweaks several rules related to tax-advantaged retirement accounts. Here’s what it will do:
- Make it easier for small businesses to set up 401(k)s by increasing the cap under which they can automatically enroll workers in “safe harbor” retirement plans, from 10% of wages to 15%.
- Provide a maximum tax credit of $500 per year to employers who create a 401(k) or SIMPLE IRA plan with automatic enrollment.
- Enable businesses to sign up part-time employees who work either 1,000 hours throughout the year or have three consecutive years with 500 hours of service.
- Encourage plan sponsors to include annuities as an option in workplace plans by reducing their liability if the insurer cannot meet its financial obligations.
- Push back the age at which retirement plan participants need to take required minimum distributions (RMDs), from 70½ to 72, for those who are not 70½ by the end of 2019.
- Allow the use of tax-advantaged 529 accounts for qualified student loan repayments (up to $10,000 annually).
- Permit penalty-free withdrawals of $5,000 from 401(k) accounts to defray the costs of having or adopting a child.
- Encourage employers to include more annuities in 401(k) plans by removing their fear of legal liability if the annuity provider fails to provide and not requiring them to choose the lowest-cost plan. (This could be something of a double-edged sword. Employees will need to look extra-carefully as these options.)
One other key change in the new bill is paying for all this: the removal of a provision known as the stretch IRA, which has allowed non-spouses inheriting retirement accounts to stretch out disbursements over their lifetimes. The new rules will require a full payout from the inherited IRA within 10 years of the death of the original account holder, raising an estimated $15.7 billion in additional tax revenue. (This will apply only to heirs of account holders who die starting in 2020.)
Contact David Murdock at Servion Financial Advisors with any questions at (651) 765-6778.
Registered Representative offering securities and advisory services through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, member FINRA/SIPC, a broker-dealer and a Registered Investment Advisor. Investments are: · Not FDIC/NCUSIF insured · May lose value · Not financial institution guaranteed · Not insured by any federal government agency. Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity. 500 Main Street, New Brighton, MN 55112. 651-631-3111.
This year we reached an exciting milestone of 80 years serving our members. While we reflected back over our history and planned for our future, it was the perfect time to evaluate the Heartland brand.
Established in 1939, as Farmers Union Employees Credit Union, Heartland served the employees of the Farmers Union Central Exchange, their family members and related cooperative associations in St. Paul and South Saint Paul, MN. Today, we have grown to serve eight Minnesota counties, plus the employees and family members of CHS Inc., Land O’Lakes Inc., Chart, Genex Cooperative, Scott Equipment and more. While the demographics of our members have changed over the past 80 years, our commitment to providing exceptional, welcoming service has not.
In late 2018 and early 2019, we conducted member surveys, non-member surveys and an evaluation of our brand in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas. We received valuable feedback from members, as well as potential members, about the Heartland brand. We gained consistent feedback from members about their choice to do business with us and why they continue – which lead us to a clear understanding of our brand position in the market. In addition, we learned that the Heartland logo and tagline were widely unknown to not only potential members, but current members as well.
As a result, a new logo and tagline, “Here When You Need Us,” were created. The new logo and tagline embrace the values our members shared with us by illustrating people supporting each other. In addition, the new logo takes the former colors and brightens them to set us apart in the market and gain awareness. The colors portray our energy and passion to serve our members and continue to grow the credit union. Building awareness is key to Heartland’s continued growth and the ability to offer more to our members.
Monday, November 4th will mark the official launch. You will see the website, building signs, applications and more transition to our new logo in the coming months.
We are proud to introduce this exciting update as part of our ongoing commitment to you and the growth of your credit union.
We’ve seen a rise recently in mobile banking scams and we want to help you avoid falling for the fraudsters’ traps with a few tips.
- Never give out your mobile banking username and password. If anyone requests that you provide them your username and password, STOP. There is never a reason you should supply this information to anyone. If they tell you they need access to verify funds or for any other type of verification they are simply trying to gain access to your accounts. Trusted financials will never ask for this information, and no one else should either.
- You’re liable for fraud if you provide your username and password. If you supply someone your login information for mobile banking or online banking, you are liable for any fraud that occurs. Logins and passwords are put in place to protect you from fraud. By providing that information to someone you have helped the fraudster who otherwise would not have been able to access your account.
- If you’re promised money in return for access to your accounts, STOP. It may be appealing to make a simple deposit for someone in return for cash, but this is the way fraudsters trick you into providing them money they already know is fake. They’ll have the money and once the deposit is returned to the credit union as fake, you’ll be out the money. The money you provided them or spent yourself you now owe to the credit union.
- If you’re asked to purchase gift cards to pay someone, STOP. The fraudster may say they are from tech support asking for money to fix your computer. They may pose as a company offering you a loan and ask you to pay for insurance on the loan. The scenarios are endless and all of them have the same thing in common, there is an urgent need for money. They tell you to purchase a gift card or cards. Once you buy the card, the fraudster will then request the gift card number and PIN on the back of the card. Those numbers let them immediately get the money you loaded onto the card. Once they’ve done that, the scammers and your money are gone, usually without a trace.
- If you’re contacted with an urgent message that a family member has been injured and they need money, STOP. Fraudsters know how to manipulate us and pulling at our heartstrings is an effective way. These scammers will make up a variety of stories to convince you that someone you love is hurt or in trouble and you need to provide money. Always contact the family member in question or other family members to verify the story first.
Heartland Member Story
Here’s a quick story that recently happened to a Heartland member.
The Heartland member was asked to provide their mobile banking sign-on and password in return for money by someone they met online. The unsuspecting member provided the information and the fraudster quickly deposited a fake check into the member’s account with mobile deposit. The fraudster then requested that the member withdraw the money and send a portion to them and to keep $200 for themselves. Because the check was fake, the check would have been returned fraudulent and the member would be out the money and required to pay the credit union for any amount that was withdrawn or spent by them.
However, in this situation, a Heartland team member caught the fake check, denied the mobile deposit and contacted the member immediately – saving them from $2,200 in fraud.
As your trusted financial partner, please contact us immediately if you’ve been put in any of these situations or you suspect something is not right. While we put a variety of measures in place to protect you from the fraudsters, you are the best defense to protect your accounts. Monitor your accounts routinely, never provide login information and if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.