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Feb 11

2014

The IRS has issued a warning to consumers about fraudulent charity scams.  Fraudulent scams capitalize on the goodwill of the public with the intent to steal money or identities.

 

The IRS warns that scams of this nature are most rampant following major disasters, like recent devastating tornados or typhoons.  Disasters are the most popular times for this type of fraud because of the surge of good will surrounding a catastrophic event, and suspicious circumstances are more likely to be overlooked because of the immediacy of need.

 

The scammers pose as a legitimate charity using several different methods.  They may claim to be an employee or volunteer of a legitimate charity.  They may use company names that sound similar to real charities.  They may use email that link respondents to fraudulent websites.  Or, they may use phone calls or emails to solicit donations requiring personal or financial information in attempt to commit identity theft.

 

You can protect yourself in several ways:

 

Verify that the charity is legitimate. 
The IRS and FEMA both offer online tools to search for qualified tax-deductible organizations.

Don’t share your personal financial information.
Never share your Social Security Number, credit card numbers, your credit union account number or your passwords with anyone.  Often these donation attempts are a way to access much more than your intended donation amount.

Don’t send cash.
Cash isn’t a traceable way to record donations for tax purposes, but it’s also not very secure.  Use a check or other payment method to properly document your transaction.

 

If you think you may be a victim of charity-related fraud, report the incident to the IRS using the Reporting Phishing link.

 

If you suspect that your account has been compromised, immediately call a member service representative at (888) 858-6878. After hours, for debit or credit card fraud, please call (800) 543-5073 to block your card.

 

We can cancel compromised cards, change your account number or add a password to your account for future transactions if it becomes necessary.

 

by Michelle, AVP, Operations

Feb 5

2014

by Kristin Peterson, Business Development

by Kristin P., Business Development

At Pacific Service Credit Union we pride ourselves on being an active part of our community.  We are committed to actively supporting the communities we serve through financial contributions and volunteer services. Here’s a wrap up of our 2013 contributions.

 

Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano – Holiday Food Drive and Admiral’s Garden Event sponsorship
Our funding helps the Food Bank supply food to needy families.  Our 2013 donation provides to 70,302 meals.

 

Kids Day 2013
Once again, we are a proud sponsor of Kids Day 2013 benefitting The Children’s Hospital of Central California, which provides medical treatment to over 100,000 children.

 

YMCA of San Francisco
We are supporting the Presidio Community YMCA’s afterschool learning program.  The program provides free, high -quality afterschool services to youth in San Francisco’s Inner Richmond neighborhood.

 

Diabetic Youth Foundation
Our donations support the DYF with their mission to improve the quality of life for children, teens and families affected by diabetes.

 

San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs’ Foundation
This year’s funding will provide back-to-school supplies for 300 low-income, at-risk children.

 

Credit Unions for Kids
Credit Unions for Kids is a non-profit collaboration of credit unions across the country benefitting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Funding supports treatment of children, regardless of their ability to pay.

 

Children’s Miracle Day Fundraiser
We were one of many credit unions supporting the Credit Union SacTown Ten-Mile Race benefitting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

 

Fresno Police and Neighborhood Watch program
Our funding supports community block parties and education for children.  Children participate in crime prevention activities that reinforce positive living and improve relations with law enforcement officers.

 

Fresno Police Activities League (PAL) programs
Our involvement supports programs for low-income, at-risk residents of the community, including bicycle repair, bicycle giveaways and a mentoring pen pal program.

 

American Red Cross Save-a-Life Days
For the 11th year, our funding sponsors a series of regional training events that deliver lifesaving skills to vulnerable populations in underserved communities at no cost.

 

Youth Homes
Our sponsorship helps Youth Homes provide shelter and services to seriously traumatized and abused foster youth in Contra Costa County and throughout the Bay Area.

 

Loaves and Fishes
Our funding helps Loaves and Fishes dining rooms provide hot meals to individuals and families in need.

 

George Mark Children’s House
Our donation helps to expand the meal program to meet the needs of a growing patient population.

 

Huckleberry Youth Programs
Our donation helps the Huckleberry Youth Programs serve at-risk, runaway and homeless youth in the Bay Area.

 

Poverello House
Since 2010, we have assisted the Poverello House serve the hungry and homeless of Fresno.  Services provided by the Poverello House include emergency shelter, food, transportation, recreation, and social services.

 

Elder Financial Protection Network
Since 2003, we have supported EFPN to prevent the financial exploitation of California’s elderly and dependent adult population.

 

The Salvation Army
Our long-time support helps The Salvation Army provide food and toys for needy families during the holiday season.

 

Bay Area Rescue Mission
Our 2013 donation provided 1,200 turkeys to needy families during the holiday season and bikes for children living at the Rescue Mission.

 

American Red Cross
Our emergency donations assisted with disaster relief following Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and the tornados that devastated the Midwest in November.

 

Children’s Hospital Central California and Children’s Hospital and Research Center Oakland
We support Children’s Hospital to provide the finest medical care and conduct life-saving research to help millions of kids overcome diseases and injuries regardless of their ability to pay.

 

Fresno Community Food Bank
Our donation helped the Community Food Bank distribute nourishing food for people in need.

 

 

If you are involved in a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that you feel may fit our mission, we would be happy to consider them for a charitable contribution. Simply email me and include your organization’s name, email address and phone number to request an application.

Dec 23

2013

Pacific Service Credit Union has been notified of a card compromise related to Target Stores that may affect your Pacific Service CU credit, debit and ATM card. The compromise took place at all U.S. Target stores between November 27 and December 15, 2013.

 

We are working with Visa to determine the number of cards which were impacted by this unauthorized access. If we determine that any card is at risk, you will be notified and your card will be blocked and replaced. However, the card will be available for use until the new card is received.

 

In the meantime, we encourage you to watch your accounts for unauthorized activity. You can check transaction history and set up email alerts in BranchLine. If you notice anything suspicious, please call a member service representative at (888) 858-6878 as soon as possible.

 

We are taking this situation very seriously and are working diligently to minimize fraud. For more information about the situation, please visit the Target website.

Nov 20

2013

by Steve Punch

Steve Punch, President & CEO

MSN Money’s 7th annual survey lists five big banks and credit card companies in their 2013 top 10 ‘Hall of Shame.’ According to MSN Money, complaints against American Express, Discover Card, Wells Fargo, Citibank and Bank of America include misleading marketing, lawsuit settlements and “poor” ratings on credit cards and banking. Read the entire list here.

 

We are proud to be a local, big bank alternative. As a non-profit financial institution, our number one priority is member service. In fact, we’re so focused on member service; we send monthly surveys to members who transact with us soliciting feedback with the goal of providing an excellent service experience.

 

In 2013, we have achieved a member satisfaction rating of 3.86, out of a possible 4. We’re especially proud that 90% of our members would recommend Pacific Service Credit Union to a friend.

 

We strive to go above and beyond to demonstrate the credit union service philosophy. We think things like 4-minute loan decisions, next day loan documents and a real person answering the phone within 30 seconds sets us apart from the competition. We hope you do too.

 

If you have feedback for our service team, email us anytime at service@pacificservice.org. We respond to every email. That’s part of the reason that service is our middle name.

Nov 5

2013

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A skimming device is a tool illegally affixed to a legitimate ATM or other automated point-of-sale machine to assist criminals in committing fraud. The device picks up ATM or debit card information when your card is swiped. A miniature camera sometimes used with the device to record the PIN of users. By copying the data onto blank cards and using an acquired PIN, fraudsters can access your money.

 

ATM skimming is a sophisticated crime. The devices used to commit fraud are complex and difficult to detect. At the same time, ATMs are well equipped with security measures to detect unauthorized activity. Additionally, our branch staff has procedures in place to prevent our ATMs from being compromised and processes to ensure any tampering is immediately detected. We have had some members fall victim to these devices at gas stations, restaurants or other self-service point-of-sale machines. As always, we feel that awareness is the best way to prevent any type of fraud.

 

Here’s how to protect yourself from fraud associated with skimming devices:

 

Physical protection
The simplest and most effective way to protect your card and PIN is to cover the keypad from view when you enter your PIN. Developing this simple habit can prevent thieves from accessing your money, regardless of whether they’ve skimmed your card.

 

Be aware
Take caution if you notice inconsistencies in your ATM experience. Some fraud artists are now using cell phone cameras to film videos of PINs being entered while standing behind users at ATMs.

 

If you’ve used an ATM in the past and you remember it being a motorized ATM (one that takes and holds your card during your transaction) and now it’s a “dip” ATM (one that you simply dip in and pull your card out), take caution. A skimming device may be attached.

 

Similarly, if the card swipe doesn’t match the color or style of the ATM machine, it might be a skimmer. Compare the card device to others at nearby ATMs or gas pumps. Gas stations that ask for your zip code instead of your PIN may be a safer option.

 

Above all, trust your instincts. If you suspect foul play, or if you’re in doubt about the authenticity of a machine, use a different machine or payment method.

 

Transaction alerts
Transaction alerts keep you informed of account activity. When a transaction occurs on your account, you’ll receive a courtesy email. If the transaction wasn’t yours, contact us immediately. An immediate response to suspected fraud is the best way to protect your money. We can shut down your card to protect your funds and send you a new card or issue you a new card at a branch. These simple alerts can be set and managed under the “Manage Profile” tab in BranchLine online banking.

 

If you suspect that you could have been a victim of ATM skimming or any fraudulent activity, call us at (888) 858-6878 as soon as possible. We can offer additional layers of protection on your account.

by Michelle, AVP, Operations

 
   
 
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