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FBI: Cybercriminals Using Photo-Sharing Programs

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WASHINGTON (6/13/13)--The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has seen an increase in cyber criminals who use online photo-sharing programs to perpetrate scams and harm victims' computers.

As an example, the bureau cited scammers who advertise vehicles online but will not provide photos in the advertisement. The ad promises to send photos on request, but often the photo is a single file sent as an e-mail attachment, and sometimes the victim receives a link to an online photo gallery.

The photos often contain malicious software that infects the victim's computer, directing the recipient to fake websites that look nearly identical to the real site where the original advertisement appeared. The cyber criminals run all aspects of these fake websites, including "tech support" or "live chat support," and any "recommended" escrow services. After the victim agrees to purchase the item and makes the payment, the criminals stop responding to correspondence. The victims never receive any merchandise.

The FBI urges consumers to protect themselves when shopping online. The agency offered a list of safety tips:

  • Users should be cautious if they lose an auction and the seller makes contact later, claiming the original bidder fell through.
  • Make sure websites are secure and authenticated before purchasing an item online. Use only well-known escrow services.
  • Research to determine if a car dealership is real and how long it has been in business.
  • Be wary if the price for the item is severely undervalued; if it is, the item is likely fraudulent.
  • Scan files before downloading them.
  • Keep computer software, including the operating system, updated with the latest patches.
  • Ensure anti-virus software and firewalls are current; they can help prevent malware infections.

CU System Briefs (06/13/13)

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  • FEDERAL WAY, Wash. (6/13/13)--The Northwest Credit Union Association will relocate its Washington offices at the end of June to a facility located adjacent to the Sea-Tac Airport. The new offices, located in the Sea-Tac Office Center, will allow members to more easily take day-trips to meetings with the association. The facility is located across the street from Sea-Tac Airport--a walkable distance for some travelers ...
  • RALEIGH, N.C. (6/13/13)--State Employees' Credit Union (SECU) personnel continue to support the March of Dimes March for Babies campaign, with 58 SECU teams raising more than $60,000 during this year's event. That support from members at the Raleigh, N.C.-based credit union resulted in a new record, with 307 participants joining in the annual three-mile march held in Durham. Credit Union branches and operations departments held fundraisers to aid lifesaving research and educational programs aimed at helping women nationwide have healthy babies. SECU teams statewide also participated in walks and fundraising events within their communities to add several thousand dollars to the 2013 March of Dimes SECU total ...
 

Shred Day Supports Oklahoma Tornado Victims

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OKLAHOMA CITY (6/13/13)--Tinker FCU (TFCU), Oklahoma City, Okla., hosted a special shred day on Saturday to assist victims of the tornado that struck Moore, Okla., May 20.

Tinker FCU employees helped Moore, Okla. residents shred materials damaged in a devastating May 20 tornado. (Photo provided by Tinker FCU)
"Our members had been asking us when our next shred day was going to be so they could safely dispose of damaged personal paperwork they were finding while sifting through the rubble left by the tornadoes," said Matthew Stratton, TFCU senior vice president of marketing. 

"We decided a special event in Moore would be helpful," Stratton added. "We have been urging those affected to properly dispose of any damaged documents they found during recovery and wanted to give them a way to do that easily."

Rite Way Shredding brought a truck to First Baptist Church in Moore, where TFCU employees assisted members and residents.

In addition to the unscheduled shred day for Moore residents, TFCU had already scheduled seven shred days throughout 2013.

Virginia CU Foundation Grant Helps Disabled Go To Camp

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (6/13/13)--The We Promise Foundation, the charitable arm of the Chartway FCU in Virginia Beach, Va., donated $20,800 to St. Mary's Home to send 16 children and young adults with severe disabilities to summer camp.

Click to view larger image Representatives from the We Promise Foundation, the charitable arm of Chartway FCU, visited the playground at St. Mary's Home to present a check for $20,800 to fully fund summer camp for residents of St. Mary's. From left, are:  John Blum, We Promise chairman; Rene Bollinger, Chartway corporate human resources officer; Beth O'Toole, Chartway's vice president of operations; Allison Bough, St. Mary's major gifts officer; Wayne Foshay, Chartway's chairman of the board; William C. Giermak, St. Mary's CEO; Cindy Casteen, We Promise secretary/treasurer; Dallas England, Chartway's board of directors; Brian Schools, Chartway's corporate strategy officer; Mary Helen Hilton, St Mary's director of annual giving; Payten, St. Mary's resident; Amelia, St. Mary's resident; Brandon, St. Mary's resident; and Zach, St. Mary's resident. (Photo provided by Chartway FCU)
"St. Mary's Home will be able to send 16 children and young adults to summer camp this year because of the generosity of the We Promise Foundation," said William C. Giermak, St. Mary's CEO. "Camp is always a big highlight for us."

The foundation is the sole sponsor of St. Mary's participation in Camp Horizon, a program The Up Center runs on the campus of Virginia Wesleyan College. Campers will spend eight weeks enjoying field trips, art sessions, sports activities, music lessons and outdoor games as they experience freedom and independence as a result of access to adaptive items and equipment. 

This is the third year that Chartway's foundation has sponsored summer camp for children and young adults of St. Mary's. The foundation also donated $20,800 to fully fund camp in 2012 and $10,000 to partially sponsor camp in 2011.

We Promise Foundation Chairman John Blum said the foundation is proud to be able to help St. Mary's with activities like summer camp.

"It's been great to have a relationship with St. Mary's, a neighbor," Blum said. "Our employees and supporters are extremely passionate about making a difference in our community so we are honored to provide St. Mary's residents with the chance to enjoy an enriching outdoor experience."

Since 1999, Chartway and the We Promise Foundation have raised more than $5.3 million to help more than 900 children through partnerships with several charitable children's groups.

CO-OP Miracle Match Applications Due Sept. 30

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (6/13/13)--Credit unions planning to sponsor Credit Unions for Kids fundraisers in 2013 have until Sept. 30 to apply for CO-OP Miracle Match grants, according to CO-OP Financial Services, administrator of the annual $1 million matching funds program.

CO-OP Financial Services makes the matching funds available on behalf of its 3,500 client credit unions, and all credit unions, chapters and leagues in the United States are eligible. In addition to the Sept. 30 deadline, credit unions must submit their applications prior to the date of their event. 

"This year marks our 15th year of participating in Credit Unions for Kids," said Stan Hollen, CO-OP Financial Services president/CEO. "The program is national in scope, but dollars raised go to supporting Children's Miracle Network Hospitals in the local service areas of the credit unions holding the events. This is an ideal way for credit unions to uplift the community of their members."

In 2012, more than $3 million was raised by credit unions participating in the CO-OP Miracle Match program and by CO-OP Financial Services through its matching grants. The total number of applications matched for the 2012 CO-OP Miracle Match program was 155, including 42 first-time-ever events. These events benefited 68 CMNH hospitals in 37 states.

CU4Kids is a nonprofit collaboration of credit unions, chapters, leagues, the Credit Union National Association and business partners nationwide engaged in fundraising activities to benefit 170 Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Credit unions are the third-largest corporate sponsor of the hospitals, behind only Walmart and Costco.

Wegner Award Nominations Deadline is June 28

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MADISON, Wis. (6/13/13)--June 28 is the deadline to nominate individuals and organizations for the Herb Wegner Memorial Awards presented by the National Credit Union Foundation.

Winners will be honored at NCUF's annual awards dinner on Feb. 24 in conjunction with the Credit Union National Association Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C.

"We encourage everyone in the credit union movement to nominate their best and brightest for what are widely considered the highest national honors in the credit union movement," said Josie Collins, NCUF director of donor relations and resource development. "The NCUF Awards and Recognition Committee added new criteria this year so credit union advocates who've made a significant impact locally can also be nominated."

The nominations are for these awards:

  • The Individual Achievement Award honors an unsung hero for their innovative concepts and/or accomplishments that are ongoing and current contributions to the credit union community for their work within the past three to five years. Accomplishments must have had a significant impact or a potential impact on the local or national or international credit union movement with measured results. Nominations must cite a specific subject of achievement such as financial literacy, service to the underserved, alternatives to predatory lending, and/or new products.
  • The Outstanding Organization/Program Award honors an organization, program or business for their innovative concepts or product and services that have had a significant impact on the local or national or international credit union movement with measured results.
  • The Lifetime Achievement Award honors an individual who has dedicated their life to promoting the credit union philosophy, created innovative concepts and provided leadership that has had a significant and lasting impact on the local or national or international credit union movement.
Nominations can come from individuals or organizations. To make a nomination:

  1. Complete the Wegner Awards nomination form on the NCUF website. Use the link.
  1. Gather at least five letters of recommendation citing examples of the nominee's achievements relevant to the award criteria.
  1. Send the nomination form and recommendation letters electronically to NCUF by June 28.
Questions about the Wegner Awards can be directed to Josie Collins at jcollins@ncuf.coop or (800) 356-9655, ext. 4374.

U.K. CU Exec Receives Royal Warrant

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LONDON (6/13/13)--Marlene Shiels, the chief executive of Capital Credit Union Ltd. in Edinburgh, Scotland, has received a Royal Warrant from England's Queen Elizabeth.

Shiels is a Certified Credit Union Development Educator. She completed the National Credit Union Foundation program in 2000.

Royal Warrants of appointment have been issued for centuries to tradespeople who supply goods or services to the United Kingdom monarchy.

Specifically, Shiels has been appointed credit union consultant to Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.

A year ago, News Now reported on the Duchess' visit at Capital CU, where she praised credit unions' work to increase financial inclusion (serve the unbanked) and money management skills in disadvantaged communities (News Now May 14, 2012).  And this past May, the Duchess made news when she became a member of London Mutual CU in Peckham, England (News Now, May 17, 2013).