Author: Compass Community Credit Union

We have provided some information and tips on how you can protect yourself from phony emails and phishing scams. In this article, we will be focusing on the latest scam published by the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), Tech Support Scams. Based on a Public Service Announcement published in July, this particular scam is …

The Latest Scam

We have provided some information and tips on how you can protect yourself from phony emails and phishing scams. In this article, we will be focusing on the latest scam published by the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), Tech Support Scams. Based on a Public Service Announcement published in July, this particular scam is on the rise. IC3’s 2022 Internet Crime Report shows this type of scandal had a 27% increase over 2021 and totaled in over $1B in losses.

How do you know if you’re being targeted:

The scammers will initiate contact with their victim through a phone call, text message, email, or popup window posing to be support from a company. They hook their victims by telling them they are eligible for a refund and that they need to gain access to their computer so they can guide them through the transfer. They will urge their victim to log into their bank account, and then take over control. During this process they will intentionally transfer more money than what was said to be refunded and play on their victims’ emotions by telling them they could lose their job if they do not receive the funds back. They will instruct their victim to send the money via cash disclosed in a magazine or to a pharmacy or retail business which will accept packages like this.

How do you protect yourself against the threat, below are some tips provided from IC3:

  • Never download software at the request of an unknown individual who contacts you
  • Never allow an unknown individual authorization to access or control your machine remotely
  • Do not click on unsolicited popups, links, text messages or even attachments.
  • Never send cash via mail or shipping companies

What do you do if you’ve fallen victim, or suspect you’ve been targeted:

If you suspect you have been a victim of this attack, you should report this activity to the FBI Internet Complaint Center at You will need to include as much information as possible, and this should include.

  • The name of the person or company that contacted you
  • Methods of communication used, in include websites, emails, and phone numbers
  • The address where the cash was shipped and the recipient name

The source of this information was gathered from the FBI’s IC3 website and can be reviewed in more detail at

Compass Community Credit Union is dedicated to protecting our members and the safety of your information. If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at 707-443-8662.

Money Pitfalls to Avoid This Fall

1. Waiting to lock in a price for your heating needs

For those who use propane or wood to heat their home, prices usually climb during the winter season. It’s risky to put it off so stock up now before you run low. Price hikes could eat into your budget at a higher rate than you had planned, causing unnecessary financial strain.

2. Paying for fall fix-ups with a high-cost credit card

If improvements are on the horizon, plan ahead. Instead of diving for your credit card to pay for those improvements, talk to us about obtaining a home equity line of credit. There’s no cost to keep an unused line available. When you do use it, the rate is typically lower than other ways to borrow, and interest can be tax-deductible (check with your tax professional).

3. Neglecting to max out your 401(k)

If your retirement savings plan has an employer match, check with your HR manager to see if you’ll qualify for the maximum in matching funds by year-end. If your employer does not offer a plan, you might consider a Traditional or Roth IRA from us. Call 707-443-8662 to learn more.

4. Postponing winter preparations

Let’s say you know you’ll need new tires or some extra cash for holiday gifts. If you plan now, you might be able to come up with the money. Start now by stashing $80 or $100 in your savings account every two weeks. Instead of going out to eat, prepare a meal at home and use the money you would have spent to fund your savings account. Another option is to apply for our low-rate credit card. It can be used in addition to your savings and might give you a handy way to track holiday spending.

As we know, winter will arrive before we know it. Fall is a great time to make plans—and we’re ready to help.

Preventing Identity Theft

If a fraudster steals your personal information, they can run up charges on credit cards, withdraw money from your accounts, open new accounts in your name, and more. Here are some ways you can prevent identity theft:

Safeguard Your Physical Records

While fraudsters are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their ways of stealing personal information, the tried-and-true method of physical theft is easy to rely on. Identity thieves can do a lot of financial harm with a lost or stolen wallet, mail, or documents you throw away. To limit the chances of identity theft, safeguard important documents at home, such as your Social Security card, birth certificate, passport, recent credit union statements, and tax documents. Put these documents in a locked safe. If you throw away any documents with your personal information on them, tear them up or shred them beforehand. Sensitive materials such as credit union statements, credit applications or offers, insurance forms, medical statements, checks, and utility bills can be a goldmine for thieves if they search through your trash. Opting into Compass e-Statements is an easy, secure way to protect your account information.

Additionally, you should consider collecting your mail daily. If an identity thief is willing to steal sensitive data out of your garbage, it’s likely they’re willing to steal sensitive data out of your mailbox. Consider signing up for Informed Delivery, which will notify you with a digital preview of the items being delivered—that way you’ll know if something is missing. If you know you’re going to be away from home for a while, sign up for Hold Mail service. By opting to use this tool, the USPS will safely hold your mail at your local Post Office until your return home, for up to 30 days.

Enable Two-Factor Authentication

Consider enabling two-factor authentication on all of your accounts. By adding two-factor authentication, accounts can only be accessed after entering the username and password, then by completing another prompt—such as entering a code you receive via text or email or scanning a fingerprint. Without having access to the latter, a fraudster can’t access your accounts.

Don’t Overshare on Social Media

Social media platforms are treasure troves for identity thieves. Not only is it common for someone to share their full name and date of birth on social media, but people are often sharing updates on their whereabouts and interacting with family members. For example, let’s say John Smith makes the following status update, accompanied by a photo: “Hey, everyone! Check out my new car! I’m going to take it for a spin and meet my mom at the dog park. Spike always loves playing fetch!” Under the photo, John’s mother, Jane (Doe) Smith comments, “I can’t wait to see you!” Without John realizing it, answers to common security questions were revealed:

What is the make and model of your first car?

What is your childhood pet’s name?

What is your mother’s maiden name?

Be wary of oversharing online.

If you have questions or if you’re looking for a way to increase security on your financial accounts, contact us at 707-443-8662. As an additional resource, visit to report identity theft and create a recovery plan.

Think twice when sharing back-to-school photos

With school starting up soon, social media is full of adorable back-to-school photos. Many like to feature a child holding a “first day of school” sign with basic information, such as their name and grade. But before you snap a picture of your little one, read these tips and be cautious about what you post.

Back-to-school photo tips

Avoid sharing personal details about your child. Photos often involve kids holding a sign with their full name, age, height, and other details. Scammers could use this information to commit identity theft and predators can use this to earn your child’s trust.

Leave off information about the school. Even sharing the name of your child’s school, teacher, or grade could make them a target. In addition, these details are often used as security questions for banking or credit card accounts.

Review your privacy settings. Check your social media account’s privacy settings regularly. Be mindful of those who can view your posts and restrict those you don’t know. You may want to remove personal information from your account that others can see, such as your telephone number or address.

Watch out for phony friend requests. Don’t accept friend requests from strangers. Also, think twice before you accept a friend request from someone you are already connected with. It could be an impostor trying to access your information and friends list.

Save Time with Mobile Deposit Capture

Your time is valuable, so here is a service we think can be helpful. With our mobile deposit capture, you can deposit your check directly into your account without visiting a branch. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.

  1. On the back of the check, write “For mobile deposit only CompassCCU”, along with your account number and endorsement.
  2. Snap a picture of both sides of the check
  3. Click “submit” and wait for your confirmation

It’s that easy! Mobile deposit helps you spend time doing what matters most to you. We encourage all members to use our secure mobile banking app. Please feel free to call us with any questions.

As a reminder, effective 11/1/2022, mobile deposits are subject to a 3-business-day hold.

How you can protect yourself from scams

Every year, scammers inundate senior Americans with all kinds of fraudulent schemes. Here are just a few:

  1. Phony investment schemes
  2. Bogus charity fundraisers
  3. Medicare fraud
  4. Fraudster posing as a family member in need
  5. Predatory reverse mortgages
  6. Sweepstake scams
  7. Fictitious surveys

Be wary of emails requesting personal information. Scammers send bogus emails that look like they come from a company you recognize. They include the company’s branding and logo so you think it’s legitimate. These scams are designed to trick you into providing your username and password. Do not click on any links in the email. Contact the company directly through their website by typing the web address yourself. You can also call the phone number that you have on file or the number listed on their website.

Crooks like to create fake websites that look genuine. They can be very impressive to deceive you into thinking it’s real. Then, they try and trick you into providing your debit/credit card number or your username and password. The best thing to do is go directly to the website by typing the web address yourself rather than from the link. Look at the website address and make sure it matches the site you’re trying to access.

Tip: Scammers usually misspell or add an extra letter to the website address. An example is Amazon becoming “Amazone” or “Amazne.”

Fraudsters con people every year. It can be difficult for some to admit they may have been victimized. According to AARP, there are several telltale signs to watch for:

  1. Money and valuables are disappearing for no good reason.
  2. Bills aren’t paid, and a parent seems confused about finances.
  3. They are being secretive about money and asking for more. There may be strange credit card charges.
  4. A family member won’t answer questions about your parent’s money.
  5. Someone new befriends your parent and manages to take joint title to accounts and property.

To help keep our seniors safe, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has created some free materials at

For additional tips, visit

Four Ways to Stretch Your Food Dollars

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Americans spend an average of 9.9% of their disposable incomes on food. If you factor in expired and wasted groceries, and poor money management, you could be spending even more. If you’re looking to stretch your food dollars, here are four ways that can help you save at the grocery store:

Stick to Your List

Before heading to the grocery store, put together a shopping list. It’s easy to end up impulse buying when shopping without a list, and even more so when you’re hungry. With strategically placed displays, samples, and all the sweets near the checkout lane, it can be difficult to ignore those temptations. Every grocery store is laid out differently, but you become familiar with it after a few trips. If you know the layout, try to write your list in the order that you will find the product in the store. This will prevent you from any backtracking and reduce your temptation to grab other items not on your list. You can also avoid grabbing items not on your list by ordering online for pick up. While there may be a small fee, it can be cheaper than impulsively buying a bunch of food you don’t really need. Sticking to your list will give you a better estimate of your cost at checkout and can help prevent you from leaving the grocery store with too much food and too little money.


Bringing your own reusable shopping bags to the grocery store is not only better for the environment, but it’s better for your wallet as well. Some grocery stores offer a discount on your grocery bill if you bring your own reusable bags from home to pack your food in. While a $.10 discount or being charged an additional $.05 here and there doesn’t sound like a lot of money, it certainly adds up.

Keep an Inventory

According to CNBC, the average American family loses around $1,500 a year on wasted food. You wouldn’t throw $1,500 in cash into a garbage bin, would you? However, it’s not uncommon to find something in the back of the fridge or pantry, but have no idea how long it’s been there, or worse, what it even is. To cut back on waste and extra food spending, consider creating and maintaining an inventory of all the items in your kitchen. You can plan cost-effective meals around what’s in the pantry and save money by identifying when you’re running low on something. If you see you’re starting to run low on something, you can plan ahead and replace that item while it’s on sale instead of when you’ve completely run out.

Shop for Seasonal Items

Fresh produce is delicious, but your favorite fruits and vegetables aren’t always in season. And when they aren’t in season, the prices are considerably more expensive. The cost of travel and shipping increases, and the stores pass the cost on to customers to balance out their return on investment. When you do buy fresh produce, make sure you stick to what’s in season. Strawberries and grapefruits are at peak season in the spring, while apples and pears are at their peak in the fall. Also, don’t be afraid to substitute fresh produce with frozen. If you find that your produce spoils because you can’t eat it in time, choosing frozen fruits and veggies can prevent that.

April is Youth Month

April is National Youth Month, designed to encourage kids to develop healthy saving habits by making saving fun and exciting. This year’s theme is:

Together, let’s Unleash the Power of Saving.”

Compass is committed to helping teach and encourage kids to develop good financial habits. For the month of April, we are providing an incentive to encourage our younger members to save. Click here to learn more.


If you haven’t already enrolled in e-Statements, consider the benefits:

Have your statements at your fingertips on the first of the month through our free online and mobile banking. 

Avoid clutter by storing old paper statements. Plus, you have access to your e-Statements anytime you need them.

Security – As you know, theft is a common problem. Keep your account information secure by avoiding paper statements.

Reduce waste and save our natural resources.

In addition, we have an enrollment promotion through April 30, 2023. Click here to learn more.

America Saves Week

Since 2007, America Saves Week has been an annual celebration as well as a call to action for everyday Americans to commit to saving successfully.

Monday, February 27, 2023 | Save Automatically

Tuesday, February 28, 2023 | Save for the Unexpected

Wednesday, March 1, 2023 | Savings for Milestones

Thursday, March 2, 2023 | Paying Down Debt

Friday, March 3, 2023 | Save at any Age

Compass is pleased to provide financial tips to our members. Our goal is to encourage individuals to better understand their finances, set savings goals, and create a plan to achieve them.

To get started, click here.

In short, a credit union is a cooperative financial institution where people work together to make everyone’s lives better. Everyone who has an account here is a member. And every member is an owner.

Rather than making profits to send to far-off shareholders, Compass CCU reinvests in our credit union. Which means we reinvest in YOU. That’s why we say that, at Compass Community Credit Union, we guide you to better banking.