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If this is the screen you see when you boot up your computer (nearly a quarter of computer users do), April 8, 2014, is a very important date for you. The image above is from Windows XP, which Microsoft released with much fanfare in October 2001. They tried to replace it with Windows Vista in January 2007, but due to problems and bad initial reviews, most people did not upgrade. So, 12 years after its release, over 29% of computers are still running Windows XP. By comparison, only about 3% of all computers are using Vista even though it was released five years more recently. Continue reading

Tax-Scam

Last month, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published its yearly list of the most prolific tax-related scams. The 2014 list contains a number of scams including some that taxpayers attempt to use to evade taxes. But the list also includes several that criminals use to try and scam taxpayers out of money. Here, you’ll find summaries of those scams. You can also view the full list on the IRS website.

Identity Theft

Identity theft, where thieves use stolen personal information to commit crime, is a year-round problem. During tax season, thieves use this information to file fraudulent tax returns and claim refunds. This will create problems when you go to file your legitimate tax return. See the identity theft section of the IRS website for tips and assistance related to identity theft issues. Continue reading

We know how exciting it is to receive a tax return from the IRS. Having some of your hard-earned money returned to you can be a huge relief. But if you don’t need the money to pay bills right away, the temptation to spend it on things you might not need can be strong. Who wouldn’t like a new TV? If you feel like putting your funds toward something more financially rewarding, however, here are a few options to help you make the most of this year’s tax return. Continue reading

As you have no doubt heard by now, Target was the victim of a major data breach that exposed 40 million credit and debit card numbers used at their stores from late November through mid-December. Most card issuers, including EECU, have already notified cardholders affected by the breach and have reissued cards to those people. EECU members affected by the breach have already received their cards, and the old cards have been disabled.

But there was another element to the breach to be aware of. In addition to the card numbers that were compromised, personal information for up to 70 million people was also stolen, including things like names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses. This aspect of the breach may actually be of bigger concern. Card numbers that are stolen can simply be cancelled, and you have protection from liability for unauthorized transactions performed on the compromised accounts. Once your card has been cancelled and you have received a new card number, the stolen card number is of no use to the fraudsters. But compromised personal information is a different matter. Continue reading

As your credit union, EECU is committed to helping you reach your financial goals. And, with the new year about to begin, we want to help you achieve your financial resolutions. During the coming weeks, we will be looking at ways to help you become financially fit. But don’t let us do all the talking! Stop by our Facebook page or tweet us with your own money tips using the #FinanciallyFit hashtag.

One of the hardest, but most important, components of financial fitness is saving money. It’s important that you keep some funds set aside to cover unexpected expenses. If you’re not already putting money into a savings account regularly, start out with just a little and add more as you move along.

Make 2014 the year to establish your savings with this 52-week savings challenge. Put a little bit of money aside each week, and come 2015, you’ll have a nice amount earning interest to help cover expenses when you need it. Continue reading

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In today’s unsettled economy, many people are looking for ways to stretch their money and sometimes this includes altering insurance coverage to dangerously low levels or eliminating coverage entirely. If you’re thinking about changing your coverage to save money, consider these key issues below and give us a call. We can help make sure you have the right protection at a price you can afford. Continue reading

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Read Part 1 of 2

As you learned in part one of this blog, Willingly Robbed: Modern Payment Scams, there are many tricks con artists use to scam you out of your hard-earned money. While online security can be a scary topic to approach, there are some tips to keep in mind that can protect you from falling victim to one of these ruthless tricks. Continue reading

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You check your email one day and see you have a job offer. You already have a job, but the offer is one that would allow you to pick up a little extra money in your spare time. And the job itself sounds fun—secret shopping. All you need is a bank account. You respond to the email and get a friendly message back welcoming you to the program. You’re told your first assignment will be for a money wiring service. You are told that you will receive a cashier’s check for $4,000. You are to deposit it into your bank account and then wire $3,500 of that money back to the secret shopping service using a local Western Union outlet. The remaining $500 is yours to keep. You are also given a form to fill out about your experience. This is likely the easiest $500 you will ever make.

You follow the instructions you are given and everything works just as you expect, until one day you get a call from your bank telling you that the $4,000 cashier’s check was returned as fraudulent and you are out not only the $4000 for the check that was no good, but also the $3,500 in real money that you wired out. You are now $7,500 in the hole.

Unfortunately, this happens more than you might think. And it’s not just fake secret shopping jobs. Fraudsters have come up with a number of ways to get you to willingly send them money. Here are just a few of them: Continue reading

Tuesday evening, we will make updates to EECU’s Online Banking program to enhance security for your accounts. Many of you have already updated your account with a new username and a phone number or email address for account verification purposes, but if you haven’t already, you will be required to do so when you log in after the update.

What will change?

The first time you log in after the update, you will be greeted with a new screen. What you are asked to do at that point will depend on your current settings.

Continue reading

EECU’s investment services team works each day to help our members choose investments and build portfolios that support their immediate and long-term financial goals. And in doing so, our advisors have become familiar with common concerns and misconceptions of the investments world. Here, they weigh in on a few of the most frequently asked questions.

Can you get me higher returns on my investments?

The short answer is, “Yes.” The long answer contains an honest question: “How much risk are you willing to take?” You see, there are always investments that offer higher rates of return, but it’s not comparing apples to apples. Higher risk—and sometimes lower quality—investments often have to pay higher yields to attract investors. Not all investors can afford or stomach the risks associated with these. There are, however, investments that balance out the risk and have a good track record of producing above-average income without as much risk. Of course, it’s important to note that these still carry more risk than a federally insured savings account or certificate of deposit (CD). Continue reading