Financial Articles & References
- Auto Financing Tips
- Bogus emails
- Bogus Fedwire scam underway
- Consumer Awareness Campaign empowers consumers to recognize and avoid harmful fraudulent scams
- Credit, ATM and Debit Cards: What To Do If They're Lost or Stolen
- Credit Card Act of 2009
- Deter, Detect, Defend: Avoid IDTheft
- Don't Get Hooked By Phishing Scams
- Financial Literacy for College Graduates
- Filene Study Finds Bank Fees Dwarf Those of Credit Unions
- Filmmaker praises Credit Unions, raps banks
- Four Major News Oultets Promote Credit Unions
- Get Your FREE Credit Report!
- Identity Theft
- IRS Direct
- OnGuard Online Bookmark
- Pretexting: Your Personal Information Revealed
- The New Phishing Scam - Spoofed Caller ID
- The Facts Behind Certified Used Cars
- You've Got Spam: How to 'Can' Unwanted Email
- Wall Street Journal-Check Credit Unions for Better Deals
When purchasing a new vehicle you face many choices. The most difficult choice is often financing. However, you have options! It has been commonplace in the automotive industry to offer special rebates. We are bombarded with television commercials from auto dealers offering us 0% and .9% auto loan rates. Sounds good, right? The answer is a definite maybe. In many cases, the average auto buyer won't be offered those special rates. And even if you can qualify, you can often do better by taking the cash rebate and financing at Del-One. If we can't beat it, we'll tell you. Who gets the special discounts? According to a Consumer Task Force for Automotive Issues survey, less than 10 people out of 100 who financed at the dealership got zero percent rates. Such rates are used to entice you to go to the dealership, but few consumers actually get them. Why didn't they get it? Since the dealerships make no money on this rate, they generally do their best to switch people to higher rates. How do they do that? "Oh, you don't qualify for that rate. Uh, and that rate doesn't cover that specific vehicle." Who determines who qualifies? The dealerships. Who determines if the vehicle actually qualifies for the rate? The dealerships.
Click Here To Compare Auto-Financing Deals To See Which One Is Best For YOU!
It has been brought to our attention that "BOGUS" emails are being sent to some of our members. Click here to see an email claiming to be from Visa.
The only email they send is for verification of the members signing up for verified by VISA or an email that there may be Suspicious activity on a members card and for the member to contact their financial institution or verified by VISA direct. When the member calls they are asked security questions to verify their account. They will never ask members to click on a link.
Another email that is circulating is one claiming to be from CUNA (Credit Union National Association). Click here to see that email.
NCUA issued an alert last week warning credit unions of an e-mail scam that claims the Federal Reserve Fedwire system has been compromised by a phishing attack, but the emails are really attempts to load malicious software onto users' computers. The alert says the email scam falsely tells users that banks and credit unions have been affected by a phishing attack against the Fedwire system, which has resulted in high levels of illegal wire transfers. Consumers are directed to click on a link for more information, but the link opens Web pages with the malicious software. To report such scams, contact the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.
The Postal Inspection Service, in collaboration with financial institutions, consumer advocacy groups and businesses, has formed the Alliance for Consumer Fraud Awareness, which has launched a consumer-education campaign. A series of television, print and online advertisements will feature a tagline telling consumers: Scams like these don’t work as well in person. That’s why they’re done online.
Visit www.fakechecks.org to learn more. National Consumers League created the site in collaboration with the Alliance for Consumer Fraud Awareness, a coalition of consumer and business organizations, government agencies, and companies that are committed to fighting fake check scams.
What To Do If They're Lost or Stolen Outlines procedures for reporting loss or theft, and how to minimize your risk. Click here for more information.
Don't Get Hooked By Phishing Scams
If you’ve been ignoring warnings of Phishing scams, it may be time to pay attention. According to some industry experts, Phishing is the biggest fraud on the Internet. Scam artists can drain your financial accounts, charge up your credit cards or steal your identity. The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) says the number of reported incidents of this type of scam climbed 800% in the first six months of 2004. Phishing is a high-tech fraud in which the scam artists pretend to be a legitimate financial institution or credit card company. The idea is to convince the consumer there is an immediate need to update or verify their financial information, thereby convincing the consumer to divulge his or her account information. Scam artists recreate pages using information from legitimate web sites in hopes of fooling consumers into providing their personal data, including account numbers, passwords, user names, and Social Security Numbers. The return address also appears to be accurate and bears the authentic trademarks, logos, graphics and URLs of the spoofed company. In most cases, the e-mail claims that there is an account problem or warns of a possible account fraud threat.
There are emails circulating claiming to be from CUNA (Credit Union National Association). These e-mails request consumers to call a phone number or click a link due to a compromise of a credit card account. You should not respond to this message. THIS IS A PHISHING SCAM - DELETE THE MESSAGES. Click here to view a copy of the email.
The Credit Union National Association is the trade association for credit unions in the US. CUNA does not maintain any type of customer/member financial information. Additionally, Del-One would never request personal identification information over the phone or via an e-mail solicitation. If you did respond to this e-mail, you should contact your financial institution directly using the local phone number provided by your financial institution.
If you receive an e-mail from Del-One or any other site requesting personal or sensitive data:
- Treat the e-mail with suspicion.
- Do not reply to the e-mail or respond by clicking on a link within the e-mail message. Del-One will never ask you to provide any kind of confidential or financial details via an e-mail request.
- When you email us, please give us your name and phone number and we will contact you for your account number. It is never safe to send account numbers, credit card numbers, or social security numbers through email.
- Don't give out your credit card numbers or account information unless you're using a secure Web site or the telephone. Check the beginning of the Web address in your browser's address bar. A secure site should show as "https://" rather than just “http://.” Your account information is safe at Del-OneCU@Home. We use a 128 bit SSL (Secure Socket Layer) technology to keep your information safe and secure.
- Check your bank and credit card statements online on a regular basis. Make sure the transactions are legitimate. Don't wait for a mailed paper statement, which can take up to a month. If you see something suspicious, contact Del-One and all card issuers using a phone number you know to be legitimate.
Bank customers pay substantially more in overdraft fees and other account fees than credit union members, with low-balance bank customers taking the brunt of that burden, a recently released Filene Research Institute study has found. The study, which was authored by University of California, Davis assistant professor of economics Victor Stango and Dartmouth College associate professor of economics Jonathan Zinman, draws information on transaction account fees from the account data of a panel of consumers. While some of the cost differences "can be attributed to behavior," the study concluded that "much of the difference simply stems from banks' higher prices." "The largest driver of the bank/credit union fee difference is the overdraft fee, which on average is roughly one-third lower at credit unions than at banks. Credit unions also charge significantly lower ATM foreign fees," the study added.
Overall, the study found that while credit union members paid $35 in overdraft fees over the course of a year, bank customers on average paid $132 in overdraft fees over the same time period, almost four times the amount paid by credit union members. The report also found that while credit union members pay an annual average of $73 in total transaction fees, including ATM foreign fees, ATM surcharges, and other fees, bank-customer households pay $183 in fees during the same time period.
Low-balance accountholders, which the study defines as accounts with a balance under $1,500, paid $165 per year in overdraft fees if they were customers of a bank, whereas low-balance credit union members paid $42 in those same fees. General account fees were also higher for low-balance bank customers, with a reported $218 in fees being paid on a yearly basis. Credit union members paid $80, the study found. Sixty-nine percent of bank customers and 75% of credit union members surveyed fell below the "low-balance" threshold. The majority of accountholders surveyed had an average account balance of $500 or less.
Article taken from National Association of Federal Credit Unions
Last week was less than a happy one for some in the banking industry, with a Senate subcommittee bringing giant credit-card issuers up short on their practices and the opening in the Washington, D.C. area of "Maxed Out," a documentary film that criticizes financial-industry ethics.
The film, directed by James Scurlock and advanced in at least two Washington Post articles prior to its debut, was shown Wednesday at the Landmark E Street Cinema in Washington. Scurlock told the audience that he had shown the film to members of Congress earlier that day. He said response to the film has been largely positive and that he hopes legislation will be passed to make credit-card practices "more consumer-friendly."
In a question-and-answer session following the film, one viewer asked Scurlock if he could think of any examples of financial institutions that do not take part in the kind of dubious behavior depicted in the film.
His answer: "Credit Unions."
Scurlock said credit unions tend to be more consumer-friendly and trustworthy than their larger bank competitors.
"Maxed Out" examines the unscrupulous tactics used by some banks, payday lenders, debt collectors and other which keep consumers in debt and boost profits. In particluar, the film shows how some credit-card companies market their products to college students and senior citizens, even those having limited or no means to repay.
'Good Morning America ' on bank fees: Check out a CU On a consumer financial segment aired Tuesday morning on "Good Morning America" (GMA) titled "Bank Fees Out of Control," viewers were encouraged to check out credit unions as an alternative to banks.
The segment featured an irate mother whose college-aged daughter was charged $650 in bounced-check fees at a bank for a $100 overdraft on her account.
GMA host Elizabeth Piper said a government study indicated that banks did a poor job of informing customers about transactions and overdraft fees.
"See if you have access to a member-owned credit union," Piper told viewers in her parting tips. "Their fees are typically way lower."
Click here to watch the GMA show..
U.S. News & World Report Reports That Americans Are Turning to CUs
With banks tightening lending standards and interest rates headed north, U.S. News & World Report (Oct. 22) noted that 90 million Americans are turning to credit unions.
The article discusses how to determine eligibility and where to find a credit union as well as benefits such as better rates, how credit unions have been affected by the current financial crisis, and their federal insurance. The article cites websites for more information, including that of the Credit Union National Association.
Click here to view this article.
Time: Bad Times for Banks Mean Boom for CUs
Time magazine's website features a positive article on credit unions weathering the financial system crisis. The October 23 article is entitled "Bad Times for Banks Mean Boom Times for Credit Unions."
According to the article, business is booming for credit unions. Filene Research Institute Chief Research Officer George Hofheimer notes in the article that credit unions typically are conservative in good times --to the point of being boring and old-fashioned--but such practices are "just what the doctor ordered" in bad times.
Credit unions are making sure people are aware they are lending and are taking pre-emptive action to keep delinquencies down. A credit union in Oregon hired a work-out specialist to review loan data and make preemptive calls to members who might need help, "the sort of down-home, we-care solution credit unions sell themselves on," said the article.
Click here to view the whole article.
USA Today Sees CUs as Option for MBLs
Credit unions are good places to go for a loan right now, according to a financial expert quoted in USA Today (Oct. 26).
"Credit unions are not exposed to the same risks that big banks are," said Steve Strauss, in response to a question from a reader about where to go for credit. "As such, local credit unions have seen their portfolio of small business loans increase."
"The good news is that there are still options out there, it's just that if you want to find the money to start or expand your business, you may need to look in new places and be more creative," he added.
Click here to view this whole article.
www.annualcreditreport.com, by mail, or by calling 1-877-322-8228. To request by mail, you will need to request a form, fill out the form, and mail it to the address on the form. You can also download the request form at the web site listed above.
Reports will not automatically be mailed out. You can order all three credit reports at one time, or at different times throughout the year. It’s your choice, but you must order from the centralized agency listed above.
The new ruling does not replace the other ways in which you currently can receive a free credit report. If a company denies you credit, insurance or a job because of something in your credit report, that company has to tell you which credit bureau provided the information. You are entitled to a free credit report from that bureau within 60 days of being turned down. You just have to contact that credit reporting agency directly and provide them with the company that denied you.
Please do not call the credit union to receive your free credit report. You must follow the instructions listed above to receive your free credit report. It is a good idea to check your credit report every year to make sure your information is being correctly reported.
Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information such as your name, Social Security number, or credit card number, without your permission in order to commit fraud or other crimes. According to a 2004 Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report, nearly 25 million people reported having been the victim of identity theft in 2003. Victims spend an average of 600 hours recovering from this crime, often over a period of years, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center 's 2003 study. We don’t want you to be included in next year’s statistics, so we have listed some tips to help safeguard your name and your accounts.
- Remove mail from your mail box as soon as you can. Have your mail stopped through the US Postal Service while you are away from your home.
- Shred all documents with more information than your name; such as pre-approved credit card offers, receipts, and old account statements.
- Never leave receipts at an ATM machine, Del-One counters, gasoline pumps or in a public trash can.
- Block the ATM machine’s screen and keyboard with your body during your transaction.
- Memorize your Social Security number and passwords. Do not record any passwords on cards or any items carried with you. Don’t carry your Social Security card in your purse or wallet.
- Do not write the entire account number on the check for your credit card payment. Only use the last four or five numbers.
- Never have your Social Security number printed on your checks or your driver’s license.
- If your ATM card is stolen, contact Del-One immediately, so that we can prevent any fraudulent activity.
- Order a copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus on a regular basis.
- If your credit card is lost or stolen, call the credit card company to let them know of the situation. If you lose more than one credit card:
- File a police report immediately and get a copy of the report to submit to your creditors and others that may require proof of the crime.
- Immediately call all three credit bureaus and request that a ‘fraud alert’ be placed on your name and Social Security number.
OnGuard Online Bookmark
Provides tips to help computer users be on guard against Internet fraud, secure their computers, and protect their personal information. Click here for an online guide.
Pretexting is when someone tries to get your personal information under false pretenses, to sell it, steal your assets or identity, or get credit in your name. Click here to read more about Pretexting.
Vehicles marked “certified used” or “certified pre-owned” have enhanced the reputation of the used car market and helped increase sales. There are many advantages to purchasing a certified used vehicle – if buyers understand the certification process and know the questions to ask.
The first general requirements of certification are that a vehicle has low mileage and be late model, meaning it is within the past few model years. The certification process begins when a vehicle is removed from a rental fleet, the lease on a vehicle expires, an automobile is traded in for the purchase of a new one, or a dealer purchases a vehicle via wholesale auction for resale to consumers. The dealership then evaluates the condition of the vehicle – and “certifies” it – via an inspection. Most of these inspections performed by manufacturers, dealers and other car sellers are rigorous and comprehensive.
Enterprise Car Sales closely monitors its fleet of 600,000 vehicles. Before arriving on an Enterprise Car Sales lot, every vehicle undergoes a 109-point inspection by an ASE-certified technician. Enterprise , which prices its certified vehicles below NADA Used Car Guide or Kelley Blue Book suggested retail values, backs its certification program with a seven-day repurchase agreement should a customer change their mind about the purchase.
Certification doesn’t always ensure the quality of an automobile, so buyers should be sure to verify the details of the dealer’s certification process by asking these questions:
- Can I have a copy of the inspection check list with the mechanics’ comments attached?
- How long did the inspection take? To properly evaluate an automobile, it will take much more than 30 to 45 minutes.
- Who, exactly, certified the vehicle? Certification can be by a manufacturer (such as Ford) or an individual dealer or seller. Backing by a manufacturer usually assures coverage in other service departments and states, should an individual move or have a need arise while traveling.
Find Your Certified Car Now!
You can go online to the Enterprise Car Sales web site or visit the Newark, DE Enterprise lot to pick out a used car that is perfect for you.
Enterprise Car Sales, 155 East Cleveland Ave, Newark, DE 19711-2213, (302)737-8096.
The new “Phishing Scam”- Spoofed Caller ID
Article from CUNA (Credit Union National Association)
Now there is even a newer way thieves are using phishing to obtain your personal information. Spoofed caller ID is a new twist on phishing, instead of using e-mail messages to obtain the information, spoofed caller ID involves bogus phone numbers and identification to trick consumers into thinking the caller is the real deal.
In one case, a crook spoofed the phone number of a church in Fairlawn , Ohio , claimed he was owed money and asked for bank account numbers. Another scam involved a crook who claimed to be from the U.S District Court in Washington, manipulated caller ID to display the courthouse phone number, and requested that people pay a fine because they missed jury duty.
How to protect yourself:
If you receive a call from someone who appears legitimate but who asks for personal information, don’t share any personal information or numbers. Call the organization or agency directly using phone numbers listed in the phone book or other legitimate sources before revealing credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, or account information.
Always remember giving out any personal information to anyone who calls you may put you at financial risk!
Wall Street Journal-Check Credit Unions for Better Deals
When it comes to low fees and generous rates, credit unions match banks head-to-head. their products should be among the options you consider when searching for savings and checking accounts, certificates of deposit, small-business, mortgage and auto loans, and credit cards -- particularly now, given that credit unions in large part sidestepped the subprime crisis.