July 29, 2014
Tuesday Edition
Florida OFR warns of disaster-related financial scams

When disaster strikes, scam artists often flood the area to cash in on the rebuilding effort, taking advantage of vulnerable residents. The first step in protecting yourself is knowing how to identify scammers before it’s too late.

Good people who want to help victims of a disaster can become victims by donating to fake charities. Fraudulent charitable organizations typically use the same methods as legitimate charities to solicit a donation. You may be contacted by phone, email, or mail. Common red flags may be:

  • High-pressure sales tactics that request a donation immediately
  • Soliciting cash donations only
  • Refusing to provide information about the organization or refusal to provide tax deduction information

Be sure to research any organization before doing business with them. Read the name of the charity carefully. Many fraudulent charitable organizations trick contributors by using names similar to legitimate, well-known charities. Ask for detailed information about the charity, such as address, mission, how much of your donation will go to the actual cause, and how much will be used for other costs.

The nation's largest evaluator of charities, offers a free service that provides assessments of legitimate charities and their fundraising efficiency. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau for more information. Report any suspected charity scams to the Federal Trade Commission through their online compliant assistant.

It is important to be cautious of individuals calling or going door-to-door impersonating representatives of various organizations. To avoid becoming the victim of identity theft or fraud, never give out your Social Security Number, banking information, or any form of personal information without contacting the organization or company.

If you feel that you may be a victim of fraud or to report suspicious activity, file a complaint with the Florida OFR online, or call 850.487.9687.

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Washington wire

The House and the Senate are both in session this week for what is expected to be the last week of session before the August recess. When the chambers recess at the end of the week, they will be out of session until Sept. 8. The September session is expected to be relatively brief with leadership in both chambers making efforts to adjourn the pre-election session by Sept.19. Whether that happens remains to be seen. Regardless, both chambers will return after the election for a lame duck session.

Here is what you need to know this week:

  • The House will consider a CUNA supported regulatory relief bill, H.R. 4626, the SAFE Act Confidentiality and Privilege Enhancement Act. CUNA testified in support of this bill at a hearing in the House Financial Services Committee earlier this month.

  • The House Financial Services Committee will mark up regulatory relief legislation at a hearing on Tuesday, including the CUNA-supported Regulation D Study bill (H.R. 3240). CUNA has indicated support for some of the other bills expected to be considered during the markup including H.R. 5148, the “Access to Affordable Mortgages Act.”

For more on the above topics, plus this week's floor schedules click here.

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InfoSight spotlight: Consumer Identification Program

Section 326 of the USA Patriot Act sets forth minimum standards for financial institutions, including credit unions, for the identification and verification of the identity of any customer/member opening an account (12 CFR §103.121).

The written customer/member identification program (CIP):

    • Must be a part of the credit union’s anti-money laundering program
    • Must be approved by the board
    • Should be tailored to the credit union’s size, location, and type of business

    Members must be provided notice that the credit union is verifying their identity and why. The CIP must, at a minimum, provide for:

    • Obtainment of certain basic identifying data
    • Verification of the identity of each customer to the extent reasonable and practicable
    • Maintenance of records of the information used to verify the identity
    • Determination of whether the customer/member appears on any lists of suspected terrorists provided by the federal government

    For additional information to help your credit union stay in compliance, visit the Customer Identification Program topic on the Bank Secrecy Act channel of InfoSight.

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    CO-OP to feature Randi Zuckerberg at Think It Out event

    CO-OP Financial Services is adding to its THINK initiative with a series of one-day regional events that will include elements of its renowned annual conference, including major featured speakers from outside the industry.

    The first THINK It Out event will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 20, in Ontario, Calif., and will highlight Randi Zuckerberg, former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and currently CEO of Zuckerberg Media. The event is free to credit union employees, who may learn more and register immediately here.

    The THINK It Out agenda will also include subject matter experts from CO-OP speaking on how to attract younger members; as well as on financial technology advances, including mobile, EMV, branch transformation, and member service. A section specifically on credit, featuring Tim Kolk of TRK Advisors (www.trkadvisors.com), is also a part of the agenda.

    For more information and to register immediately for the THINK It Out event on Aug. 20 in Ontario, Calif., click here.

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    In This Issue
    Tuesday Edition
    Florida OFR warns of disaster-related financial scams
    Washington wire
    InfoSight spotlight: Consumer Identification Program
    CO-OP to feature Randi Zuckerberg at Think It Out event
    LSCU & Affiliates Media

    I give because...Brad Green, Listerhill Credit Union
    Listerhill CU CEO Brad Green talks about why he gives to the LSCU PAC.

    I give because...Gary Vien, Suncoast Credit Union
     Suncoast CU CEO Gary Vien talks about why he gives to the LSCU PAC.

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