SIU Credit Union Blog

Beware Of Banking Scams

Scammers never take a break. They’re always dreaming up ways to con you out of your money. Recently, there’s been a significant uptick in scams involving checking accounts at many financial institutions.

In these scams, criminals will utilize social media to connect with the victim.

They usually pose as representatives of a bank or credit union and milk the victim for sensitive information, like account numbers and passwords. Since the scammers are using the credit union’s social media accounts, the victims often won’t hesitate to share this information. When the scammers have what they need, they will proceed to empty the victim’s accounts and then disappear.

Often, when the scammers receive a response from the victim on social media, they will redirect the victim to what appears to be the financial institution’s website. The victim, thinking they are on the site they frequently use, will quickly input their username and ID, which the scammers will then use to empty their accounts or open credit cards in the victim’s name.

Sometimes, the scammers will impersonate helpful member representatives who are seemingly looking to answer your questions. You’re used to our representatives being helpful and always on call to assist you, so you won’t see anything strange with the scenario.

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Holiday Tipping Guide: Whom and How Much

Does holiday tipping make you tense? Join the club. Last year 11% of Americans admitted in a Consumer Reports survey that they dreaded handing out year-end gratuities.

But with a few simple guidelines and a slight shift in perspective, you can manage this situation with grace.

Think honestly about what you can afford

“Holiday tipping is really holiday thanking,” says manners maven Daniel Post Senning, co-author of “Emily Post’s Etiquette,” 19th edition. “The principles of good etiquette are consideration, respect and honesty, and part of that honesty is honesty with yourself about what you can afford.”

What you can afford depends on how many people you plan to thank. Start with people who help you care for yourself, your family and your home. That might include your barber or hairstylist, massage therapist, housecleaner, lawn and garden workers, babysitter and dog walker.

The amount you give each person should vary. As a general rule, tip an occasional service provider approximately the cost of one session. And aim to give each person who helps around your home or takes care of your family members about a week’s pay. Simply allow for “about the same amount as you’d spend on these expenses in an average month,” Senning says. Continue reading

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Give Your Kids The Gift Of Giving

The holiday season brings a flurry of frenzied consumerism, unabashed greed and endless shopping. As a parent, though, you want your kids to associate this time of year with giving and not just with taking. How can you give your kids a joyous holiday season and teach them about kindness at the same time?

The best way to do this is by actively encouraging your children to think of others. Try these activities to help bring the spirit of giving into your home this year:

1.) One in = one out

Is your toy chest overflowing? Do your kids have more games than they need? Institute a rule this holiday season: When you’ve gotten a new toy, choose one to give away. Set up a large box in the corner of your playroom and have your children place one toy in the giveaway box for every new one they receive. They can choose older toys they’ve lost interest in or those they’ve outgrown. When the box is full, take a family trip to the local toy drive or to a needy family in the neighborhood. Watch your kids’ faces light up as they make others happy with their thoughtful donations.

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What Doesn’t Affect Your Credit Score

A high credit score can be like a healthy weight. You know you want it, but are you doing the right things to achieve it?

Some information you thought might influence your credit score simply doesn’t. Let’s look at five things you don’t need to worry will hurt your score — and five things that do make a difference.

These factors don’t affect your credit score

Your job and how much money you make: Your credit score comes from the information in your credit reports, which list your credit accounts and your payment history. Those reports do include some employer information, but it’s used only to make sure account data is matched to the right person, says Rod Griffin, director of public education for credit bureau Experian.

Don’t look for a bump in your score just because you get a new job with a great salary.

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NerdWallet: The World Of Finance, Explored

What kind of hurricane insurance do I need if I own a home in Miami?

A credit card is promising me a free hotel stay in Vegas – what’s the catch?

Does it ever make sense to apply for an online business loan?

Is my auto insurance provider really giving me the best rate available or am I being taken for a ride?

If you’ve got specific questions like these about your finances, check out NerdWallet.

The small startup that quickly blossomed into a company pulling in more than $100 million in annual revenue is focused on giving the public an inside look into the world of finance – with no strings attached. There are no credit card companies or big banks backing the website. NerdWallet isn’t sponsored by an insurance company or an investment house. It’s just a bunch of self-professed nerds researching and studying the latest in financial news, investing, credit card offers and more, just to offer the public a view on money from the inside out.

On NerdWallet, you’ll find unbiased comparisons between insurances, credit card offers, student loans, investment options and more.

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How to Capitalize on Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday has become a boon for local shops: Last year, 112 million consumers spent $15.4 million at such businesses, according to American Express, the company behind the shopping holiday founded in 2010.

Held the day after Black Friday, Small Business Saturday is dedicated to supporting the millions of small businesses that create jobs and boost the economy. For these businesses, it can be a great chance to gain new customers, grow sales and carry momentum into the holiday shopping season.

Here’s how your small business can capitalize on Small Business Saturday on Nov. 25.

Get the word out online

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